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Techno-tools for teachers | Presentations come to life with Prezi Next

Published:Sunday | April 30, 2017 | 4:00 AMGen Clacken
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If you are in the classroom and you are still using PowerPoint to support your delivery, then you are generations behind the kind of dynamic and multifaceted tools available online today.

This April, approximately 85 million users across the world were given the opportunity to experience an enhanced version of Prezi Next. Designed on a principle called "conversational presenting", Prezi Next is almost sure to rekindle a passion for multimedia presentations in the classroom and push PowerPoint into obsolescence.

 

WHAT IS IT?

 

Prezi Next allows you to share content in multiple formats and in non-linear ways in keeping with the principles of visual-digital storytelling.

Building on the original Prezi platform, now called Prezi Classic, Prezi Next allows you to deliver powerful presentations with the ability to pan between content frames (move from left to right); zoom in on specific text, images, or videos; and move at will from one desired frame to the next. Prezi Next, like its alpha version, provides a single canvas on which all information is placed and organised in groups of frames. This allows the presenter to share content in any order.

What's new about Prezi Next is that it now carries an improved editor that is much easier to navigate, and it facilitates the easy creation of vibrant and animated presentations.

The Prezi team has also added many more customisable templates that you can use to bring your content to life. You are now able to move freely between topics and subtopics, giving you the ability to change the sequencing of your presentation right in front of your audiences.

These improvements can transform the teacher into a graphic design and multimedia expert all in a matter of minutes.

But perhaps the greatest improvement found in Prezi Next is the analytics feature. This allows you to track how many persons have viewed and interacted with your presentation and see who your presentation is shared with and what parts of your presentation have attracted the greatest levels of viewership and interaction.

 

HOW DO YOU ACCESS IT?

 

Both Prezi Classic and Prezi Next can be accessed for free, but specific production tools are available through individual plans priced at US$5 per month. Users are supported by tons of tutorial videos and an active community blog. Prezi also provides online workshops and training sessions that you can register for and attend at specific times.

If you are already a Prezi user, you will find both Prezi Classic and Prezi Next on your user dashboard or home page.

 

HOW DO YOU USE IT?

 

Prezi users will tell you that once you open a Prezi account, you will never use PowerPoint again. This is because the Prezi platform is intuitive and easy to use. Once you create your account, click on the new presentation button and select from the hundreds of beautiful presentation templates available.

After you have selected a template, populate your canvas based on the provided format and sequencing, or modify these based on your own preferences and presentation focus.

Once you have completed organising your presentation, you are ready to share it. Prezi offers a variety of sharing options. You can get a shareable URL, embed it in other websites, share with specific users via email, or share it with the public via the Prezi website. Prezis can also be downloaded for offline delivery.

 

WHY SHOULD YOU USE IT?

 

The first reason to use Prezi in your classroom is that it has superb visual impact. Import one of your previously created PowerPoint presentations into the Prezi platform, repurpose it, and see the vast difference in visualisation, appeal, and engagement. Researchers say that the mind-map approach used by Prezi is more conducive to learning than the formats used with other traditional presentation software. This feature enables students to better see connections between concepts, it reduces boredom, and it aids memory and retention. Prezi's collaboration features allow teachers and students to work together to create presentations even when they are separated by space and time. Prezi is also compatible with interactive whiteboards and can be accessed on Apple and Android devices.

 

SUMMARY

 

Tool: Prezi Next

Classification: Visual storytelling software

Location: www.prezi.com

Classroom Application:

- Dynamic content delivery

- Digital storytelling

- Multimedia assessment strategy

Cost: Free - US$59

- Gen Clacken is an educational technologist with 15 years experience in online education; she can be contacted at gen.clacken@lamadinteractive.com