Some students quickly discovered how to manipulate the interface of Prezi, whilst others required extra hands on help. A feedback survey showed all the students found working with Prezi was simple for them to understand. All bar one student said it was easy for them to put their presentation material together in Prezi and all said they would consider using Prezi again. Only 50% of students accessed their account and worked on their presentation at home or out of class time.

Some of the comments around why they liked using Prezi were;
  1. It’s really easy to use and understand and it’s more creative than Microsoft programmes
  2. Something new instead of always using Power Point
  3. How it flows between information
  4. Prezi is really easy and simple to use. It’s better and more fun to use than a normal Power Point.
  5. It does a proper slideshow that jumps to the next slide. It is easy to create the slideshow and to write on it. I like that it is an online tool so you can access it from home.

Comments about what students found wrong with Prezi were;
  1. Not being able to copy and paste x 3
  2. It takes longer to put it all together
  3. Moving around Prezi
  4. It takes a long time to load and you don’t get as much time to work on what you are doing.
  5. You don’t get many fonts, sizes or backgrounds to choose from.
  6. How long it takes to load your presentation

To address the problems experienced by students, showing the short demo video available on Prezi.com would have clearly shown students how to use it. I had planned to do that but unfortunately the school internet connection would not oblige and it’s not possible to download the Prezi demo for later playback. Something I would consider contacting Prezi about if I chose to use it again.

The graphical user interface allows for a lot of creativity within a lateral context. Items can be randomly placed, moved about, resized and rotated. 30% of students made the comment they couldn’t copy and paste. This was an interesting observation because they could indeed copy and paste but the tangential nature encouraged them to rewrite their findings in their own words making it a good metacognitive learning tool and prompting students to interpret their research into original script. A summation of the student feedback suggests a frustration with the time it took for the presentation to load. This was more of a problem when presenting to the class rather than actually editing. To remedy this a Flash file version can easily be downloaded ahead of time and then played straight off the desktop.


Reflection

This was a fun group of students to work with and I learnt a lot in terms of how I might run it again. One of the things that stood out for me was how engaged the students were with the new tools. Google’s Wonder Wheel and Google Squared gave students a lot of options around their chosen topic area. The simplicity of the Prezi interface meant it was a relatively quick tool to introduce to the class in one lesson. Roughly 50% of the class had half of their presentation done by the end of the first lesson.

What I would do differently next time is give students more structure around the delivery of their presentation. I’ve included a success criteria checklist to accompany this unit which can be found with further resources. I would also like to integrate the lessons with Moodle to make available class resources and to engage students in online discussions and peer review.


As an E-Learning tool Prezi was a good choice. Student engagement was high and students were keen to work out what they could do with the tool. The maximum broadband capacity for this school is 100 computers online at any one time. There was one occasion at least when this happened and fortunately it didn’t slow down the usability of student’s access to Prezi. The important thing however would be to download presentations ahead of time to avoid having to wait for individual accounts to be accessed and viewed.