What is Genially and How Can It Be Used to Teach? Tips & Tricks

(Image credit: Genially)

Genially is, at its core, a slide presentation creation tool. Yes, there are a lot of these out there right now, however, this one aims to stand out by making its creations all about interactivity.

By allowing a viewer to interact with the slide show, it helps them to be more engaged in the content. So rather than flipping through a slide show, students can explore it in more detail so they are actively learning as they progress through the presentation. 

Free to use and easy to work out, this is ideal for teachers and students alike as a project presentation tool. Offering collaboration, online use, and lots of media types -- this is a tool that works well in education.

But is Genially the right presentation tool for your classroom?

What is Genially?

Genially is a presentation tool that uses slides and more to create multimedia digital shows. But these presentations are also interactive, allowing the person viewing to explore the slides and even add their own input. All that should add up to a far more engaging experience than a standard PowerPoint presentation, for example. 


(Image credit: Genially)

While this tool does offer some pretty unique interactive creation options, it also offers plenty of straightforward presentation templates. Students can create infographics, a personal resume, and lots more using the templates available. 

So while this can be used by teachers to create a class presentation, for work in the room or at home, it can also be used by students to present their work. That said, it isn't the most simple to use, so it may be best for students who are 6 and older. With a selection of guidance documents online, it can be understood fairly easily without much guidance needed from teachers.

The collaborative nature of this tool makes it ideal for student groups working on a project presentation. Since this is all cloud-based, working across different times and from various places isn't an issue for groups, which is ideal for longer term projects.

How does Genially work?

Genially can be used for free but there are some features reserved for the subscription model -- more on that below. Once you sign up, with an email address, it's possible to get using this tool right away from within a browser window.


(Image credit: Genially)

While everything works online, which is great for across device use, it can be hindered behind a school's firewall for some functionality -- worth keeping in mind. Since this is free, it's easy enough to trial before committing any further.

A wide selection of templates are available, broken down into categories for faster searching of what's needed. Students and teachers can create videos (some from slides), infographics, quizzes, interactive images, slideshows, and plenty more with 12 types in total.

Everything is pretty straightforward to use with a drag-and-drop style system. There is more complexity as you get into the deeper features, but more on that next.

What are the best Genially features?

Genially allows you to create simple slideshows and offers greater depth with those interactive images. Consequently, it's possible to add video links, images, text, and more to presentations with hidden elements to be discovered and interacted with.


(Image credit: Genially)

While the basics are intuitive enough and there is support for learning more, the platform can get complex for some students. The ability to add animations or interactive overlays to media is a really powerful feature but one worth demonstrating in class before setting tasks that require students to create with this feature, as it can get complex.

While it is possible to create interactive quizzes using this feature, the downside is that teachers can't see results like with other dedicated quiz creation tools. But for a class-wide quiz, carried out on the smart whiteboard for example, this could be a helpful feature.

The ability to create infographics and image-led slides is useful for students working on personal development, to make a resume or record achievements, for example. 

Many of the templates involve gamification, allowing teachers to take media and content they already have and make it engaging and interactive for better use in the class and beyond.

How much does Genially cost?

Genially is free to use but there are also Student, Edu Pro, and Master accounts that offer more premium features.

The Free plan gets you unlimited creations, unlimited views and free templates, and resources. 

Go for the Student plan at $1.25/month, billed annually, and you get premium templates and resources, audio insert from computer, and the ability to download in PDF, JPG, and HTML formats.

The Edu Pro plan at $4.99/month, billed annually, gets you all that plus privacy control, MP4 video downloads, and folders for organization.

The top-end Master plan is $20.82/month, billed annually, has everything above plus brand personalization and monitoring features.

Genially best tips and tricks

Quiz the class
Overlay an interactive layer on an image or words and have the class respond using their devices, or on yours up on the smart whiteboard, for all to see.

Plan for the future
Help students create their own resume that is eye-catching and contains all the relevant information that can help them progress -- something they'll have saved for the future to edit as needed.

Group students and have them work on projects that require them to present back to the class using Genially -- rewarding the more creative uses.

Luke Edwards is a freelance writer and editor with more than two decades of experience covering tech, science, and health. He writes for many publications covering health tech, software and apps, digital teaching tools, VPNs, TV, audio, smart home, antivirus, broadband, smartphones, cars and much more.