How I Use It
I used this for my freshmen and my seniors. My freshmen worked in small groups to create presentations for the class. Although the groups produced visually pleasing products, the kids complained that it took a long time to figure out how to order their materials on Prezi, which negatively impacted their overall presentation. I realize kids can work on Prezi outside of school, but in groups it is difficult to assign roles. Having a sharing option like Google docs would help Prezi be more effective. My seniors made individual presentations about their extended research essays. The kids who used Prezi did not like how much time it took to create content heavy slides. Most of the depth of Prezi, according to them, was due to the capabilities of the animations and templates, not the ability to put information within the presentation. Viewing the Prezis worked and they were appealing. At times, the presenters were overshadowed by the Prezi due to the graphics and transitions, etc. Overall, my kids liked the end products' looks, but did not like the process of creating the Prezis. They felt they had to learn Prezi versus being able to worry about content.
Prezi is a cool site, but it takes a lot of time to navigate the website to put together the presentation. Yes, Prezi produces awesome end products, but my students had trouble setting up the presentations. I think a lot of the problems arose because the students are so used to Power Point and other software. The time it took for my kids to learn how to use the program was a waste. I was not that familiar with the templates, etc., so when I tried to help them, it was difficult to navigate the site and make the presentation flow the way I wanted it. I like that the end presentations created by Prezi are not as linear as Power Point of Google Presentations. The transitions and movements of the images and information is visually pleasing, but the effort and time it takes to make the Prezi do this things is too much for my taste. I usually provide my students with time to create presentations and ask questions. Before I assigned a project with Prezi, I made one myself and it was very frustrating and time consuming to make the presentation appear how I wanted. It served kids for the presentation of material, but they could have accomplished the same outcome by using a more traditional medium. It could serve kids by making their presentations more interesting due to the transitions and animations available within Prezi. I don't think it really improves my teaching because sometimes I felt the Prezi took over the lecture versus the information being the most important feature. As a teacher, I don't have a lot of extra time and I struggled to master Prezi even when I spent hours navigating and adjusting my presentation. I feel like this would be a good site for advanced kids who don't mind messing around with the tools available. With my younger students, I felt the Prezi was flashy, but not content deep because the kids spent so much time trying to figure out how to make the presentations and lost time on the content.