Did you know school has changed DRASTICALLY just since I graduated high school (a mere five years ago)? Turns out, schools and teachers have almost completely embraced technology in the classroom, and the number of tech sites for students and teachers is astounding! No longer are the days of students receiving detention for having a phone out in class! Gone are the days of students not being allowed to have computers on campus! It’s hard for me to wrap my mind around the sheer amount of technology in classrooms today, and I’m only 23! I grew up with technology. But as it turns out, I didn’t go to school with it like the kids of today.
So, for Tech Tuesday, I will introduce/discuss/explore/get-lost-in some kind of useful classroom tool (or maybe even a couple, I’m pretty sure the number of tools are nearly unlimited). And if any teacher/student/human reading this would like to suggest something new, please! I’d love to hear your feedback about new technology or how you’ve utilized tools I discuss within your classroom or in your life.
Tech Tuesday Tool #1: Prezi!
You know, I hate PowerPoint. I won’t get started on my issues with most Microsoft products, but PowerPoint is something I just really can’t stand. Yes, it has it’s uses, but most PPT presentations I’ve seen are pretty much DOA. As a student, PPT presentations were particularly tiresome, because we would spent far too much time worrying about animating the slides or creating WordArt (*shudders*) or trying make the timing work or trying to make sure pictures and videos all were embedded correctly. Basically PPT requires students to worry too much about the FLUFF and not enough about the content. So, what’s the alternative to use in the classroom?
I love Prezi. Prezi is the answer to PPT fiends everywhere. I first used Prezi this spring for one of my MAT classes, and it was so user friendly, so visually appealing so not a giant time suck. I immediately fell for the interface, and the fact that presentations are stored in the cloud, so there shouldn’t be issues with students forgetting flash drives, having technology issues or having issues about Mac/PC conversion (the worst). Additionally, users are able to add images and videos from Google, with the search engine build directly into the software. Prezi also autosaves regularly to prevent a loss of data should the computer/Internet/browser shut down or malfunction.
Finally, the templates provided with a free account are varied, eye-catching and easily customizable. I’ve really had no issues with Prezi. A few people used the wrong link to share their presentation, but it’s easy to correct that or find the presentation. It also doesn’t deal with timers, which are just unpredictable, unreliable and unrealistic.
I’ve done two so far, about Constructivism and about dystopias. Click to view.
So, in conclusion, Prezi wins. PowerPoint can go the way of some of Microsoft’s other disasters, like Windows Vista and Clippy, the little nightmare that attempted to ruin Word so many years ago.
Booooo Clippy. Go away.