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Author Topic: Animated Electronic Syllabi  (Read 17691 times)
quietly
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« Reply #60 on: April 30, 2012, 7:04:20 AM »

The "Digital Native" crap drive me absolutely bonkers. The edu-babble gurus love to spout about this at workshops, but their proposals are lacking in exact details about how to make these activities work.
Our administrators like this too, but most of them haven't been in front of an undergraduate class since beaver coat days.

Those digital natives are really good at Facebook and texting. Unfortunately, those are not particularly important or transferable skills. Many of them are pretty useless with a computer, even doing something basic like using Word properly, never mind Excel or something else.

Agreed.  They also are helpless with searching databases, and not that great even at googling. 

I'm pretty tech-literate, and often an early adopter, but this is the first I've seen of Prezi.  It made me want to throw up.  And using it for a syllabus is ludicrous!

Q.
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ranganathan
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« Reply #61 on: April 30, 2012, 9:51:08 AM »

Is it possible these are companions to a standard syllabus, used during class to present the syllabus to students? 

I've seen Prezi, used Prezi, taught Prezi.  It's a format that can be used creatively and effectively, or you can make your audience motion sick, or it can be boring. Like any format, it depends on the skills of the creator. But because of the animation, Prezis don't work well as standalone documents.
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daniel_von_flanagan
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« Reply #62 on: April 30, 2012, 1:15:15 PM »

I've seen Prezi, used Prezi, taught Prezi.  It's a format that can be used creatively and effectively, or you can make your audience motion sick, or it can be boring.
Can you give an example how it can be an improvement (other than entertainment value) over text, hyperlinked html, or html with javascript that lets you expand and collapse entries? - DvF
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octoprof
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« Reply #63 on: April 30, 2012, 1:17:39 PM »

I've seen Prezi, used Prezi, taught Prezi.  It's a format that can be used creatively and effectively, or you can make your audience motion sick, or it can be boring.
Can you give an example how it can be an improvement (other than entertainment value) over text, hyperlinked html, or html with javascript that lets you expand and collapse entries? - DvF

Yes, please.  I'd love to see some effective uses of this technology.
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ranganathan
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« Reply #64 on: April 30, 2012, 1:41:48 PM »

It works really well for showing relationships between concepts because you can show a "whole", zoom in to see each "part", and then zoom back out to see how the parts build to the whole. 

Let me reiterate that separated from the speaker, Prezis lose a lot.  If you just click the arrow rapidly to see the content, it's nauseating. But when each point is discussed before moving to the next section, the animation is not overwhelming. 

Here's one that describes some ways to use Prezi while teaching: http://prezi.com/rfsnedhqmhqa/thoughts-on-using-prezi-as-a-teaching-tool/

YMMV, but I've found Prezi a useful tool to add to PowerPoint, SlideShare, and static Webpages.
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daniel_von_flanagan
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« Reply #65 on: April 30, 2012, 2:22:02 PM »

I really can't see anything in that Prezi that I can't/don't already do quite easily even in Adobe, but I'll grant that provided you know what parts you are going to want to zoom on, and in what order, Prezi appears to be somewhat easier for doing that than Acrobat and html.  (The "reveal" functions, such as zooming in on a word to see the definition, seem to me presentationally inferior to opening/collapsing in html or pdf.) - DvF
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polly_mer
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« Reply #66 on: April 30, 2012, 4:26:21 PM »

Prezi would also be useful for exploring someone else's concept map as an interactive tool embedded in the CMS.  I could see that being a fast way to make a concept web for people who know no coding.

However, I have yet to see a Prezi presentation that either does something that absolutely cannot be done in Powerpoint or other linear software--seriously, people can show the relationships between various components without the actual zooming by showing the same big picture slide after each discussion point with different parts highlighted (now, we've been here and we're going here next).  I've been complemented on doing so and I've never given a talk with Prezi.
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octoprof
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« Reply #67 on: April 30, 2012, 4:28:24 PM »

Prezi would also be useful for exploring someone else's concept map as an interactive tool embedded in the CMS.  I could see that being a fast way to make a concept web for people who know no coding.

However, I have yet to see a Prezi presentation that either does something that absolutely cannot be done in Powerpoint or other linear software--seriously, people can show the relationships between various components without the actual zooming by showing the same big picture slide after each discussion point with different parts highlighted (now, we've been here and we're going here next).  I've been complemented on doing so and I've never given a talk with Prezi.

In the example posted by ranganathan, I like the timeline bit. I can do it in PowerPoint but it is potentially better visually in Prezi.
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blackadder
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« Reply #68 on: April 30, 2012, 4:35:20 PM »

Here's one that describes some ways to use Prezi while teaching: http://prezi.com/rfsnedhqmhqa/thoughts-on-using-prezi-as-a-teaching-tool/
That demonstration makes sense to me but the amount of time it would take to effectively transfer all my PPTs and other materials to Prezi is prohibitive. Most include a great deal of voiceover so I don't have to lecture in class. I don't see the problem with using a blackboard or whiteboard to write, draw and diagram in class. It's easy to change things quickly or add something.

I sure hope the people at my school in charge of promoting online learning don't see this stuff. We'll end up having another workshop for sure.

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polly_mer
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« Reply #69 on: April 30, 2012, 4:54:17 PM »

My last post went awry (I have an "either" without two items).

However, based on Octoprof's prompting, I went to visit Ranganathan's example and I hate it.  Hate, hate, hate it.  The only thing that was somewhat interesting was the timeline, but again, the zooming seemed purposeless.

Perhaps I just read too quickly, but I am extremely impatient with the "you get to see a line or two of text and then you have to click for another line".  Nope, give it to me all at once so I can read as fast as I can or slap up the picture with a couple main points of how I should be examining the picture to slow me down.  Most of those pictures were worthless as well. 

While I can imagine a talk with a lot of pictures being somewhat interesting as someone talks over them, if I'm just reading, I'd rather have something that I can scroll to keep up with my reading instead of wishing for a fast-forward button that is about four times faster than the zooming/whirling thingie.
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blackadder
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« Reply #70 on: April 30, 2012, 4:59:35 PM »

I'm with you on the reading, Polly_mer. Show me the whole thing at once.
Actually, I find that words on the screen prompt massive word-for-word notetaking and failure to listen to what I am saying.

Pictures maybe. Just listen to what I say and then we will discuss. The technology is getting in the way sometimes. Of course that doesn't work for some subjects. Bah!
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ranganathan
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« Reply #71 on: April 30, 2012, 5:06:28 PM »

Prezi is definitely best as a visual aid during a presentation.  I would never recommend using it as a reading format.  Just like Adobe PDF- it's awesome for some things, but gives me insane headaches when I try to read a PDF article on the screen.

And could other programs do similar things? Sure, just as some faculty hang on to their transparency overheads rather than use PowerPoint, or use Moodle instead of Blackboard.  It's not that Prezi is better than PPT or other formats, it just allows you another option.


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I just wish people were more like dogs--ready to learn and make friends with no private agenda.
mystictechgal
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« Reply #72 on: April 30, 2012, 11:26:03 PM »

Well, I just discovered that the bug fix of theirs that I installed now causes Safari to crash and exit as soon as I set my cursor to type the first letter of my login name. Hey! At least no more worries about being told that I don't have a valid login any longer. It doesn't even get to the point of checking it, now. I'm becoming more impressed by the moment. If they impress me any further I should be below the surface of the earth any time now. Sure as hell am glad that I wasn't relying on a Prezi for either of the presentations I gave today.
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polly_mer
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Have you worked on that project today?


« Reply #73 on: May 01, 2012, 7:58:24 AM »

Prezi is definitely best as a visual aid during a presentation.

I disagree.  If the value of Prezi is the non-linearity, then why force it into a linear format? 

I can see the value of something like a clickable, visual web of relationships so that I can explore in the order that my curiosity takes me.  That's why I linked the "good" example of a syllabus upthread.  With everything around a center circle and titles big enough to read in the global view, I could go right to the things that interested me and then check out the less interesting thing.

I can see the value of zooming in on a diagram to get the text specific to that one part.  If the timeline details had been useful instead of just getting bigger eye-candy pictures, then I can see using that on the CMS to let students explore.

However, putting randomly oriented stuff on the page at various sizes (many that are practically invisible), but taking me through it in a linear manner doesn't make the case that a nonlinear program is useful.  Instead, I keep hearing Inigo Montoya repeating, "I do not think that word means what you think it means".
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treehugger1
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« Reply #74 on: May 01, 2012, 2:23:57 PM »

 I'm all for innovation in the classroom, but only for a pedagogical purpose.

For Alan, a link I found is http://prezi.com/ebj30qaiwukv/gen-chem-syllabus/

I know nothing about this person, but this prezi makes me wonder how classes go since I'm dizzy and I get to control the advance.

For some reason, this makes me think of the "Adults should read actual literature" thread. The arguments against include:1) Makes us nauseous and 2) Is a gratuitous use of technological bells and whistles. But how about: 3) It's patronizing!

If I were in the class, my reaction would be: what do you think I am? A 10-year old?

TH, curmudgeon.
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