Rethinking Time and Space

Last year I made a PowerPoint presentation in response to Kurt Vonnegut’s novel, ‘Slaughterhouse Five’. This was to introduce Grade 11 students to the concept of forming a key focus in response to a summer reading book.

I recently revisited the above presentation, which was saved on SlideShare and embedded in my school blog. Upon viewing it again I wryly reflected on the discrepancy between content and form: here I was, focusing on an author’s unconventional use of style and structure, without much thought to my own. Why take a linear approach to a novel which uses the very opposite structure?

So, after viewing the tutorials, signing up and having an evening of experimentation,  here’s the change – from PowerPoint to Prezi:

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7 Responses to Rethinking Time and Space

  1. Joy Seed says:

    I also enjoyed ‘Life After Death by PowerPoint’ and I think that your Prezi would please Don McMillan immensely.I really like the way you developed the structure of your presentation to match Vonnegut’s style. Do you think you will ever use PowerPoint again?

  2. Avatar of coxm coxm says:

    I’m glad you liked the Prezi version. I still think there is a place for linear presentations, such as PowerPoint or Keynote – and yes, I’ll definitely be using them again. While Prezi is a highly creative and flexible tool, I don’t think it’s the only way to present. Browsing online, it’s also good to see both sophisticated and rather less successful uses of Prezi. I’d ask my students to compare these before embarking on their own…

  3. hiromi hosoi says:

    I totally agree with you that our choice of presentation tool affects the content of the presentation. I think it also affects our communication. When we need to communicate our thinking to each other, we need to consider the genres and symbol systems we use, and how those change depending on audience. I would like to know how does the communication between you and your students change when you use Prezi.

  4. I like your comment …”my choice of tool affected its content.” Every time I use Prezi, I feel like putting my arms up and going “weee.” I’m really enjoying reading about your developments and experimentations in the classroom.

  5. Naho Kikuchi says:

    Prezi presentation was very engaging and thought provoking. I found myself much more involved with the Prezi. (I also feel like I am on my toes figuring out which direction the next slide is coming from.) Did you think of Prezi right away when you wanted to re-do the presentation, or did you consider other possibilites? What is your guideline for deciding what tool to use for your presentations?

    • Avatar of coxm coxm says:

      Thanks for your comment, Naho. Prezi was definitely my immediate choice when redesigning the presentation. I’ve been watching some impressive uses of it by both Middle and High students at my school and this encouraged me. I found that considering what best suits the content (such as my focus on structure in Slaughterhouse Five) is a key guideline. This is just a starting point, however: students should develop the criteria for selecting a digital tool. We often learn more from experimenting and reflecting as an ongoing process than having everything already prescribed.

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