Create Curate Collaborate! at #uoblt12

26 07 2012

We were invited to present at the University of Brighton Learning and Teaching Conference 2012 (#uoblt12), 13th July, due to Jac Cattaneo’s connection (Northbrook College is affiliated to the University of Brighton). The theme for the conference was ‘Connectivity: linking the learning community’ and in fitting with the theme all three of us managed to deliver a joint presentation that was crafted both online, with telephone calls and the occasional meeting.

Checkland building, University of Brighton. Photo: MTG

Delegates entered the room to the sound of Johnny Cash’s ‘I Walk the Line’ LP. They were asked to select an object and accompanying postcard from Jac’s amazing and inspiring collection:

Items from the collection of Jac Cattaneo. Photo: MTG

The overarching framework for the session was purposefully presented within a PowerPoint; this was in order to avoid ‘Prezi’ overload!

After the background to the project, Curtis performed his Prezi poem: ‘Prezi Hesi Tate‘ and talked about some of the theories and writings that had inspired our practice.

Jac led a group activity on free writing using the objects and postcards. I had pre-prepared a Prezi with the images of the objects so when a number of them were selected by the audience I was able to type up the phrases into a live Prezi and create the group’s collaborative ‘found’ Prezi poem. Curtis selected a member of the audience to perform the poem and this worked really well.

We had lots of positive feedback on the session from attendees as well as useful discussion about Prezi and Creative Writing. Next steps: to write-up the final report, due 14th September 2012.

Prezi at Staff Seminar UCA Epsom, 14th June

26 07 2012

Curtis Tappenden and Marie-Therese Gramstadt gave a short presentation about Create Curate Collaborate! at a UCA Staff Seminar, Epsom College, 14th June 2012. This included our different perspectives as lecturer and de facto learning technologist respectively.

The ‘Lessons Learned’ Prezi is available here:

Unfortunately due to several factors (which will be discussed in our final report) we were unable to arrange a second visit to the V&A Museum, London. However it was possible to gather additional data from the Creative Writing Groups which will be analysed with the questionnaire data and presented as part of our project findings.

Prezi Triple Whammy at UCA!

30 01 2012

The Create Curate Collaborate! project team were delighted to have an abstract accepted for the University for the Creative Arts Learning and Teaching conference, held at the British Library on Wednesday 25th January 2012. This conference is always really inspiring and a great opportunity to catch up with colleagues across the University; this year’s opening keynote was even given in Prezi!

Our session titled ‘Considering blended communication- creative thinking, writing and image making- through initial explorations of Prezi non-linear, digital presentation tools.’ comprised of three very different Prezis:

The audience arrived to the sounds of ‘Walk the Line’ on vinyl, and white grapes; Curtis Tappenden, artist, author and poet, presented a ‘Prezi Poem’ titled ‘Prezi Hesi Tate’:

I provided some background to our project and how the use of Prezi has changed my thinking from a linear example using a screencast of PowerPoint slides, to the Prezi non-linear; ‘Create Curate Collaborate!’:

Two of the students from Curtis’ Creative Writing Group at Rochester: Annabel Giraud-Telme and Benjamin Viney gave an outstanding presentation on their own personal experience of using Prezi; ‘We walk the line’:

I have learnt so much from my colleagues Jac and Curtis, and also from the students. Unfortunately Jac Cattaneo wasn’t able to attend but her contribution was very much evident in terms of the paper we co-wrote together in Google Docs, and also particularly in the cross-over between Curtis and Jac’s creative writing groups.

Next step, an interactive poster Prezi for University of Brighton!

Prezi – more thoughts, pros and cons

12 01 2011

I was trying to embrace Prezi for a presentation I was giving yesterday, and it started quite well, I enjoyed arranging the content and it was giving me a new perspective i.e. I was conscious of how linear my thought process was and so I was trying to change this. But in the end this process was scuppered by lack of Internet connection (over several days). I realise you can pay to use Prezi offline, but I don’t want to pay for this service! In the end I reverted to a linear PowerPoint. Now I appreciate being online so much more!

A new Prezi pro point: there is now an iPad app for Prezi!

One word to describe PowerPoint

3 12 2010

At both recent presentations I asked participants to write ‘one word to describe PowerPoint’ on a small slip of paper. These were then collected and some of them read out during the presentations. See all the responses combined into a tag cloud:

image of a tag cloud of words to describe PowerPoint

Screenshot of tag cloud generated by

As shown in the image above, the two most frequent words were linear and useful, and the others listed were: abused, ambivalent, a tool, backwards, basic, blackboard, bland, broken video, bullet-y, confining, easy, flat, functional, hell, helpful, inflexible, limiting, Microsoft, overused, powerful, predictable, presentation, proprietary, restrictive, rigid, sterile, sucks, tedious, uncreative, undercooked, visual

First experience of creating a Prezi

3 12 2010

Although I first blogged about Prezi back in February, I have so far resisted it. So today I decided to go for it, in preparation for the abstract I am submitting today to the University for the Creative Arts Learning and Teaching conference 2011.


  • Supports an iterative process.
  • Uses size of content and text to define hierarchy.
  • Ideally suited to brainstorming, mindmapping, and thought processes in which you want to gather content and then establish relationships between the content or ideas.
  • Supports collaborative working, and ‘Prezi Meetings’ (I think only up to 10 people can be co-editors though).
  • The layout of the whole Prezi IS the overview, i.e. no need for a summary slide that you may use in PowerPoint, however important to remind the audience of the overview by returning to this at key points.
  • Flexible navigation with the use of a mouse, arrow keys, remote clicker or their menu, however more practice required than with using PowerPoint!
  • You can embed Prezi in a blog or Web page, and this is something I am definitely interested in doing.
  • In the right hands this tool can be mind-blowing!


  • When you present for the first time the navigation and bubble menu disappear, to get back you need to know that you are supposed to hover over the bottom right-hand corner of your screen. It would be better if there was an option to either hide or show the navigation so the user is in control.
  • Video, image, and other files have a maximum file size of 50MB.
  • If you wanted to zoom into an image, then the level of detail is restricted by a maximum image size of 2880 x 2880 pixels.
  • This tool could be used very badly with disastrous effects e.g. making the audience dizzy – training and practice is needed for proper use.
  • Relying on an Internet connection to present is not ideal, therefore even if you work in education you need to pay an annual charge in order to be able to download your presentations and run them offline. Or you could print your presentation as a PDF and use that with less functionality (they recommend a linear path to avoid multiple pages of the same view).
  • Currently you have to use their colour schemes and fonts.
  • The Prezi approach is to keep things simple, but it does mean that all your content needs to be prepared prior to import e.g. you can’t add borders to images or choose when a video starts playing etc.
  • There is no support for sound files, the way around this is to use Flash video files that include the sound, this is restrictive if you don’t own Flash.
  • You can present without using a path in order to foster discussion with the audience; however if you then make the Prezi available it won’t have a path for them to be able to click through the presentation by themselves, and no autoplay option.

Learning and Teaching Seminar at UCA

3 12 2010

Last week’s Learning and Teaching Seminar at the University for the Creative Arts, Farnham campus, was a great opportunity to present my research to other colleagues and to be challenged with some fantastic questions. I also really enjoyed hearing the other two presentations, one given using Prezi, and the other via a podcast.

Most people expect me to use Prezi in my presentations, but instead I went retro and did dual projection of images with a slide projector on one side, and a PowerPoint presentation on the other (NB: only images no text).

Experience of giving a slide lecture

1 12 2010

Following on from recent additional research, as well as some of the themes covered in my paper at the CHArt annual conference (11th November 2010), I wanted to actually experience creating and giving a slide lecture, and so I did this on 23rd November.

Notes and observations on giving a slide lecture

  • It is starting to be something a bit different, i.e. although I used slides on a couple of occasions as a student, there is a whole terminology and set-up to learn e.g. where are the slides kept? what are the terms of access?
  • The slide collection has to be physically visited; it made me realise how used I am to accessing virtual collections online any time I wanted.
  • As I discussed in my CHArt paper, each slide collection has its own idiosyncratic method of organisation, normally based on the academics who made requests to build up the collection in the first place.
  • The physical engagement with slide cabinets, pockets of slides, and other associated paraphernalia, is missing from the digital dialogue. I didn’t realise I missed this until I was choosing the slides and actually quite enjoying the immersive process, as opposed to frantically searching online in a much more distracting online environment than the physical Library.
  • After my slide lecture I had a few comments about the ‘nice images’, and although I couldn’t comment on the learning experience, certainly there is something to be said for the visual experience, and even the performative aspects of the slide projector.
  • Unfortunately the process did require a lot of effort on my part i.e. emails to locate the slides, time to choose them (i.e. because they were monographically organised and I wanted ‘themes’), and emails and phone calls to arrange the projection equipment in the room. I am not planning to use them again.

CHArt 2010 conference – VADS images

11 11 2010

To accompany my presentation Changing light: a plethora of digital tools as slides gasp their last? at the Computers and the History of Art (CHArt) 2010 conference, I have selected a few VADS images.

To view the lightbox of VADS images please click on the hyperlink below (or copy and paste it into the address/location field of your browser):

A plethora of digital tools

10 11 2010

One of the points I am going to raise in my presentation at the Computers and the History of Art (CHArt) conference tomorrow is that there are so many options out there, it becomes like information overload, almost a digital cacophony of different tools that can be used for visual arts presentations. As if to illustrate my point: