Prezi is a web-based presentation software that has been launched in 2009. The application allows its users to keep online dynamic presentations that can be edited from any device (i.e., computer, smartphone, tablet, etc.) anywhere there is an Internet connection. Pictures and videos can be embedded in the presentation. Once you learn how it works, Prezi is quite easy to use. For example, this presentation took me about ten minutes to produce. You can create a free account, but your Prezis will be public. Otherwise, there are paying options to keep your presentation private. Here is a quick tutorial:
There are many ways in which Prezi can be incorporated in the classroom ESL, for both teachers and students. First, teachers can use the application to plan their lessons and activities and show it in front of the class. This way, every student can follow what is going on or know where they are in the progression of an activity. For example, as share by Schoneboom’s own Prezi presentation, teachers can use this tool to teach grammar and vocabulary, by using images and videos. As for the students, they can use Prezi as a visual support for their oral presentations (as they would do with PowerPoint).
Wickline shared other uses for Prezi, such as:
- Have the students illustrate on Prezi a story they wrote, and present it to the class;
- Have the students work on a collaborative project, since more than one person can edit a Prezi;
- Have students produce a Prezi and show it to a peer, who would give the first student feedback before he/she presents it to the class.
Personally, I really like Prezi. It is like PowerPoint (which is still a great tool!), but it takes presentations to another level. The way it moves between the slides really adds to the dynamic aspect of the presentation. Furthermore, it is a great tool for the teachers who want to flip their classroom, since they can prepare their presentation, give the link to the students, and have them work at home at their own rate.
- It is easy to use and brings dynamic to the presentation;
- It is a great tool for secondary/high school and college students;
- In an ESL classroom, it allows you to “focus on key points and include more visual connections between ideas”;
- It is web-based, so users can work on their Prezi wherever they are (if they have an Internet connection);
- If you already have a PowerPoint ready, but you’re too lazy to start over with Prezi, you can import your PowerPoint slides.
- It may be harder to master for younger students;
- The fact that it is web-based can also be a downside, since schools sometimes have limited Internet connections or students may not have access to computers;
- It also seems that the dynamic movement Prezi creates in the presentation may cause motion sickness to cause users, at least that’s what Herb reported in his article.