I wanted to do something a little different on the first day. I'm still going to go over the course requirements for both of my preps and hand out questionnaires, but instead of a "Bueller, Bueller" moment with handouts, I'm going to use Prezis.
I learned about Prezis last year, but I finally buckled down earlier this week and made two of my own (one for my senior classes and one for my sophomore classes). Technology can be really intimidating, especially since it can be so time-consuming, but I've decided to jump in with both feet and see what works for me. Prezi is really great if you want to add a little oomph to an otherwise boring lecture or presentation. It's much more fun than Powerpoint.
After you sign up with a school email address (for educators and administrators only), you can create your own Prezi.
Choose your template:
I chose "Understand a Topic" because it already came with frames and the format was perfect for my course description, rules about lateness, and grading policies:
You can see the menu on the upper left hand corner (it looks like a bunch of bubbles). You can start writing your content right away. When you move your mouse over each section, the text, frame, or image will appear to lift up. This indicates which part of the text you can either write or manipulate. This can get a little frustrating because if you're working on a really small detail, you can accidentally move the wrong element. After a little practice, it gets much easier.
You can click on the existing text and edit it or click anywhere on the template and create new text:
You can rotate the words or make your text bigger or smaller. This is great because you can layer the text. For example, I wrote "Writing" and created tiny explanations of what I was looking for in their writing and tucked them into different parts of the word. This allows you to focus on "Writing" and then zoom into the explanations...a very cool effect.
If you want to add graphics to separate your points, you can click on "Frames" on the bubble menu and make frames for the different groups you want in your Prezi.
Once you're done with all of the elements of your Prezi, you need to create a path. Make sure you have a good idea of the order of presentation. It was easy for me to make my path because I just looked at my list of course requirements and followed that sequence of points. Once you make a path, you can't delete any one section. You have to erase the whole path, which can get really annoying.
I took out my school email address and some identifying details, but wanted to post the final result (click on the right arrow to see each part of my Prezi):