The ‘third way’ in creating engaging presentations? PptPlex brings canvas functionality to PowerPoint
Over the last few weeks I have been looking at a few technologies which have appeared on my radar and which I think are worth sharing with other educationalists/technologists. In case you want to track back and take a look at the previous posts they are below:
- Pogoplug for a great online storage system you can access anywhere.
- Animotofor compelling videos on the fly.
- Animotothoughts from Chris Thomson.
- Prezi for engaging presentations which show overview and depth.
- Prezi thoughts from twitter and the blog.
Today I wanted to look at a possible ‘third way’ when looking at presentation technology. Whereas Prezi is often seen as the antidote to PowerPoint this may be an issue if you have lots of great PowerPoint presentations which you want to keep using but like the functionality offered in Prezi. Well in this case perhaps pptPlex is for you.
PptPlex is another technology which has come out of Microsoft Office Labs and is an add on to PowerPoint. It gives a canvas style functionality which allows you to move around your slides in a non-linear fashion. Microsoft have produced a quick overview video which will help to get a flavour of what you can do with pptPlex.
A number of people on twitter and the blog likened the functionality you get with pptPlex to that which you can get in Prezi and there are clearly significant overlaps. I also watched a presenter use the technology at a conference recently to great effect. The advantage for him is he has a dozen or more presentations which he put on to a canvas and was able to jump around looking at different topics as and when he wanted. More interestingly when I spoke to him at the end of his session he said he thought the real benefit was he could respond to the audience and never felt he had to cover everything in the canvas.
Thinking about the classroom there is a really useful video which gives both a demonstration of how you use pptPlex and an example of a learning based application.
The last post on ‘Prezi- the end of death by PowerPoint?’ led to a good debate on twitter and the blog and I thought it would be useful to share what others had to say. I also have some examples from a few people which are worth sharing.
Nick Dennis an Assistant Headteacher @nickdennis commented
‘I agree that Prezi is not the solution but that is because the tool is not the main thing (Keynote and PowerPoint 2010 included) but the human behind it. Some of the best presentations I have seen consisted of nothing more than pictures and that was because the presenter had really thought about it..’
Also in agreement was @simfin who said
‘Rubbish in-rubbish out. and PowerPoint doesn’t kill interest, bullet points do.’
He also shared a blog post on effective presentations he has written which can be viewed here
Witty thoughts from other twitter members can in the form of @tonyparkin who said:
‘Is death by Prezi any less painful than death by PowerPoint, or merely less expensive?’
and @stevegillott who made the same observation as me in saying:
‘Prezi – the start of motion sickness due to badly designed Prezis.’
Beyond the comments a number of people shared what they felt were good examples of the capability of Prezis.
@mattmoo2 has created a presentation introducing the Internet to people:
@chrisrat has a presentation on emarketing and social networking:
As many of you will know I have never been one to be on the bleeding edge of new technology. I tend to pick up things which have been around for a year or so when they are more mainstream and this is probably the case with Prezi. A few weeks ago I was in a meeting when I saw Prezi for the first time and it certainly caught my eye. Prezi is a reaction to the dullness of presentations such as those labelled ‘death by powerpoint’. It has zoomable functionality which allows the presenter to show the big picture and also zoom into detail. A video explaining Prezi in greater detail can be viewed below.
I found this video in itself a bit dull as a form of presentation! I had a look around at examples of actual presentations using Prezi and the one below is probably a good example in showing some of the functionality that comes with the web based software.