Go home Powerpoint. You’re drunk and Prezi is your driver.

Here we go again. It’s oral presentations time. Get your trash cans and anti-nausea medicine because things are about to get ugly. Literally.

No seriously. Have you ever looked at some kid’s powerpoint presentation and thought ”This has to be the lamest, ugliest presentation eve. Did he or she even try?” only to end up thinking the exact same thing of the next kid’s presentation?

Let’s be honest with each other here. Powerpoint presentations are getting boring for all of us, teachers and students. Aside from stimulating our gag reflex, they don’t seem to be doing much. I myself, being the queen of terrible Powerpoint presentations, find it utterly urgent to bring some life back into visual aids.

Very recently, I ran back into this little darling that I had overlooked all too foolishly a few years ago, back when my messed-up student brain was still trying to master the oh-so-complicated arts of powerpoint use. Long story short, I have rediscovered Prezi.

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PRETZELS?

Not even close. As the software’s website explains it, Prezi is a ”virtual whiteboard that transforms presentations from monologues into conversations: enabling people to see, understand, and remember ideas.”

MY EYES ARE BLEEDING. I DON’T UNDERSTAND THIS MYSTERIOUS LANGUAGE.

In short, this little baby allows people with zero ability in graphic design like me to create nice, interactice presentations with original and alluring designs that stimulate the audience and inspire them to stay tuned rather than fall asleep. It sounds like a good plan to me.

SO WHAT?

At first, when I read that this thing was very different from Powerpoint, I thought ”Not interested! I can barely handle Powerpoint!”. It turns out to be quite simple. As the lovely Benoit Descary explained on his personal blog, instead of creating a traditional presentation in which slides just follow each other in a very linear fashion, creating a Prezi is much like putting together a little film.

BUT I AM AN INNOCENT LITTLE STUDENT! WHY USE PREZI?

Above all, I think that it’s a great way to remove some of the stress factor and boredom from your oral presentations. Prezi is like a game, so it doesn’t call for a stiff, boring, and steady approach. You’re not a politician, you’re a student. It lets you be dynamic. Man, you can even zoom in on what you’re doing, go back and forth, insert videos, sounds, and animations that will work when you need them to (I’m sure this brings back great Powerpoint memories to all of us…), etc. Do that and I, as your teacher, will worship you forever. Ok, perhaps not, but it’ll definitely earn you originality points. It isn’t making top lists for learning tools for no reason.

I AM A FELLOW DISTURBED TEACHER. WILL THIS SAVE MY LIFE?

Well, for one, I feel encouraged that this can work for us too. After all, we also have to use visual aids to introduce material to students. It sounds to me like they’ll be much more interested to see where this little animation is taking them than to copy down notes from your oh-so-beautiful black and beige Powerpoint presentation. I am all in favor of a presentation that follow the stream of consciousness of the students which is, let’s face it, often everything but linear and well-structured. Prezi seems to make it much more logical than our previous made-up logic about clear-cut visual aids.

LET’S GET REAL. WE CAN’T RESORT TO WACKY PRESENTATIONS!

I don’t think it’s wacky. After all, the website offers layouts and presentations structures for business, education, design, portfolios… Oh, you can be wacky. My favorite students are always the ones who give out crazy presentations. Ironically enough, they tend to be the ones who make the most sense. The neat part, in my opinion, is that this type of presentation leaves us with quite valuables outcomes:

  • Dynamic, quirky presentations that reflect the young people we teach
  • More natural, smooth, thrilling teacher presentations
  • More efficient teamwork, since students can collaborate on presentations online (Honestly, how often have you seen a student complain that his or her powerpoint isn’t complete because their partner did not ”send their part of the Powerpoint”…)
  • More relaxed students who are less reluctant when it comes to oral presentations
  • Etc.

RADICAL!

I have to agree here.

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One Response to “Go home Powerpoint. You’re drunk and Prezi is your driver.”

  1. […] mentioned in numerous websites and especially in the amazing blog written by my fellow classmate, Marianne Bard, Prezi is THE new generation of PowerPoint. Exit the benumbing and boring, linear and static slide […]

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