I teach second grade and I expect my students to be able to do a simple Google search for an image, save it to a folder, then upload it to various places. By the end of the year, I can take my students to the computer lab and watch them create projects that seem like middle school students would be creating. They are up and helping each other search for images and upload those images to various places.
In showing them different sites, my students fell in love with Prezi.com! This is a tool that allows you to take a once linear approach to a presentation and make it three dimensional and engaging. It uses a canvas-like approach as opposed to slides. It is a free site that I guarantee, once you use it, you will wonder why you haven’t before. I personally use it for many lessons that I teach my students, but my main focus this past school year was to get my students creating their own Prezi’s. They can be very basic to very complicated, but even the most basic Prezi is very engaging and interactive.
It can make a boring book report turn into an interactive journey!
There are many ways to use Prezi within your lessons. Some examples are: studying vocab words or spelling words, sequencing a story, learning grammar (nouns, verbs, etc.), or simply giving a presentation on a topic. Here is a link to one of my student’s prezi’s!
I created an All About Me Prezi to share with my students. I then had my students create one for themselves to share with their classmates. This would be a great project for the first few months of school!
The possibilities that Prezi.com offers are endless! They have recently added a feature where you can download the Prezi Desktop allowing you work on Prezi’s offline.
Here are some other helpful tips when starting at Prezi.com!
1. Sign up for an Educator’s License (It’s free!)-If you teach lower grades, use one email address and one password and have your students use the same account. That way you can monitor their Prezi’s easier. Upper-elem, middle school, and high school students can use their own email address.
2. Watch the tutorial video prior to making your Prezi.
3. Practice, practice, practice before showing your students how to make one.
4. Remind your students to make their path. (My students often forgot this. Without a path, your presentation is incomplete).
5.You can now upload youtube videos! (As well as pictures) This makes your Prezi that much more interactive!
Prezi.com is constantly adding new features to their site that make using Prezi in your classroom more user friendly. Within the past few months, they have added a feature called the theme wizard where you have more choices for color and fonts. They have also added a feature where you can upload your PowerPoint slides to your Prezi!