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Zooming in with Prezi

February 19, 2010

Prezi is an online alternative  to PowerPoint that lets you create a canvas of text and visuals, then identify a path from one item or group to another. When you show the presentation, Prezi zooms in on each successive item. If something is placed at an angle, the canvas rotates as it zooms in.

A presentation, called a “Prezi,” can be embedded in a web page or blog post (but not at WordPress.com … yet). Here’s a sample Prezi at their website. Here’s how to use it in Concourse:

  1. Get the embed code
  2. Create a content page

The Prezi canvas metaphor has very different feel from PowerPoint’s over-worn slide show. That might be hard to “get” at first, but it’s worth persisting. I resisted trying Prezi at first, but the minute I started exploring I began to enjoy it.

The interface is also unique and a bit quirky, so hang in there. Before you know it you will be zooming with the rest of us.

Based in Hungary, Prezi went public last April. It was developed by a media professor in Budapest and now educators all over the world are embracing it – like the folks from Kirkwood CC in the YouTube video below. Some people use it for concept mapping – an idea worth trying!

With Prezi it’s easy to zoom out and get the big picture – or zoom in on a detail. You can even embed YouTube videos and Flash animations! In my first Prezi I got carried away with putting items at angles; I got kind of dizzy watching it.

A free account lets you can create and share presentations online or download results with a small Prezi watermark embedded. There is a fee at the “Enjoy” level, but you can restrict viewing and the watermark is gone. A Pro account lets you work offline and includes 2GB of online storage; this costs $59 a year with the education discount. I upgraded to the Enjoy level, which is free for educators.

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11 Comments leave one →
  1. Chaz permalink
    February 19, 2010 1:02 pm

    So if you wish to use a prezi in a classroom, is there a client piece or is it online? Can you view the prezi’s if you’re offline?

  2. LT Lab permalink*
    February 19, 2010 1:13 pm

    Chaz – You can show a Prezi online or download it as a Flash application (Mac and Windows executables) – Chris

  3. Katie permalink
    February 24, 2010 7:31 pm

    I tried this out as I was looking for a good way to do a summary and review for several things that have a common set of themes. This was great! Even with mostly text, the way this works makes it feel more dynamic instead of just a bunch of bullets on static slides.

  4. Phil Jones permalink
    March 2, 2010 4:50 pm

    Similar concept but with more focus on web publishing and visual media: http://www.ahead.com

  5. Sherry permalink
    March 22, 2010 9:41 am

    Looks like it has great potential, but to avoid the dizzy factor, we should probably think about a few guidelines or best practices.

Trackbacks

  1. Wednesday Round Up #104 « Neuroanthropology
  2. Zooming in with Prezi « Learning Technology @ Notre Dame « ProsePro
  3. Planner Reads » Blog Archive » Wednesday Round Up #104
  4. Eleven ways NOT to use PowerPoint « NspireD2: Learning Technology in Higher Ed.
  5. Best tools and practices for concept mapping « NspireD2: Learning Technology in Higher Ed.
  6. 5 teaching tools to try this summer « NspireD2: Learning Technology in Higher Ed.

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