Review by Marianne Rogowski, Common Sense Education | Updated June 2019

Prezi Classic

Stylish presentation creator with unique 3D zooming effect

Subjects & skills
Subjects
N/A

Skills
  • Communication & Collaboration
  • Creativity
Grades This grade range is based on learning appropriateness and doesn't take into account privacy. It's determined by Common Sense Education, not the product's publisher.
6–12
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Pros: Attractive, easy-to-use, built-in templates produce professional-looking presentations, and the free plan offers plenty of features.

Cons: The editor runs on Flash, which is phasing out. Without solid content, the animation can seem gimmicky or distracting.

Bottom Line: An elegant, flexible alternative to other online slide software tools, but it requires some finesse to make effective use of the features and infinite canvas.

Consider replacing your traditional slideshows with Prezi Classic, and grab your students' attention by zooming in to highlight important content. Insert video or animations throughout your presentation, and provide links to articles or games, turning your presentation into a fully interactive lesson that students can complete at their own pace, at home or in class.  Or use a screen recorder like Screencastify to record your presentation for a flipped classroom or to keep absent students in the loop. You can let students create their own presentations, too. Just be sure to provide specific guidelines about balancing text, images, videos, and animations. Without this guidance, it's easy to overdo the fun features without really getting to the heart of a lesson. 

Teachers charged with presenting to colleagues can also use Prezi Classic to create dynamic presentations where it's easy to see the connections among content. As a bonus, your colleagues will take notice of the different format and may be inspired to create a Prezi of their own.

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Prezi Classic is an online presentation maker that features a unique 3D zoom animation to move between slides on an infinite canvas. Teachers and students can turn ordinary slide presentations into more stylish -- and potentially more engaging -- experiences than those made with other presentation software. Prezi supports uploading PowerPoint slides or creating new presentations from scratch or templates. Account setup is simple, support tutorials are helpful and clear, and the end results are professional-looking presentations.

Teachers should note that Prezi Classic is available only to teachers who signed up during or before 2017; new teachers will have to use Prezi Next, a slightly different version that's not dependent on Flash Player for use. Users who already have a Prezi Classic account will be able to switch back and forth between the two. The paid Edu Plus plan includes a few more features like image editing tools and offline support, both of which might be helpful for presenting in class. Note that there's a Prezi Viewer iPad app, which includes a slimmed-down feature set. The app is best used as a vehicle for presenting Prezis that were previously built on the web from a desktop computer.

Several features make Prezi Classic a good choice for classroom and online presentations. Teens can collaborate simultaneously on a presentation, making the tool a good choice for group projects. The option to design multimedia presentations will engage students and encourage them to create beyond just dropping images and text into slide after slide. And on the teacher side, the ability to really zoom in to specific content can be a powerful visual reminder of a lesson's most important points. Plus, there are tons of shared Prezis that teachers can duplicate and modify, a huge time-saver.

Unfortunately, slow load times for larger images and videos make the online version a poor choice for wireless connections. Plus, this tool isn't a good fit for including standalone audio: You can include audio at individual steps on a Prezi path, and you can loop a musical track, but you'll need a workaround, such as screen recording software, to include audio narration. Despite that caveat, it's a well-designed tool that produces very nice-looking results, but it doesn't hold any intrinsic educational value. It's the content that students and teachers create that will ultimately determine the quality of the lesson.

Overall Rating

Engagement Is the product stimulating, entertaining, and engrossing? Will kids want to return?

The tool is intuitive enough that students should have no problem using it. Teaching design concepts will go a long way in creating engaging presentations.

Pedagogy Is learning content seamlessly baked-in, and do kids build conceptual understanding? Is the product adaptable and empowering? Will skills transfer?

Collaborative online editing -- and the ability to share and benefit from the sharing of others -- makes group work easy. Even with some design quirks, the unique presentation style can get kids to think in new ways.

Support Does the product take into account learners of varying abilities, skill levels, and learning styles? Does it address both struggling and advanced students?

The design guidelines, articles, videos, and community forums provide plenty of support for both beginning and advanced users. The desktop version is available in nine languages.


Common Sense Reviewer
Marianne Rogowski Media specialist/librarian

Teacher Reviews

(See all 141 reviews) (141 reviews) Write a review
Featured review by
Alyssa B. , Classroom teacher
Classroom teacher
Loyola University Maryland
Baltimore, United States
Engaging, interactive and a step up from PowerPoint
I liked how easy it was to work with, especially considering I did not spend a lot of time meddling with the different features. It was simple to navigate from one point to the next and very easy to add images, videos, text, etc. as compared to PowerPoint where you have to create links or upload images from saved files. It's cool to me that the presenter has the option to zoom in on particular points of the presentation (i.e. if someone in the audience has a question) and has full control of how the ...
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