Using Prezi in the Classroom

Many people are hearing about Prezi as it is becoming a popular tool for classrooms across all subjects and grade levels. It is a tool that can seem like a mix between interactive whiteboard and presentation slide technology as it allows you to draw on a huge digital canvas, move things around, and then sequence the information for presenting as you wish. The video below, created by Prezi, explains the art of Prezintations.

Amy Mayer, an educator who writes about technology in her blog Fried Technology, wrote about Prezi on several different occasions. One post even classified Prezi among the Top Ten Tech Tools for the Social Studies (or any) Classroom! This is because, as Mayer describes in Prezi: Completely Amazing Non-Linear Presentation Tool, Prezi’s nonlinear presentation tends to be more fun for students in comparison to other dated tools. When you think about tools such as PowerPoint or Google Presentations, for example, you create work one slide at a time; Prezi allows you to create all your information in one spot and then make a “path” that tells the program what order you would like the presentation to be presented in. Additionally, the font, color, and symbol combinations are infinite, allowing for beautiful works, and the option to add videos and online links right into the presentation without opening another page. This is also more convenient for teachers and engaging for students. These organization methods are easier done in Prezi than other programs. Prezi’s ability to creatively communicate ideas and complex relationships between ideas on the large space through moving images, arrows, timelines, brackets, and other even more organizational devices can even make feel like a 3D movie.

Though it is a little trickier to navigate than other more intuitive tools, there are numerous tutorials to help, such as the one above. Once you master it though, making creations is like second nature. Prezi is neat in that you can also search for works people have already made, and share your own, making it like an interactive, collaborative archive. This can help lighten the load for teachers… just imagine all the lessons already created!

Here are some photos of parts of excellent Prezintations. Clicking on the photos will allow you to view the entire presentation on Prezi’s website.

Photo of Hasso Plattner Insititute Design at Stanford School's Presentation

Here is an example of a Prezi creation that makes use of the possibilities to draw creative designs and use color effectively. It was created for the Hasso Plattner Institute of Design at Stanford by Balazs Turai.

Photo of English Class Shakespeare Project

This is one of Prezi user "Shakespeare William's" creations. Prezi was used here to show High School English students' research about William Shakespeare's life.

Photo of Martin Luther King Jr. Presentation

This presentation traces the events of Martin Luther King Jr.'s life and could be used in a history class. It shows the possibility for organization devices such as timelines. It was created by Balazs Turai.

Finally, Prezi makes for a great classroom tool because it is free to students and teachers. It’s as easy as signing up for an account, and then you can begin Prezinting today!

Have you ever used Prezi before? If so, what assignments did you use it for? What did you like or dislike about it? If not, would you use Prezi in your classroom?

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19 Responses to Using Prezi in the Classroom

  1. Christiana C. says:

    I personally have never used Prezi before, but I have seen Prezi presentations in some of my classes and was always intrigued. I am always looking for other ways to make an interesting presentation other than PowerPoints because as we all know, those can get boring quickly. I could definitely see myself using this tool in my classroom or having my students use it- the amount of color and font options and the way that the presentation moves is very visually appealing and interesting even though you simply put in all your information in at one time. I think Prezi would be great as you suggested earlier for explaining complex relationships and big ideas to students. Overall I think Prezi is an awesome tool that would be extremely useful in explaining both big ideas and smaller more complicated details. Great post Kendall!

  2. Holly G. says:

    I LOVE Prezi. I started using it last semester and now use it on all of my presentations for various classes because it’s something different. While student after student in my classes use Powerpoints which, aside from the colors and the content are basically the same, I use Prezis in hopes of making it a little more interesting for my audience. A few days ago I was working on one and a friend of mine noticed it and thought it was the coolest form of presentation he had ever seen. One thing I really enjoy about Prezi is the fact that multiple people can work on it at the same time. Unlike Powerpoint, there’s no issue of transferring slides or having one person do all the work in a group project. Prezi I think is a great tool for group projects of any content. I really liked the idea, though, of using Prezi to make a timeline. As a future secondary History teacher, I think this would be a great thing to use in my classroom because it’s easy to make and provides a visual for my students, whether to study by or to look at in the classroom. Thanks for pointing it out!

  3. Meagan W. says:

    I have never used Prezi before but I think it gives presentations that extra “oomph!” It is great for keeping the class entertained and interested in the presentations. On “presentation days” in class, it can get boring watching powerpoint presentation after presentation. A Prezi is greak because it allows for videos, movement, links ect. to be creatlivly embeded into the presenation.I am interested in learning how to use Prezi and would like to explore it with my students one day. Prezi offers so many options that no two presentations are a like. Great post, Kendall! I look forward to exploring Prezi in my future and hopefully using it in my classroom one day!

  4. Kate H. says:

    Kendall, I have tried to use Prezi once before and have seen it used many times in other students presentations. When I tried to use it, I had trouble getting around it, however I did not take the time to watch the tutorials and fully learn about the site. I always love when groups present using Prezi because the flow of the presentation is perfect and it keeps the viewers intrigued. This would be a great tool for any student – elementary or high school! I really like how you can incorporate videos and images, however they do not distract students from other aspects of the presentation due to the movement and zooming. I really enjoy Prezi and am looking forward to becoming more familiar with it to use in the classroom!

  5. Maddy R. says:

    I have not used Prezi a lot in the past but when I have, I absolutely loved it. It is much more fun to play with and use than PowerPoint or Google Presentation, and there are so many more creative tools and accessories you can use and add on to your presentation. You can create the path, however crazy it is, of your information and pictures and videos. Prezi really helps your presentation pop and really standout compared to a dull slide show. When I used Prezi, it was for a class discussion and presentation on sex within our generation (for Global class). One thing that I really love about Prezi is how it allows you to add a video right within the presentation and when it gets to that “slide” the video automatically starts playing, where in PowerPoint you have to add a link in which you click to get to the video in a new window. It has some very convenient and fun features to add spunk to a presentation. As a math teacher, I am not really sure that my students will be using Prezi that often, but if they ever need to research or present on the history of math or famous mathematicians, this would be a very useful too. Great post!

  6. Elizabeth L. says:

    I have used Prezi a few times, but like Kate said, I found it a little challenging to use. I think I just need more practice with it, however, because once the presentation was done, I thought it was much more engaging than the traditional Powerpoint presentation. I also did not know how easy it was to add links and digital media into a Prezi. I have had some trouble doing that in the past with Powerpoint, often having to resort to pulling up the videos or music files in a different window, which can make presenting awkward. The ability to have everything on one screen and then manipulate it as I see fit will be very time efficient and useful for me to use when putting together a presentation. Thanks for posting!

  7. Kyle W. says:

    I’m slightly addicted to Prezi…like, it might be a problem. I first used it this past semester, and I realized that, once you get the hang of it, it is the coolest presentation tool in the world. I can relate to Kate and Elizabeth, who said they had difficulty getting used to the way it operated. I was forced to learn it the night before a presentation, and I guess the pressure made me figure it out pretty quickly! Once you get the hang of it, it’s a really interesting and engaging tool. I’ve done Prezis for sociology of ed & my writing center class–now whenever I use PowerPoint, I feel like I’m stepping back into the stone age! However, I think that if you don’t know how to use Prezi, it could make for an interesting (and dizzying) presentation. If we encourage students to use this tool properly, it can really help get them engaged with creatively presenting material.

  8. Sarah C says:

    Kendall, I’m so glad you chose Prezi for your blog post because I find it very interesting, but I do not know how to use it very well. I’m always looking for an alternative to Power Point and now I not only have the option of Google Presentation, but Prezi as well thanks to your post! I think Prezi is much more engaging than Power Point and I look forward to implementing it into my presentations here at Elon and in the future as a teacher. Thanks for the great post!

  9. Emily D says:

    What great examples of Prezintations! I have only used Prezi once, and that was for a group project. I think I am little apprehensive about using the tool because new things often scare me. But after linking to a great tutorial, I think I am willing to give it a go! I agree that Prezis seem a lot more sleek and they also seem more out of the box and creative, which is where I would like my classroom to be. Sometimes it can seem overwhelming or overbearing, but I think most great tools are at some point! Thanks for guiding us through Prezis and pointing out the many positives of using it!

  10. Hilary S. says:

    Kendall,
    Thank you so much for telling us about Prezi and how it can be used in the classroom! I’ve always wanted to learn how to use Prezi, I feel like it could be a great way to use for presentations in my classes at Elon. I agree with you that Prezis look much cleaner and professional than Powerpoints. I think this tool could be especially helpful to use when I have my own classroom, because it is more exciting than Powerpoint or Google Presentations I could truly capture my students attentions on a subject matter! I look forward to practicing using Prezi, great post Kendall!

  11. Sydney B. says:

    Kendall, thank you for this information about Prezi! I’ve heard of it before but never used it for myself. There are so many things you can do with it that I did not know! For example, embedding a video in your Prezi is so cool! Also, the detail you can create within Prezi is great. Students would love to use this tool in the class room as well as watch presentations with it. Not only can it create a lesson plan but also a fun project for students to do! Thanks again, Kendall!

  12. Anna H. says:

    I can’t wait to try Prezi out now! I have always been interested by Prezi, but extremely apprehensive about using it, due to how intense it appears in presentations. I always assumed it was really difficult to use and something that I would not be successful with. However, through your post, I’m realizing how useable it really is! I have always loved the way Prezi presentations look (when done well, of course), and I think that Prezi would lead students to be much more interested in creating a presentation as a project, rather than using the same old Powerpoint set up. I’m looking forward to exploring Prezi, and hopefully I’ll be able to master it well enough to feel comfortable bringing it into my own classroom eventually! Great post, Kendall!

  13. Katie R. says:

    Kendall, this post about Prezi is great! I love using Prezi for my class presentations. I believe it brings makes a topic more interesting and allows for the audience to be captivated by the screen as opposed to a dull presentation tool. It would be great to use in the classroom to catch the student’s attention and to show them different ways to create presentations than they may have been accustomed to in the past. Thanks for sharing!

  14. Patrick C says:

    Kendall, great post about Prezi. I have never used Prezi before but I have seen it used multiple times by students presenting. I like it a lot and need to use it sometime. It definitely is much more interesting than a regular PowerPoint and can make presenting the information much better. This is a great tool that I think will continue to gain more popularity for students presenting material. I definitely plan on using this tool in the future for presentations. Great post, thanks for sharing.

  15. Allie W. says:

    Prezi is one of the few tools that I’ve actually seen before, but am always amazed by how much it can do and the separate and diverse ways of using it. I’ve never used Prezi myself because its intimidated me, but after reading this post it seems like a much less daunting task to tackle. I look forward to using this for future presentations of mine now that I’ve explored it!

  16. Madison L says:

    Kendall,
    I always thought using Prezi was a great idea in the classroom and now this blogpost absolutely confirms it. I have used this tool several times actually for some of my other classes and I think it is so great because you can make it be so interactive and I think it would really engage students in their learning. I would love to have my students use this tool for their projects because they could import so much material in a tool that looks so crisp and clean. Its also very non-linear so you can bounce around between different slides and I believe that this tool comes off as more interesting than PowerPoint.

  17. Rebecca S. says:

    I have yet to actually create my own Prezi presentation, but I definitely think they can be a lot more interesting than PowerPoint presentations. Everyone, myself included, almost always uses PowerPoint when creating and presenting a presentation and they have gotten pretty standard and boring if you ask me. Students in elementary school (or any grade really) would easily get bored with teachers using PowerPoint slides day after day, but with Prezi, every presentation a teacher created has the potential to be new, exciting, and most importantly, interesting. While sometimes Prezis can make me dizzy if people go overboard with the effects and movement, they definitely keep my attention more than PowerPoints and I think they would be very beneficial to use in classrooms!

  18. Riley K says:

    I totally agree with Prezi being listed as a top 10 tool to be used in the classroom. I personally have used Prezi for an assignment in my Criminology class last winter term. It is a great new tool that moves away from the traditional Powerpoint presentation platform. It provides a 3-D view and a lot of movement around the screen. You can put videos, texts, graphics and pictures all over Prezi. You also have the options to draw lines and tilt diagrams so that they appear in different fun ways. Powerpoints get very boring and Prezi is a great fun new way of doing presentations. It so different from Powerpoint that it basically will draw your desired audience in with the pure fact of how new it is and what it can do.

  19. Hannah D. says:

    Kendall! I really liked your blog post. I think Prezi is a great tool to use in the classroom. I think watching the same Powerpoint over and over again can get really boring, so I think Prezi is a great way to spice things up! I saw a Prezi in one of my classes once and thought it was so cool so I definitely would love to use it in my own classroom. It was a little confusing for me to try and figure it out, but I think having these tutorials you posted will help me! Thanks for sharing!

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