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For years, Powerpoint has been the gold standard of presentation software.  I have a feeling that’s about to change with the advent of Prezi.  Prezi is billed as a Zooming Presentation Editor, and it moves away from the rather linear style of Powerpoint.

Presentations have not evolved much in the 50 years since the slide was invented, but Prezi is changing that. Prezi lets you bring your ideas into one space and see how they relate, helping you and your audience connect. Zoom out to see the big picture and zoom in to see details — a bit like web-based maps that have changed how we navigate through map books.

Unlike traditional slide presentations, Prezi starts with one large presentation area.  In this area, you can add lots of different elements – text, frames, links, videos, images, drawings, and shapes.  You can customize the look of your prezi with themes, and use the ‘zebra wheel’ to edit almost every aspect of your presentation.

Instead of progressing in a linear fashion from one slide to the next, Prezi allows you to zoom in and out of your presentation parts, and also to set up paths – a specific route for your presentation.

Another great feature of Prezi is the ability to share a prezi between multiple editors.  It makes a great tool for collaboration!  You also have the option to download and print your prezis.  You can even upload Powerpoint presentations to the Prezi website and convert them to a zooming presentation!

Prezi has several levels of licensing, and also offers free student/teacher accounts with more options than the free basic account.  Since it is a web-based application, you can access your prezis anywhere with an internet connection.  Prezi also offers an offline editor – Prezi Desktop – for the times when you want to work on a presentation without an internet connection.

Prezi is a great way to move away from linear thinking and engage students in a more creative way to share information.  We’ve been piloting it in class this marking period to create Egyptian Mummy presentations, and the students love it!