Saturday, 3 November 2012

Thing 17 - Prezi and Slideshare

Hello! Apologies for my absence again. I've been adjusting to my new secondment role with CILIP - but perhaps more of that at another time. Here I am, way behind everyone else, working on Thing 17. I'm aiming to finish the programme before Christmas ;-). Ho, ho, ho!

I've been hearing about Prezi for some months now, but hadn't had the courage or incentive to investigate it further. Thanks to my secondment that's all changed! An invitation to speak to a small group of Information and Library Science NVQ students about the nature of the profession in Wales, key professional bodies, career prospects and help, provided an ideal opportunity to experiment with Prezi. Here's my first attempt. If the embedded  version doesn't work then you can also access a copy here

The process of creating the Prezi was reasonably straightforward, although I am grateful for the introductory video tutorials within Prezi. These got me through with addition of some patience and lots of trial and error. If only I'd seen Ned Potter's guide before! Still, a lot of Ned's tips seem to have been incorporated into what I did. Happy accident, more than good design.

What went well?

  • I think I adapted to the zooming, non-linear presentation style reasonably well. It worked well, captivated the audience,  and no one complained of feeling seasick!
  • My presentation was made up of a good balance of text pointers - and images. The tool helped me to deliver a more natural and interesting  presentation.
  • Prezi is a great vehicle for sharing presentations. 
What would I do differently?

  • Be careful with the pathway and presentation mode. Double check that the show is fully working and is complete. I think I will have a check-list of key sections in front of me, or incorporated into the pathway, just to ensure that I haven't missed an important section. This fits with the educational mantra: show them what you'll be teaching, teach it, and then recap on what you've taught them. Such a device may also be helpful if "going off piste" and delivering the session according to audience feedback, or when providing similar sessions in close succession. That aching doubt of "I did tell you "x" didn't I, or was that the previous group?" can easily arise when repeating sessions in relatively quick succession.
  • Definitely incorporate greater use of invisible frames, perhaps allowing more textual input to a zoomed in area. Also be less restricted by size and visibility on the opening view. Really small can work well, because zooming around invisible frames works so beautifully. 
  • Be prepared to start from a blank Prezi canvas, rather than working from one of the template presentations. In this instance, does a purple tree really fit well with libraries? OK, tree of knowledge aside.
Sebastian Munster - Tree of Knowledge - 16th Century.

So what next?

I will continue to investigate Prezi. I don't have too many presentations, but those that I do have are mainly in PowerPoint. So I will consider updating and converting into Prezi format. It would also be good to investigate using Prezi as a guided learning aid, especially once I'm back in my usual day job. The Solar System Activity is a great source of inspiration for this type of learning tool.

And what of Slideshare?

It's not a service that I've used for storing and allowing access to my presentations previously, although I'm sure that I have consulted a few presentations kindly stored in Slideshare by others. But clearly this could form quite a useful information resource, and a great resource for "creative swiping".

So that's one more Thing blog closer to completion. I'll welcome your feedback and comments.

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