Summary of “High Tech Classrooms”

In “High Tech Classrooms,” an article for Information Today, writer Kurt Schiller details the rise of technology in both K-12 and higher education. He specifically discusses the use of Prezi, a tool launched in 2009 that allows users to create presentations on “a single, large canvas and build conceptual maps that show how ideas relate to one another” (Schiller, 2011, p. 34). Unlike traditional PowerPoint slideshows, that walk viewers through the presentation slide-by-slide, Prezis have a main “hub” and many different branches of information. Within those branches, creators can add additional content, such as video or web links, and can always return back to the “big picture” (34).

The article included an interview with Prezi Marketing Director Drew Banks, who believes that Prezis are more like movies than presentations, and that part of what has made Prezi successful is that the tool takes information and transforms it into an enjoyable, well-organized viewing experience (34). The author also noted that Prezis have “found favor” (34) in K-12 education, and in institutions of higher learning such as Stanford University.

In addition to looking at the Prezi tool, the article also focused on the use of social media tools within the classroom, such as Edmodo, an education-specific tool, and “all-purpose” social media sites such as Facebook and Twitter. While it is clear that these tools are on the rise in education, the author noted that teachers who use such tools need to make sure that all students can access them, and that they don’t make the assumption that all students know how to use them.

Because I am planning on using a Prezi for my lesson plan, I was glad that this article focused specifically on that tool. I like Prezis because they are more visually appealing and interactive than regular PowerPoint slideshows, and that they can be used independently by users, without necessarily being tied to a presentation given by a facilitator or teacher.

Reference

Schiller, K. (2011). High-tech classrooms. Information Today. 28 (8): 34-35.

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4 Comments

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4 responses to “Summary of “High Tech Classrooms”

  1. laceyhruby

    I am also a big fan of Prezis. I completely agree that they’re more like movies than presentations. I think students are interested in tools like this and they can be used to further enrich your lesson and engage your students. I love the fact that Prezis can be viewed independently, without the teacher presenting them. It is nice that students could go back and look at the information again if needed. Prezis are yet another great Web 2.0 tool that can help students retain information in their memory by showing them the information in unique ways. Students will have an easier time retaining this information when the teacher can present it in distinctive ways more than once.

  2. The “more than once” part seems critical. What about getting dizzy? ; )

  3. Pingback: Prezi is as Prezi does. | whyIBeducated

  4. jessilangert

    I love that Prezi allows for tools like Youtube and images to be embedded right into the presentation, it makes the presentation much more seamless. Hearing for the marketing director is always interesting, because they have a clear bias to what they are selling. 🙂 But Prezi makes the movement more interesting than just slide to slide. Another thing that I like about Prezi is the fact that if you have to work on multiple computers, you just log in! No more sending a Powerpoint back and forth via email. That simplicity is very nice about Prezi. It’s definitely a good tool to use, but there are some formatting things that are simplified on Powerpoint that I would like seen moved over to Prezi.

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