Sunday, March 20, 2016

Is it another boring old fashioned PowerPoint?

Sometimes a simple PowerPoint slide can become boring and unoriginal. Many people have used the traditional presentation software since its inception in 1990 and it is still one of the most commonly used programs in the world. In a previous post, "The Low-cost, high impact way to change education", it was mentioned that a teacher named Michelle Blanchet preached creativity in education. In the most recent English presentation at my school, simple PowerPoint slides were disallowed due to its lack of originality and over usage. So, if we are not using PowerPoints for present presentations, how are we going to present at all? First of all, there are many  other non-profit or low cost presentation softwares online.  However, my favorite of them all is Prezi.

What is Prezi?

Prezi is an online presentation software which focuses on its beautiful elements. The user interface is out of this world and all slides are placed on one large image sewn together by seamless transitions. Anybody can create a Prezi for free using a public account. This is a great creative tool to utilize for presentations. Prezis created by free public accounts can be shared via a URL link to any user of  the internet. This feature is very important because there are many educational Prezis created by people around the world and teachers can utilize this easy to access tool for their students.

So how does a Prezi look or work? And how is it used?

Well it is actually quite difficult to describe to you how this program looks or works, so I'd rather provide you with an example and let you see it for yourself.

Earlier this year in U.S History class, we were learning about the 1920s and Post WWI America. Our teacher decided to utilize a public Prezi about this topic by sharing a link to our Google Classroom. Accessing this Prezi requires no log in and the link will get you straight to the presentation.

In the above picture, a large overview  is given for the subject Nativism. If you click play, the Prezi will automatically zoom in picture to picture or slide to slide. Prezis also gives the user the option to embed videos and personal commentary. With these features, a Prezi can actually present itself. So on a Sunday night right before a huge test, the student can be taught the entire lesson once again as many times as he/she desires!

This is great, but how much does it cost?

The theme on this blog is "low cost education", so obviously Prezi is another low cost online resource used for education. Public accounts are free and must be shared with people around the world. However, there are actually three paid plans Prezi provides. The first paid plan is "Enjoy" which for about five dollars a month it gives you the ability to change privacy settings. The second paid option is "Pro" which has all the features of "Enjoy" but with the addition of offline editing capability and image editing tools. "Pro" is about thirteen dollars a month. The last option, "Teams" is much more expensive but gives you central account management and Prezi training. "Teams" is eight hundred dollars annually for up to 5 users.

Overall, the cost of Prezi is free or very reasonable. I actually really like the fact that Prezi accounts can allow the user to share information publicly. The small cost to make a Prezi private encourages more sharing around the internet and therefore increasing the amount of educational resources present for students to utilize.

Prezi is a super fun and creative presentation software that can be utilized for free. Next time you have a presentation to give, don't forget PowerPoints can get lame and Prezi is a great way to spice up your speech!

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