Monday, December 10, 2012

Prezi -- Cool Free Web-based Software

Tired of PowerPoint after PowerPoint after PowerPoint after PowerPoint after PowerPoint? While, making a good PowerPoint is a great skill for a high school student to have. Students will quickly hit a wall with the software and not learn any new tricks. I think it’s important when I do a project that I’m teaching a new skill with a new software. This way they are learning multiple things at one time! Enter Prezi!

Kill posterboards with me
You have likely seen a Prezi before and it’s possible that you have used it in your class. When I introduce it to students, their eyes light up in a way doing a PowerPoint for the 431st time will never. Prezi is relatively user friendly if you understand their control “wheel”. They do have high quality how-to videos on their site that you can show to the class. One thing I have learned about this software is they are always upgrading it. Every time I log on there seems to be some new feature (Like Spellcheck!).

What else is super cool about Prezi? Technology group work does not mean three kids sit at one computer. One types, one rocks with their iPod and the other naps. Multiple students CAN ALL be working on the Prezi from DIFFERENT computers. Funny little characters “walk” on your partners screen so you know where they are working and what they are doing.

The way my brain works
The other awesome thing? It’s web-based so it saves to the web. No worries about flash drives or school networks or emailing to themselves. They can log onto any computer and get it. It is 99% impossible to lose it (forgetting their password is a completely different story).

Who can use this? Pretty much anyone who wants to use a PowerPoint can just as easily use a Prezi. How does it fit into a math class? At times, I like students to conclude a math project with some sort of analysis presentation whether it be a PSA or a jury trial. This can just as easily be used for those conclusions. How I use class time with this is the careful issue. It is certainly something I’m more likely to ask students to do at home.

If there’s someone who uses their union paid counseling because they are tired of PowerPoints – this could be a welcomed change for them.

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