Is there anything more boring than a teacher who’s reading his powerpoint? I don’t remember it happening in elementary school, but it was a recurent problem in high school and college and I still face it every week in University. What to do in order to lose students’ interest? Teach them in a boring way, that is, with a powerpoint on which is written everything you are saying, word by word. This is an invitation to the student not to listen or even not to show up in class since he will find everything he needs on the powerpoint you will send him after class.
The boring and overelaborate powerpoint problem is present in the students’ presentations as well. Often the students are asked for visual support and they see it as an obligation to write all their text down. Moreover, it reassures them when they are scared to forget what they have to say.
How to resolve this frequent problem and make classes and presentations more interesting? By introducing creative presentation tools such as Prezi!
This tool allows you to escape the linear format of the usual presentations and to organize your information on one page only with an inspiring and colorful backgroud!
The time when you would lose the information mention earlier through the slides is over. All the information is gathered in one place. All you need to do is zoom in to focus on some details important for your presentation, and zoom out to go back with an overview of the subject. The links created between the different elements which are strategically positioned facilitate the understanding of the subject.
Where to find time for Prezi?
Of course, you will need time to get use to this new tool. But once you’ve understood the concept properly, you are ready to revolutionize your presentations!
For an oral presentation from the students that starts from nowhere, Prezi is a good start. It offers already made backgrounds which are way different from the traditional blank page. Once they’ve chosen the background, bring in creativity.
In the teacher’s case, however, when the course plan has already been planed in a linear format, Prezi implies a reorganization of the ideas, necessiting a lot of time. Nevertheless, one of Prezi’s advantage is that people have used it before you and created original presentations. You can use them as an inspiration or even directly in your own classroom. Furthermore, you will be able to share the presentation you’ve created and which you are proud of.
How to use Prezi efficiently to keep the audience’s attention?
A fascinating presentation is the opposite of the presentations I’ve give as example earlier. The endless lines of script are over, they don’t have a place in Prezi’s presentations. What we are looking for here is a visual support for our presentation. Keywords are best fitted since they allow listeners to follow and afterward is a good revision. Another way to do it is to use only images which represents the concepts to mention. What is important to remember is that you must not be able to do without the presenter which would encourage the students to do something else instead of listening or even miss the class.
To link it with my last post about IWB, Prezi can also be used in an interactive way with the students. Why not create a revision Prezi about all the material you’ve seen in class which they could use at home to revise. By participating to the elaboration, they have a better chance to remember.
Of course there are disadvantages to the use of Prezi. First of all, it takes a lot of time to learn how to use it and it is hard to fit in a teacher’s planning. Moreover, you need to pay to use it outline. Finally, the creating options are limited and the zoom can make your audience dizzy.
I might be talking only about the advantages of Prezi, I’m not saying the traditional powerpoint is not good anymore. The powerpoint is easy to use (at least, the basic features) and the students have learned how to use it at school. Also, it has useful options like builds, transitions, animations, hyperlink, syncs with SlideShare, charts, tables and many more. The biggest disadvantage is its boring linear format.
Naturally, it doesn’t all depend on the tool you use, but especially on the person who creates the presentation!
Visit Prezi’s website to learn more or watch tutorials.
If you wish to read more about the subject, you can visit those blog where I got my inspiration from.
*** I know I said I would talk about Google again this week, but I thought Prezi was more interesting for the moment. I might come back to Google later! ***