Ready Made Content: Prezi
I think Prezi can be a fabulous tool! While Power Point, Google Slides, and other presentation tools are incredibly useful, Prezi offers a non-linear type of platform where the creator creates paths on a canvas with zooming, elliptical, and cyclical motions which are highly engaging!
In Power Point vs. Prezi by Adam Noar, the Prezi advantages are listed as 1) zoom function, 2) non-linear paths, and 3) sharing for free with up to 10 collaborating members. He suggests spending time on learning how to use the tool and to be sure the presentation is engaging, otherwise the tool loses its “wow” factor.
Another advantage is the ability to search for ready-made content. For my high school AP Spanish literature course, the class has 37 readings we have to complete in one year for 32 different authors. The lessons have to include information on the country of origin, socio and political climate, cultural traditions and customs, vocabulary, literary genre, use of figurative language, and connections to the 6 AP themes such as identity, society, interpersonal connections, and others. Needless to say, teaching this course is challenging, especially when we use a textbook with not supplementary presentation materials for the instructor. So, my life saver had been the ability to search for premade content.
For example, in November we read the 6 most famous chapters of the novels for Don Qujote (yes, Cervantes wrote 2 books for el Qujote!) which are visually rich and contain endless references to historical figures, fictional readings and characters, …etc. But by doing searches on google, there are numerous resources posted that are well made and accurate. I have taught my students to search for this ready-made content to serve as a starting point when they are assigned to research a topic.
Some of the best ready-made presentations are built on Prezi. The Prezi format of point A to Point B to point C to point A in cyclical motion is perfect to narrate the story of a writer’s life or the journey of a character like Don Quijote that return to their home. The zoom in and out feature in a sense can create a “closer/intimate” view of an image for a cathedral or village. The elliptical motion of images of war and suffering give the sense of the chaos and powerlessness of the people that live and experience those moments in history.
The other day we read a poem by Alfonsina Storni who references the bitterness of the single tear drop that falls when society condemns tears as weakness. I began showing a pre-made Prezi I found online, and the beauty of the images on the presentation that reflected Storni’s life began to get to me emotionally, so by the time I got to the slide where I had to explain to the class, she committed suicide by walking into the sea near her home, I could feel a lump in my throat so I had to look away. Now that’s a powerful Prezi presentation, don’t you think?