Prezi is not new, and by now you’ve heard about it and have already decided whether or not you like it. (Of course when you say you don’t like it, you mean you don’t think it’s an effective learning tool, right?)
The draw is simple enough: novel presentations that tell stories or relay arguments and ideas. It is marketed as the “non-PowerPoint”–the software that allows you to “jazz up” presentations (while making you seasick in the process).
But focusing on its novelty misses the power of a digital essay: multimodal (and multimedia), non-linear narrative and argument sequences that can support text, images, voiceovers, YouTube videos, music and more while using the background and pathways themselves as layers of additional meaning. Learners can express ideas, then reinforce select details, a thesis, or even a narrative event by having free control over the “camera” and where the readers eyes go. This can be very, very powerful if done correctly.
As Simple Or Complex As You’d Like
Digital essays on prezi can be used as very simply–to copy/paste typed pencil/paper essays, or in far more creative and interesting ways.
To show what’s possible, I’ve gathered up 21 of the more interesting (and academic-focused) presentations so that you can have a look-see. You can use them in your classroom for their content, or use them as models for students to see what’s possible.
Note that even with the digital essays below, each are interesting for different reasons, but even many of these are guilty of the occasional gratuitous zoom and spin. But before you hate prezi for this, realize that just because others abuse the spin and zoom doesn’t mean your students have to. Let them know ahead of time–no gratuitousness, unnecessary spinning or zooming; give a badge to the student that shows the most restraint here, they’ll figure it out.
They’re all embedded below–hopefully it doesn’t crash your browser.
21 Amazing Digital Essays You Can Use In Your Classroom
1. Reimagining Public Education
2. Social Media 101
3. Digital Portfolios
4. Heart of Darkness
5. Prezi & Mobile Learning
6. Plot Diagramming
7. How Prezi Works
8. Syria: The Basics
9. 30 Things About Me: A Personal Essay
10. Martin Luther King, Jr.
11. Android 101
12. A Visual Overview Of Typography
13. Artificial Intelligence
14. The Destruction Of Non-Linear Learning
15. Sensation & Perception
16. What’s A Prezi?
18. The Theory Of Relativity
19. From Assignment To Research
20. Everything That Rises Must Converge
21. Operations With Fractions
Bonus: This is a rambling, opinion-based but thorough look at the intersection between population growth, culture, and public education I wrote last year. It’s very long. Brownie points if you make it all the way through.