Sunday, May 25, 2014

Using to Engage and Inform

Much information is delivered to students using presentation programs. Visual aids for lectures are created using PowerPoint , Google Presentation and Keynote. provides another tool for delivering material. For the creator, it is easy to incorporate sounds, videos and images. The variety of media and the unique transitions make it is visually and auditorily interesting for the student .

A non-linear presentation tool can be an interesting format for delivering information to students. Howard Gardner calls the disciplined mind one that can practice and train to perfect a skill. He defines the synthesizing mind as one that pulls information together to create a new understanding (Gardner, 2008, pp. 5-6). Students need opportunities to practice and perfect skills as well as collect information and create their own connections. A carefully crafted Prezi can give students those opportunities.

A disciplined mind is one that practices skills in order to improve. A Prezi can easily include questions for review, re-teach lessons and progress checks for students. There is no penalty for not knowing and admitting it, but there is easy access to the remedy. Students can control the pace at which they move through the information. This gives them time when needed and allows them to skip through the portions they are already understand. Leaving the choice of pace and content up to the student gives the student control and responsibility for learning.

The ease of incorporating multiple types of media and sources of information into a Prezi gives students plenty to synthesize. Embedding videos from different authors allows different voices to deliver lessons. Changing the focus, voice or visual aids can make a difference in how the student understands the material. The ability to ask review questions and fade in answers gives students time to reflect on the material and form an answer on their own before they see the correct response. Asking students to summarize and apply the material challenges them to synthesize the information.

Students could also use to create their own presentation to show their learning. By collecting information and including their own thoughts on the topic they can create a fun and interesting product that shows what they understand. Students will enjoy making the presentation swirl and zoom through the material. When assigned a presentation, students always ask how many slides are required. The Prezi has a few frames, finite and not overwhelming for students. Students can easily add to the templates provided, and probably will as they create with swirls and zooms. The engaging and easy to use format of the Prezi gives students an unusual way to show learning.  is a tool for collecting and presenting information in a manner that offers choice and is engaging. Students and instructors can easily insert, edit and present information from a variety of sources in an editable path. This provides a way to share and show learning that goes beyond standard presentation tools.  

Gardner, H. (2008). 5 Minds for the Future. Boston: Harvard Business Press.

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