Welcome to Day Nineteen of Digital January. Today is the penultimate day of the project, and features Prezi, a very appealing video presentation and storytelling tool.
If you've got a moment and you've enjoyed Digital January - please give us some feedback on our Padlet (and see Day Three for an introduction to Padlet). If you've visited Digital January over the last four weeks but haven't given feedback yet, please take a few seconds to let us know what you think!
What does it do?
Prezi is another tool used as an alternative to PowerPoint, though while PowerPoint functions in a linear, sequential manner, Prezi acts more like an animated map or a diagram. Elements of the presentation move around on screen to produce an extremely dynamic and professional-looking animated storyboard.
Here's an example of a Prezi template demonstrating its visual appeal and professional appearance. It's presented as a YouTube video but is actually a screen capture of a real-time Prezi show. This template (along with many others) can be used to create your own presentation without having to start from scratch.
Prezi offers a range of features allowing you to mix text and image and even embed video and sound. You link elements of the presentation together so that they flow around the screen to form your animated presentation, creating a sort of 'timeline' to govern the movement through your presentation. As you can see in the example above, you can pen left and right, up and down, rotate, zoom in and out. Sometimes, over-use of these features can make the presentation a little dizzying or overly-busy, but playing with the design can eliminate aspects of the animation which are too theatrical.
Another advantage of Prezi is that your presentations are stored 'in the cloud', so you can access them from anywhere and on any device, thus negating the need to carry them round on an easily-mislaid memory stick and risking compatibility problems on unfamiliar PCs. This is a particular issue with PowerPoint - your presentation can be altered or reformatted if the PC you use to present it isn't running the same version of the software.
Click here to see a presentation produced here in Dundee which gives you a quick introduction to different social media tools using the analogy of Dundee Cake(!) which we managed to put together in only twenty minutes, with very little prior experience or expertise!
When would you use it?
The concept of 'Death by PowerPoint' is now well understood - but how does one avoid it? If you're a student faced with another in-class presentation of your work, a well-designed Prezi will help you stand out from the rest of the class. Similarly, if you're a teacher then you can ensure that your students are visually engaged by creating something a little more eye-catching to underpin your lecture or seminar.
Nora Strasser wrote an article in 2014 detailing the use of Prezi in a Higher Education context - there's a very simple Prezi here, summarising the article.
And click here to see the best Prezis of 2016 as selected by the makers of Prezi themselves.
How do you access it?
Use of Prezi is free, but you need to set up an account. This is done online via their website which provides both the means to present your Prezi and the tools with which to create and edit it.
Whilst you can't yet create or edit Prezis on a dedicated app, there is a Prezi Viewer app available for smart devices to allow you to watch them (available for Android and Apple devices).
Where can you get help to use it?
Prezi themselves offer a decent range of introductory training videos on their website.
There's a good 7-minute startup video below;
What Digital LITERACIES WILL Prezi help you to develop?
The University of Dundee has a Digital Literacies Framework which sets out what sort of digital skills you should have, whether you're a student or a staff member. It's unlikely you'll have all the skills contained in the Framework (yet!), but this project can help you get started in developing some new ones. To see the Framework click here and click on Digital Literacies Framework at Dundee University to download a copy.
Using a digital tool such as Office 365 Groups to collaborate and work in teams is an aspect of DIMENSION 1 - Understand and engage in Digital practices, DIMENSION 4 - Manage & communicate information and DIMENSION 5 - Collaborate and share digital content as outlined in the Framework.
COME BACK TOMORROW AND THROUGHOUT JANUARY TO LEARN MORE ABOUT GOING DIGITAL