Prezi is a cloud-based presentation software. In place of slides and bullet points (a la PowerPoint or Keynote), Prezi uses a “zoomable canvas” upon which concepts can be displayed. The speaker navigates amongst the data and visuals along a pre-determined navigation “path.”
Use it to present a lecture on information that requires an understanding of dimension or scale
You can create a lecture that plots a path through space and uses your narration to explain key points. This type of presentation can be particularly valuable for concepts that require an understanding of differences in dimension or scale, such as cellular anatomy or astronomy.
Use it to create an information repository that your students can move around in and investigate as they need
You can create a Prezi that does not have a preset path determined but instead lets the “reader” move around to investigate the topic.
Use it as a student presentation tool
Students can create and post their own productions about an aspect of the course or about a research topic.
It’s free when used for educational purposes. Sign up for a license.
The zoomable format helps communicate scale and location. Some of the templates even give a 3-dimensional quality to the presentation.
It can incorporate video clips and audio clips that can enhance student understanding are easily integrated.
Formatting is adaptable to your learning goals. The option of providing a path through the material or allowing students to investigate on their own gives the instructor greater flexibility than some other presentation tools.
It can be used for synchronous sessions. You can present the Prezi online, giving the option of a synchronous presentation.
It’s relatively easy to use. There is a relatively shallow learning curve for instructors who have experience with other presentation tools
It’s a tool under development. The frequent changes can be frustrating when you want to create something quickly.
The animation options are very limited. Within a frame, you can have objects or text fade in, but there are no other animation options.
Text editing capabilities are very limited. For example, you cannot bold or italicize text in Prezi.
It’s not VERY easy to use. “Framing”is the process by which you create the equivalent of slides. Creating frames that do precisely what you want can be frustrating.
Too much zooming can make you sick. The “zooming” quality of movement through the presentation can make viewers ill if it is overused.
The Prezi site gives good instruction on how to get started, including how to add narration.
Sign up using your .edu email address to receive the free extra features the educational version provides.
Prezi is currently supporting two versions of the product, Prezi Classic and Prezi Next. Classic is a Flash based product, which means it does not always work an all web browers. Prezi Next was created to move away from the Flash platform. The two products are very different in the way they operate so you’ll want to check them both out and decide which you like best. Prezi states that they will continue to support Prezi Classic.
- This prezi describing the citric acid cycle has a preset path but no narration.
- This prezi on hepatocyte biochemistry has no preset path through it but instead can be investigated by the viewer at will. It also illustrates how location can be conveyed in prezi.
- A prezi created by John Cao (VU 2013) on carcinogenesis illustrates the potential of self-generated visuals in combination with imported visuals.
- This prezi illustrates the ability to incorporate video and the simple animation possibilities available in prezi itself.
- This prezi illustrates the narration capabilities of prezi—and has the added benefit of being a how-to on how to collaborate using prezi.