By Neil Rickus on Google+
One of our favourite tools at Computing Champions is Prezi. Prezi frees you from traditional presentations by providing a zoomable, free-flowing, canvas, to really engage your audience. If you’ve never heard of Prezi before, have a look at this video, which provides a good introduction to the software.
Prezi is particularly effective when used in your Literacy lessons. Not only will your pupils be motivated to write (even the reluctant boys!), they’ll be learning some excellent ICT and presentation skills.
1 – Planning
Instead of getting your pupils to plan their work on paper, why not use Prezi? The tool’s zoomable canvas allows ideas to be recorded quickly using a combination of text, images, video and sound. Ideas can be linked using the inbuilt symbols, such as arrows or thought bubbles, or your children could join different sections by defining a path between objects.
2 – Biography / auto-biography
Any teacher who has tried to get primary school pupils to research a topic using the Internet will know how difficult they find it, especially when they’re not allowed to simply copy and paste text! Prezi can be used to record facts identified by the pupils, which can later be arranged into an engaging presentation for the class. The information could even be rearranged into a timeline, or used to create a poster in an online tool, such as Glogster, or even good old Microsoft Publisher.
3 – News reports
Is an exciting event happening at your school? How are you sharing the news with the world? If you’ve got a video of the event, you could include it in a Prezi. At the start of the presentation, pupils could include the build up to the event, such as (scanned in) written work they’ve produced. Following the video, outcomes could be shared, including feedback from pupils and teacher comments.
4 – Fiction e-book (traditional / linear story)
Prezi’s path allows you to move from one book page / screen to another. Therefore, rather than simply writing their story on paper, pupils can produce a media-rich e-book, which can easily be shared with their peers or a class blog (if you’re not using blogging, have a look at the blogging sessions we offer). To ensure your children don’t spend weeks typing in their text, you might want to brush up on their keyboard skills using the free Dance Mat Typing.
5 – Fiction e-book (Gamebook / non-linear story)
If you grew up in the 80s or 90s, you’ll probably remember the gamebook genre, which included a series featuring Enid Blyton’s Famous Five (and to my delight are still being published and for sale on Amazon). Rather than your story having a set path, the reader gets to determine the outcome of the story by either solving clues / puzzles, or selecting from a number of options (e.g. whether the superhero defeats the enemy or not). Using Prezi’s canvas, users can follow whatever path they choose to make the story their own.
So, have you used Prezi in your classroom? Comment on this blog post using the form below or contact us.