Presentation Tools Reflection: Prezi and Google Presentations Comparison/Contrast
Both Prezi and Google Presentations are great tools to share information with students. While I do not lecture often to students, I do find both tools to be useful when I frontload material via lecture and/or when I want to spend a few minutes giving illustrations to students of topics we are covering. I also use Google Presentations when I give students example scenarios of Economics topics and have them write their responses on small whiteboards. Some useful features that both Google Presentations and Prezi have are that they both allow users to share and edit the files simultaneously, which is great when students are working together on a project. They don’t have to huddle around one computer or even be in the same room accessing the file at the same time to make edits. Both tools allow for easy insertion of images (you don’t have to download web images to your machine – you can simply insert their URL’s to place them in your file) and videos. And you can post and embed both types of files in a website, which is super helpful, as I share all of my presentation and video files with students so they can access them whenever they need them.
Some differences I’ve seen between the two file types are that Google Presentations allow you to make comments within the file without changing the file content, which is useful when you have multiple editors; however I don’t think Prezi has a comments feature. Prezi has the neat zoom and non-linear movements feature so you don’t have to move from slide to slide. I’ve had students make some really amazing Prezis and I think Prezi has the capacity for outside-the-box thinking and creativity that linear Google Presentations don’t really offer. A downside, though, to Prezi is that it takes much longer to make a presentation that looks good and that conveys the same information that Google Presentations does. And it takes quite some effort and time to make it really creative. (But the templates are pretty nice and much more modern than those of Google Presentations).
If I had to choose, I would most likely choose Google Presentations because of its ease of use and because it takes less time to create, which is important with small children around at home. However, if I were assigning a project to students, I would give them a choice between the two to allow my non-linear thinkers the opportunity to be a little more creative with their presentations.
Zoomit will certainly be a useful tool in my classroom. There are many times when I am explaining an assignment and I physically go and point out the section I am talking about on my screen. Zoomit would be really helpful because I can circle the section to which I am referring and highlight the information on which I want students to focus. This can help my students with visual impairments, language difficulties, English Language Learners, and those who have difficulty focusing to see the main thing I am trying to emphasize. I also can see myself using this during a presentation to highlight the main idea(s) I am trying to convey or to have students give me feedback and I can highlight what they are seeing and speaking about. This visual reminder will help students to see the main idea easily, as it will be highlighted on the screen as I explain it aloud.
I can also see using this tool when I am showing students examples of student work and what was good about that particular exemplar and what might need improvement. It will also be useful to do think alouds with, where I share with students how I am thinking about a particular topic. I can highlight specific ideas and emphasize to students what is going through my mind as I am explaining an idea to them.