Thursday, September 17, 2009

Prezi

I’m impressed.

Working as an ICT technician in an education environment, it’s not often that I find a new piece of technology that impresses me. Almost every piece of software, hardware and other miscellaneous resource tends to be no more than a bland rehash of what we’ve already seen before, just as most ideas are in general. Which is fine. But a few new bells and whistles are a lot less impressive than when an existing idea is completely overhauled, and re-imagined.

Google did it with the search engine, Mac did it with the Ipod and Iphone and I suspect that email and web forums will (kind of) fall by the wayside too, once Google Wave is through it’s testing phase. Big changes are afoot, and right now I’m excited about the potential for presentation software.

I recently had the chance to play with prezi.com and to road test the site and it’s built-in presentation application for its potential use in a classroom environment, and after only a 30 minute introduction – I’m absolutely wrapped.

Prezi takes the idea of a traditional slide show or powerpoint / keynote presentation and throws it out the window, replacing it with a more logical approach that is more intuitive to how a mind works. Rather than forcing the user to flip through page after page, in a linear, book-like presentation, our data is instead placed onto a digital canvas, akin to how a child might create a project on a large piece of cardboard. With Prezi it really doesn’t matter where you place each paragraph, photo, video or other material, or even if it’s sideways or upside-down, because potentially those create extra interest and will all ultimately be displayed correctly when played back by the user.

For a fantastic example of this brilliant resource and an idea for how it might be applied to a genealogical presentation, click here.

For my own first effort, click below.

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