Last semester I took a module in Creating and Publishing Digital Media. The module was focused on improving our digital literacy and covered everything from using manual settings on our digital cameras, using Photoshop, and editing audio content and making podcasts, to keeping a blog, and using new media such as Prezi.
As a former teacher, I have plenty of experience using Power Point (and trying to make it more interactive and interesting) but I had never come across Prezi before. Initially, I found it very tricky. One issue was that the movement from slide to slide left me feeling a little sea-sick. However, once I got over this, I realised how much fun it could be. One of our assignments was to come up with a Prezi presentation of fewer than twenty slides in which we demonstrated some skill we had learned during the module. The other (and perhaps more difficult) rubric was that the end product had to be ‘punchy’.
Prezi is really nothing like Power Point. You’re given a huge (almost infinite) canvas onto which you lay shapes. You work these shapes into some kind of path, and fill them with meaning – whether this meaning takes the form of words, images or symbols is up to you. I only used a tiny percentage of the features on offer in this presentation, but I can imagine an expertly produced presentation could really grasp an audience. Prezi would also be excellent for illustrating certain types of statistics or even bringing to life the various branches of a family tree. It took a lot of playing around with it to understand how it worked, so if you’re thinking of using it, try not to let initial frustrations hold you back.
I’ll let you make up your own mind about whether my Hipster Photography presentation fulfilled the instructor’s specifications. And if you’re prone to sea-sickness, it’s best not to watch it full screen.
If you’re interested in any of the other projects I worked on in this module, you can see them all on my class blog, Digitising. If you don’t feel like trawling through it, here are links to my podcast and my photography portfolio.