Thursday, April 18, 2013

Web Technology Reflection

Web Technology Article Reflection

Abrams, Katie M., Lauri M. Baker, and Quisto Settle. "Using Prezi in the Classroom." NACTA Journal 55.4 (2011): 105+. Gale Power Search. Web.

In Abrams article, Using Prezi in the Classroom, she provides the pros, cons, and suggested guidelines for using the infamous Prezi web technology.  She describes how the Prezi is so wonderful because it can visually illustrate the relationships between concepts, which aid in student understanding.  Prezi allows the students to gain knowledge about the pieces of the concept as well as constructing their knowledge about how all of the pieces fit together as a whole.  If done correctly, it should appeal to all students with different learning styles, especially visual learners.  It is common that Prezi’s are used in the classroom in ineffective ways.  These would include too much movement that causes visual discomfort and distractions for the learners and if the presentation does not have a purpose to show a relationship. One interesting feature that I had not thought about before was the fact that it does not provide a handout like PowerPoint does.  If the teacher would want to have the students take notes, he or she would need to make separate notes or may consider not using a Prezi.  The guidelines provided seem obvious and simple, but they are extremely necessary in order to use the Prezi in an effective way that increases student learning.  First, the teacher needs to illustrate relationships.  Second, the teacher needs to use movement correctly.  This is such a special feature when it is used correctly. Thirdly, the teacher should avoid using text-heavy presentations.  Finally, the teacher needs to make sure to use it purposefully.
Personally, I really liked this article because it laid all of the information out in a simple and helpful way.  For a new Prezi user, it is important to know the basic guidelines in producing an effective presentation.  One idea that I had not thought about was the fact that sometimes a Prezi is not always the best.  It is ultimately designed to show relationships.  I can see how sometimes a teacher would just make a Prezi to keep her students interested in the content, but that could lead to too much movement and confusion.  As teachers, it is important to keep in mind the end goal of each lesson.  It is crucial for teachers to evaluate all different types of web technology and determine the best tool to use.  

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