Applying the software Prezi in Education still has a long way to go. I often hear that students – mainly at Scandinavian or American universities – have to use Prezi but it seems that teachers have not “jumped on” the Prezi wagon yet.
Here I sum up the benefits of Prezi from a teacher’s point of view. As history is one of my favorite subjects, one I taught for a long time at the prep course of the Corvinus University of Budapest, I will use it as a guideline. Let’s look at the arguments.
1. The element of surprise 1.
Regardless of the subject, still not many people are familiar with Prezi. Based on my own experience, it can be a novelty for up to a half of the audience. If they see it for the first time, the effect will be of complete awed attention. As a result, the students will retain more from the class, as they were paying attention.
Teachers:Students = 1:0
2. The element of surprise 2.
Prezi can bring something new every second. As opposed to the static and predictable movement of PowerPoint (if there is open space left beside the text, an image is certain to follow), we are not limited by 360 degrees, but can move from the plain outside to space with the help of zooming. If we use this well, we will have the attention of the students glued to the screen without any time left for boredom. With the help of zooming, we can turn a soldier into an army, and that into a battle position.
Teachers:Students = 2:0
3. The power of structure
Prezi is amazing at showing both the big picture and the small details in a strong structure. If we want to show the battle of Cannae, we can previously show Hannibal’s path on a map (even starting from the Carthage area, constantly expanding the image, and finally focusing on the Cannae area). The students will accompany us on this journey, using a real map instead of slides. Not to mention the possibility of showing the stages of battle which will make the information easier to retain.
A great advantage of Prezi is that it is better at managing logical links visually.
Teachers:Students = 3:0
4. The visual experience (the power of visualization)
This is one of the greatest strengths of Prezi: it allows us to fit the most accurate visualization to the content. Working in slide templates and among solid barriers becomes evitable, and we can finally work in freedom. We can demonstrate the whole battle with beautiful, quality images in its entirety.
The power of images should never be forgotten, especially because of their effect on the workings of the human mind that cannot handle long text as it records in images. Therefore, through visual representation, the students retain much more information.
Teachers:Students = 4:0
5. The power of multimedia
Video, music, zooming. Unlike stressful anticipation leading up to a PowerPoint presentation – “will my slideshow work?” – everything is easy to use, to insert or to start here. Size is no longer an issue. In contrast to the classic slides, life becomes vivid. A historian can tell us what led up to the battle; we can look at the military movements, or even look at the battle itself through a movie clip. This will be enjoyable to everyone.
Teachers:Students = 5:0
6. The power of planning
We usually forget that Prezi as a mind-mapping program is an excellent field for gathering information. Thus, we can avode the traps of PowerPoint. This doesn’t mean a direct point, but more accurate planning is likely to yield better results.
To sum it up: We can earn a lot by developing educational materials using Prezi. I do believe that students retain 2-3 times more from such a lesson as compared to a classic one.
So go for it!
Zoltán Dr. Németh
P.s: If you have some good material, don’t hesitate to send it to us; we are happy to share our thoughts on it and help make it even better.