For this case assignment, read both Prezi vs. Powerpoint articles by Daivd Wicks and Phil Bird. You will write a brief essay that summarizes their main points about prezi and powerpoint. What does...

For this case assignment, read both Prezi vs. Powerpoint articles by Daivd Wicks and Phil Bird. You will write a brief essay that summarizes their main points about prezi and powerpoint. What does each author say about prezi and powerpoint? Simply highlight the differences between the two applications/programs.
  • Include both the negatives and positives of each program.
  • Consider the needs for each program.

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Ashley Kannan | Middle School Teacher | (Level 3) Distinguished Educator

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The paradigm that both Wicks and Bird address exists in the function and form of Prezi and Powerpoint.  Wicks makes the argument that Prezi could be seen as more advantageous than Powerpoint for a couple of reasons.  When Sir Ken Robinson describes in his TED Talk that “Creativity now is as important in education as literacy – and we should treat it at the same status,” Wicks sees Prezi as being able to accomplish this end.  For Wicks, one of the most impressive advantages to Prezi is its non- linear presentation mode.  Wicks asserts that unlike Powerpoint, Prezi is able to offer a canvass upon which presentation modes are not linear.  They are creative because they are not limited to the linearity of slides. The "stack" format of Powerpoint is reconfigured in Prezi.  Prezi offers a variety of zooming in techniques, paths, and configuration in which the creative presentation notion is enhanced. Another advantage that Wicks suggests that exists in Prezi is how it is a "2.0" platform.  Prezi is web based, and not necessarily computer based. This makes it more conducive to "cloud technology" as well as being able to more easily integrate aspects of the web within presentations.  In these aspects, the presentation mode of Prezi is seen to possess more advantages than traditional Powerpoint.

In his blog entry on the topic, Bird addresses how there might be a reason for the traditional aspect of Powerpoint. Bird suggests that some of the allure of Prezi is its "presentational mode," a level of effectiveness that might dissipate over time:  "Prezi certainly has a big visual impact when you first use it, and each time I’ve used it, someone has asked me about it wanting to try it out. That’s fine, but I reckon some of the novelty is going to wear off after the first few times."  It is in this regard where Bird suggests that Powerpoint might offer a level of traditionalist appeal that Prezi will not be able to offer.  Bird argues that Powerpoint "gives more clout to written content" than Prezi might offer, as it is more rooted in the visual element. At the same time, the traditional notion of how information is to be conveyed through presentations is where Powerpoint might prove to be more attractive than Prezi.  It is easy to get lost in the "bells and whistles" of Prezi, just as it was easy to become "lost" in Powerpoint from overhead transparencies.  It is to this end why the traditional preference for Powerpoint might always be present.  At the same time, a definite negative against Prezi would be that it cannot be printed out in the same ease as a Powerpoint because of the latter's computer based printing options.

In the end, a note of conclusion could be seen in how both thinkers advocate integrating both in the user's base of presentation data.  There is nothing which precludes both presentation modes from being used. At the same time, it might be interesting to integrate one in the other.  Wicks and Bird both suggest that Prezi and Powerpoint have different uses for different jobs and determining when one would be more advantageous than the other is what helps to define the savvy user with a sense of digital design.

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