Prezi versus PowerPoint: information presentation

i’m putting together a new assignment for my 101 students to help/force them to practice proper citation practices in academia.  it’s something that i’ve seen students struggle with semester after semester, and it’s particularly bad in my 102 class, so i now teach it in 101 to try to help out other 102 instructors.  so i have a fabulous article by Bishop on Romero’s Dawn of the Dead and it discusses zombies and consumer culture – specifically Romero’s critique of 1970’s consumer culture in the movie (the zombies end up at the mall, and the non-infected humans consume worthless goods in a non-production/survival economy).  so, before we start assignments like this i often use Prezi to present information on culture, the specific culture we’re discussing, the words we know and why, etc.  typical pre-assignment information presentation.  i use prezi because i abhor PowerPoint.  the format of the slides, the linear fashion, the overuse of text, none of these are good learning, none of these help students contextualize the information we want them to contextualize.  it’s just a fancy computer version of the overhead projector (remember those??).  so as i was putting together my zombie prezi (which was an awesome teacher homework assignment by the way) i was really contemplating how to use the space (it’s a wide open white board) to help  my students think about zombie culture, consumer culture, and the humanity that is left behind (most 1970’s and beyond movies/tv shows/games deal specifically with the left over humanity).  i have the prezi mostly done, but my history time line screams PowerPoint to me, and i don’t think it’s effective learning.  it’s linear, yes it has pictures, and yes i limited the text, but it’s still linear thinking to contextualize 100 years of history.  i feel very stilted by my own presentation.  so i’ve been rethinking my approach for days now and haven’t come up with anything more effective, but i have been thinking about digital thinking a lot.  after all these graduate classes, and now studying online teaching i’ve been exposed to a lot of linear thinking and powerpoint usage.  even in classes that have teaching methodology digital components are not always stressed.  so how do we approach rethinking teaching in a digital world.  it’s no longer just granting us access to the technology, we now need to find meaningful ways to use it with students from a variety of tech backgrounds, to promote good learning.  i don’t have the answer, and with technology constantly changing i feel like the answer will continue to change with popular technology, but i think asking the question, and thinking about how teaching leads to good learning with technology involved is a good start.  i just wish i knew what to do with my zombies . . . . . .


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October 22, 2012 · 7:53 pm

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