It seems fashionable, these days. to knock Powerpoint ; in reality, it is more often its poor usage which is the cause of complaint rather than the accessible and stable product itself. ‘Prezi’ is a web-based alternative which allow the presenter to swoop over and into a kind of giant poster of user generated content. Zooming in allows sections to fill the screen to become the equivalent of frames. More on the effects of that swooping later.
In many ways, it reminded me of software such as Activ Studio3 used on Promethean interactive whiteboards (what an expensive ‘must have’ but increasingly underused resource they turned out to be). The best way to understand Prezi is to see it in use – the previous posting has an example. The on-screen instructions seem obvious at first, but I found I had to play around a little before I felt I was in control of what was happening rather than it ruling me.
Design is key: there is a real danger that the swooping motion might induce motion sickness in the audience. Properly set out, the full Prezi might make a useful additional resource in its own right. It also has interesting applications as a giant thinking/brainstorming/spidergraphing space; I am particularly drawn to this usage.
I liked the fact that the presentations can be used online or downloaded and sending files seems to be a hassle-free operation. The basic version is free to use and there is enhanced storage space for educational accounts.
I’ll certainly be using this over the next few weeks to see what students and staff think of it.