Collaborative Prezis are pure genius and allow you and your students to take presentations to another level. Introduced a month or two ago, the collaboration feature allows multiple users (I’ve had six on at one time – not sure of the max) to edit a single Prezi.
Follow the tutorial above to see how to share a Prezi with others. Collaboration presents some amazing opportunities, but also some unique challenges. Here is how my students and I addressed them.
Tip 1: Appoint a leader
My 7th graders were working in groups of 5 on Prezis about the branches of government and the political spectrum. Each student had to research and find material for two components of the presentation. I appointed a team leader for each group and the leader had the final say on all decisions. The group had to select who would work on each of the branches, etc. After the selections were made and research completed, the team leader was responsible for starting the Prezi and sharing it with everyone. Once the Prezi was completed, the team leader was responsible for creating the path for the presentation.
Tip 2: Make sure you’re on edit mode
When you initially share a Prezi, the collaborators may not be able to edit. Make sure that your screen is not on “Show” mode. Just move your mouse to the top-left corner of the screen and click the middle of the wheel to get into edit mode (or just press space bar).
Tip 3: Give each student a specific place to work on the canvas
Since Prezi is an open canvas, multiple users can put things all over. Sometimes one student will put something on the canvas and another student’s text, picture, or movie will cover it or bump into it. To remedy this, try and assign students quadrants. The team leader was responsible for assigning the quadrants. We used cardinal directions (NE, SW, etc.) even though it didn’t really correspond to the computer screen. The team leader got to use the middle of the canvas.
Tip 4: Write down the path before plotting it on Prezi
With five people working on different parts of a presentation it takes some thought when it comes to putting everything together into a cohesive presentation. In our presentation we covered two related, but different topics (branches of government and the political spectrum). When one team leader first made the paths, he skipped from the Legislative Branch to Anarchy then on to the Judicial branch. Needless to say, this made the presentation a little disheveled and he had to go back and completely reassign the path. In another group, the team leader left out some of the components from one of his group members and also had to go back and reassign the path.
Trick 1: Live feedback in your presentation
Last month, my wife and I were presenting at a conference about some tech things and used Prezi. At the beginning of our presentation we had a survey and my wife gathered the responses into a Wordle while I went through a couple things on our Prezi. As I went through a quick story she loaded the Wordle onto our presentation and a minute later our presentation zoomed into the Wordle she created from the audience responses.
To do this, we put a place-holder picture in the presentation that had the same dimensions as a Wordle. When I assigned the path, it zoomed in on the place-holder. All my wife had to do was put the picture of the Wordle, created during our presentation, on top of the place holder picture and we didn’t have to reassign the path or stop our presentation to zoom in on something.
Trick 2: YouTube Videos
I’m not sure this qualifies as a trick, but I’d never tried to put a YouTube into a Prezi before this school year. It turns out to be pretty easy. Just grab the url of a YouTube video and paste it into a text box on Prezi. It loads automatically and starts playing as soon as you zoom in on it (then shuts off when you zoom away from it).