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What is Prezi and How Can it Be Used to Teach? Tips & Tricks

Prezi
(Image credit: Prezi)

Prezi is a presentation tool that uses different media types to help make whatever is being shown as engaging as possible. This is specifically targeted at education, as well as business users.

The free version offers lots of functionality, but there are more features on the education-specific tiered payment options. 

Everything is made with easy-to-use guidance and templates so it can be utilized both by educators and students alike. This is a helpful way to learn design but also acts as a useful online tool for sharing with students wherever they are, in or out of the class.

So is Prezi the right tool for you?

What is Prezi?

Prezi (opens in new tab) is a multimedia presentation tool that is based online and works across most devices with a browser window. That makes this very minimal in terms of strain on the device but also on the user, who should find everything clear to understand.

Prezi

(Image credit: Prezi)

Prezi is made up of three basic sections: Prezi Video, Prezi Design, and Prezi Present. 

Prezi Video allows educators to present streamed video to the class from wherever they are. This, with Present, is more than just a video as you can add in images, graphs, documents, and more to be overlaid on the screen as you talk.

Prezi Design is a template-based slideshow-style presentation builder. This lets you create a slideshow with rich media such as images, video, graphs, and more.

Prezi Present is a bit like a combination of the above two, letting you create video-based presentations that combine slides, PowerPoints, videos, and more.

How does Prezi work?

Prezi is easy to sign up to with just your email and name needed to start an account. You can be in the system and building your own presentation within a minute or two. You're then given all the options on a clear home page that features the sub sections mentioned above, all listed on the left menu bar.

Prezi

(Image credit: Prezi)

Jump into the Prezi Design section, for example, and as you can see in the above image, you're met with an intuitive slideshow design template that you can edit to suit your needs.

Usefully, in the Present section, you can upload a PowerPoint you've already created and use that in your presentation, adding your own video as needed or editing the presentation itself. Similarly, in the Design section you can upload your own PDF and DOC files to convert and use in your presentation.

A wide range of templates is available and makes starting very easy, and can be a helpful way to make sure the learning curve isn't too steep for younger students using this tool.

What are the best Prezi features?

Prezi is graphically very inviting as everything is spaced out without too much clutter or information, making it very intuitive even if it's your first time with this or any presentation tool.

Prezi

(Image credit: Prezi)

Videos are easy to record immediately from within the website, allowing teachers and students to upload directly from their smartphones or laptops. The ability to layer more information in these videos, effectively combining a slideshow presentation and a video presentation, is a super appealing feature here.

The library feature offers lots of different projects, including pre-recorded videos, that can be used freely. There are more options in the paid versions, and you can be pestered to upgrade as you use the system, however generally, the free versions can be enough for teaching.

How much does Prezi cost?

Prezi is free to use the Basic plan, which is limited to five projects, however, there are also paid options specifically for educators.

There is a Plus version for educators, priced at $5 per month, which gets you unlimited projects, importing of PowerPoints, PDF export, video download, the desktop app, and offline access.

The Pro version, at $10 per month, has all the above plus analytics, training, and support.

The EDU Teams plan is available for scaling up, and is offered on a quotation basis.

Prezi best tips and tricks

Turn in
Have students turn in projects using Prezi to teach them how to design and layout work in a more engaging way, which for example, could be useful in future jobs.

Be timeless
Create a presentation lesson and save it so you can use it again the following year, or share with other teachers that may find it helpful.

Flip the class
Build a lesson presentation and have students work through it before coming to class, then use what they've learned to hold a debate in the room to see how well the content has been understood.

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.