How I Use It
I use Prezi in class as a lecture tool. I still use PowerPoint, but I try to use Prezi at least once a chapter. Students seem to appreciate the variety. The times I have used Prezi in this fashion, I notice students paying more attention. I also use Prezi in an presentation to the school staff in staff meetings or parent nights or team parent meetings for coaching. The presentations tend to look more polished than PowerPoint. Parents and other staff members agree and most the see it want to know more about it. Again, the real drawback of Prezi is the initial time commitment to learning the program. Presentations also tend to take longer to finish compared to PowerPoint. I do not use Prezi for every lecture for that reason. I simply do not have enough time. Students that have used the product for class projects have wanted to use it again. They appreciate the increased ability to add their creativity to their projects in comparison to PowerPoint. Specific takeaways for students would depend on the project since this is more of a means of presenting material learned than acquiring new knowledge. The benefit of presenting information, in science especially (I teach biology), is that scientists are expected to present their research findings. I have students summarize their lab reports in presentation format so that they get used to formal lab reports as well as informal presenting of their research. Here are some examples or presentations I have used in class:
My overall opinion about the Prezi as a learning tool is that it is an exciting tool to present information. After you become familiar with the product, it allows you, as a teacher, to create presentations that integrates digital literacy skills with the easy integration of text, picture, and video. I like that freedom you have to put together presentations for notes and that it is easy for anyone to access because you can simply send the link instead of downloading a document. Using Prezi for student presentations in place of PowerPoint requires an investment of time. Students tend to be well-versed in PowerPoint, but need time to learn Prezi. This takes away from valuable class time and requires the decision of whether or not it is worth the initial time investment to learn and teach the program. To avoid this, I tend to use Prezi as an option for projects, but also give students the option to use PowerPoint.