Prezi: It’s the new PowerPoint

With Prezi, you have a new way to make presentations for class. Prezis look very professional so they are great for lectures or even business presentations. This makes mastering Prezi a good idea both for you and for students, especially those in high school or college who are interested in skills they can put on their resumes.

PowerPoints are wonderful and have been used for ages, but if you want to try something new, then check out Prezi, which even lets you import your old PowerPoints so you don’t have to start completely from scratch. The most impressive feature of Prezi is zooming (which looks snazzy and is more engaging for the audience). You can view some sample Prezis on the website to get an idea of what I’m talking about.

There is a bit of a learning curve but, once I got started, I had so much fun the time just seemed to fly by and I didn’t mind at all.

The tutorials explain the basics quite clearly, so you should have no problem creating your own presentations. Prezi is great for teaching ESL because you can really focus in on key points and include more visual connections between ideas. Additionally, you don’t have to worry about having too much text or half empty slides because each slide is as big or as small as you want it to be.

Make sure to sign up for one of the special accounts for educators, where the free account has some added perks and the paid account is significantly cheaper than those for non-educators. Here’s a Prezi I made called “Engaging Students with Text”¬†for one of my classes at the University of Southern California. Feel free to share your Prezis with everyone by posting a comment below.

About Tara Arntsen

Tara Arntsen
Tara Arntsen recently completed her Master's degree in Teaching-TESOL at the University of Southern California. She currently teaches in the Intensive English Program at Northern State University in Aberdeen, South Dakota. She has taught ESOL in China, Japan, and Cambodia as well as online. Her primary interests are communicative teaching methods and the use of technology in education.
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8 Responses to Prezi: It’s the new PowerPoint

  1. Tara Arntsen Tara Arntsen says:

    Me too! I think that PowerPoint has been overused to a certain extent and that Prezi is a refreshing change for both students and teachers. It’s exciting that you’ll be using Prezi at an upcoming workshop. Good luck! Maybe you can share the Prezi with us when it’s finished.

  2. Heather Torrie says:

    This definitely is a fun new platform. I’ve tried it a few times with my students, and it’s true that there is a learning curve involved. Some students catch on quickly, though. My main concern with this, and other similar technology, is that it has the potential to distract students from the application of the language skills (in most cases, presentation skills) that we are focusing on. For instance, I teach my students that powerpoint is not meant to replace them as a presenter. It is there as a support. I teach them that if their powerpoint is so flashy that the audience is staring at the slides the whole time and not the presenter, it’s a problem. With Prezi, you need to ensure that students aren’t spending all of their preparation time creating an impressive Prezi and neglecting to actually formulate and practice what they are going to say.

    • Tara Arntsen Tara Arntsen says:

      That’s a great point Heather! Presentations should never replace the presenter. What I’ve experienced and heard from other teachers is a problem with PowerPoint is students putting all the text on the slides and simply reading off the slides. This approach is usually quite boring for the audience and eliminates the need for the presenter. With Prezi, I try, in my recent presentations, to use only images so that the audience still has a reason to listen to what I am saying. This strategy has actually enhanced my presentation skills as I have to be very clear on what I want to say since the slides provide only limited support. Perhaps you can challenge your students to use only images in their presentations to focus them back on presentation skills.

    • Melih says:

      it’s worth exploring the site, where sereval wonderful tutorials await. This is another Prezi I created to help walk an audience through a subject that some might find daunting,

      • Tara Arntsen Tara Arntsen says:

        I agree that the site has a lot of features, like tutorials, to help new users get started which is really great. Your Prezi link didn’t seem to display correctly, but please feel free to re-post it so that everyone can take a look at how you’re using Prezi.

  3. ssahr Sarah Sahr says:

    I love Prezi! I’ve used it in so many places. I’ve tried it with students… some comment on “sea-sickness” but soon get used to it. Thank you so much for sharing!

    • Tara Arntsen Tara Arntsen says:

      It’s great to hear that you’ve had such success with Prezi in your classroom Sarah. If you have any tips for using Prezi, especially for minimizing that sea-sickness effect, please feel free to post them here. I’d love to hear them!

      • Fernando says:

        I really like the way Prezi takes PowerPoint and turns it on end. It may just be bascuee i am such a visual learner and I don’t like things presented in linear fashion. It’s interesting that you note how Prezi could be overwhelming for learners for this exact reasons. The video tutorial offered is great for users, along with the steps written out with cheat sheets will be helpful. I might consider creating your instruction lesson as a Prezi this way those in attendance at the workshop will be familiar with how a Prezi lesson will be displayed to their users.

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