January 7, 2014

I did it...Prezi!

I finished my first Prezi, and I presented it to my class yesterday. I am really pleased with the result. It has taken me a bit of time to figure out how to use Prezi to my advantage. A lot of the templates, which are very snazzy, are set for a number of slides only. I prefer an open desktop where I can arrange my topics the way I want them. For example, the template I used yesterday had a blackboard background with sticky notes for content. This allowed me to add more sticky notes as I needed them. I placed them around the text bubble in the middle. I was able to add enough content to cover my entire session yesterday.

My lesson tomorrow is content driven, so I need a similar background with the flexibility to house all the topics and sub-topics I need to cover. I am thinking that it is best for me to come up with my own background and content-holders from this point on.

Prezi allows you to create your own style starting with a blank desktop. I don't like that the first item starts as a circle, but you can delete this image shape and use something else. If you don't use one of the pre-made elements (circle, rectangles or brackets), then you can import an image and just add it to the path. It works the same way as the pre-made elements. I didn't get that at first, but after I imported a couple images, I realized that I could just add them and then layer text over them. The only issue with images is their size. Prezi will give you a warning box saying that it might crash if you don't resize the images. I have been allowing Prezi to resize mine for me, but if you plan on zooming into an image, you really need to make sure you scale the image correctly. This will take some time to figure out, so my two cents is to resize your image down from 1000 plus pixels to about 600 and then go from there until you get the hang of it.

I spent some time working on Prezi in between writing this post and getting my act together this morning. I am now thinking that I will use Prezi on days when I have light content. It is easy to use, fun, and interactive. However, for heavy content days, I think Power Point will work best. Here's why:
  • I am presenting linear content that will need to be shown in tables/charts or graphic images
  • I am also needing to stop the presentation for the class to interact (yes, Prezi does this, but I have found that because of the interaction between the slides, you have limited landscape to devote to specific topics)
  • I think PPT will hold my content better and will keep me on time (I was a little over yesterday)
So, tomorrow lesson will be done in PPT. I will compare the two days and then determine if I am correct in thinking I will need to use both programs this semester.

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