The Spring professional development week featured workshops on Microsoft Excel (Intermediate and Advanced), Prezi and SPSS. The Prezi workshop was one of the finest ones. The workshop was well organized and had a good hands-on experience. The workshop lasted for about 3-4 hours and there was a surprise competition at the end.
Prezi is the new hi-tech presentation tool based on the Zooming User Interface (ZUI). It employs the story-telling format of presentation. Adam Somlai-Fischer, Peter Halacsy and Peter Arvai founded Prezi in 2009. The Zui Labs in Budapest, Hungary developed it. The word ‘Prezi’ means presentation in Hungary.
The workshop was conducted by Ashley Whitlach and Meaghan Hendricks from Prezi. Ashley is the Global Education Relations Manager at Prezi and Meaghan is a Prezi designer. As a pre-requisie, the audience should have registered in the Edu Enjoy account. Prezi works in a cloud-based platform and the presentations have to be created online in the website: https://prezi.com/
Meaghan started explaining the basics of Prezi–How to create a frame, how to use the existing template. She went to create a story based on the Shakespearean Theme–‘To be or not to be’. She described the various features of Prezi with her ‘Rotate or not to Rotate’ presentation which she demonstrated step-by-step. The audience was asked to try and follow the same steps. Once the presentation was completed we were all surprised by the elegance of Prezi. It was so simple to learn but the end result was amazing.
There are many advantages to using Prezi. First, it is very easy to share. There is no need to attach a big file of 30-40 MB in an email and send it to people. In Prezi, just by sharing the URL of your presentation anyone can access the same. Seond, if you set ‘Rights’ for the person as an ‘Editor’, he can edit the presentations. Through this, you can collaborate with your team members easily and effectively using Prezi. Third, you can also take the Prezi presentation with you in .pez file format. This is very helpful when there is no Internet connection. Fourth, there are also apps for iPads to edit Prezi presentations and apps for iPhones to view the Prezi presentation.
For the workshop attendees, Ashley promised to upgrade the Edu Enjoy (basic) account to Edu Pro (Advanced) for three months. Using the Edu Pro account, presentations can be created from the desktop/laptop in an offline mode. After this good news, Ashley announced that a competition would be held for the best Prezi presentation made in one hour. Two teams of 5 members each participated and the team that made a presentation around a Comet-detecting App won the competition. It was a fun way to learn the nuances of Prezi.