A Brave New World Free of PowerPoints

TxDLA was a great event this year. Harriet and I did our usual rebel-rousing there (along with other EduGeeks such as Katrina, Darren, and Shaun. Yes, they are still alive). Creating a session PowerPoint is usually difficult for us, since we usually don’t prepare any preset material.  We like to discuss, interact, and have some interesting conversations. But since most educators have to have something to look at, we usually put up a PowerPoint with pretty pictures (here is our old set of purty pics).

This year, Harriet created a Prezi presentation.  Prezi is pretty cool in that it can be very non-linear.  You can click and scroll around on the presentation as you like. This gives me hope for a future of conference presentations that are free of PowerPoint overkill.  Here is what I am thinking:

Someday, someone will come up with an iPad competitor that doesn’t have all of Steve Job’s weird hang-ups about Flash.  Prezi is built in Flash, so this is key. Oh, and it will run a real operating system instead of iPhoneOS.  Then they will create a cheap adapter that hooks this superior iPad product to projectors. Then the fun will begin.

Image if you could just create a map of all the concepts you want to discuss in a presentations in Prezi.  Then use this better iPad model to run the presentation.  Using the touch screen, you can scroll around and zoom in on concepts as they come up in the discussion. Non-linear, interactive presentations, controlled by a light, portable touchscreen pad.  That would make any session much more active and connected.

Also consider how this could change your classes. Or maybe this already exists and I am just not buying the right products?

Anyways, here is the Prezi from our TxDLA session (which is still linear – we didn’t want to blow too many gaskets in one session):

Next time I hope to go in to some thoughts about some of the discussions and feedback we had at the conference – it was some great stuff.

Matt Crosslin
Matt is currently the Learning Innovation Coordinator with the UT Arlington LINK Research Lab. His research focuses on Learning Theory, Innovation, and learner empowerment. Matt holds a Ph.D. in Learning Technologies from the University of North Texas, a Master of Education in Educational Technology from UT Brownsville, and a Bachelors of Science in Education from Baylor University. His research interests include instructional design, learning pathways, sociocultural theory, heutagogy, virtual reality, and open networked learning. He has a background in instructional design and teaching at both the secondary and university levels and has been an active blogger and conference presenter. He also enjoys networking and collaborative efforts involving faculty, students, administration, and anyone involved in the education process.

One thought on “A Brave New World Free of PowerPoints

  1. Hi!
    My work partner and I have used Prezi at two different presentations so far, to great effect! I especially like your bit of text that begins, “Instructor provides activity/parameters/Students decide how they/fulfill assignment objectives.”

    We work w/facullty in a W-A-C capacity, while trying to spread the “gospel” of open learning as much as possible!

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