Prezi and Socrative: A Fun Combo in Class.
It has been some time since I’ve posted. A quote by Allen Saunders that seems to always run true for me and has lately had some bittersweet implications is: “Life is what happens to you while you’re busy making other plans“. Life has a way of interrupting even the best laid plans. However, going forward, I hope not to neglect this and several other tech based projects I have in the works.
To date, I have not viewed myself as the most creative person in developing innovative activities to differentiate instruction and diversify my instruction approaches. However, as I try to teach myself new applications, I find that sometimes the best learning happens simply when the students teach each other. I have used Prezi in several projects in and outside of the classroom. It’s a fun and innovative presentation producing platform that provide a multitude of components for classroom and business. I encourage you to go and sign-up to explore the templates within Prezi – you can sign up for free where you get three free Prezi’s to begin your journey.
Once there, you will find many fun and animated templates to fit your style or topic. Students had fun finding templates and customizing them for their topic, which for the day was the respiratory tract in Veterinary Science Class. Below you will find an example of a Prezi template (which I have not filled in with information). The arrows at the bottom of the page advance you to the next item in sequence of the animation pathway.
At the bottom, of the page, you can see you have many options to store, share or embed your Prezi into whatever other platform you are using. In our activity in class, I asked students to develop a Prezi on the basic anatomy of the respiratory tract (nose, trachea, etc) and give their function. They were to include pictures as well. Once completed, they were asked to share their Prezi via Paperplane (a url sharing system used in the school district). However, you could create a GoogleDoc and have everyone share their Prezi url there as well.
The final stage for this lesson was to have the students compare and evaluate the information in each other’s Prezi’s. I found this to be a great review exercise and created a competitive atmosphere within the classroom. They were instructed to choose two Prezi’s they felt were the best at presenting accurate information in the most efficient manner. I asked them to post their vote via Socrative. This is just one way to utilize Socrative as you can also use it to give quizzes, poll the classroom or provide an immediate interactive platform to collect feedback from students. It too is free to use and does not seem to have any limits in its usage.
Above is an example of the many choices you have with Socrative. I simply chose the “short answer” category for our final vote on the best Prezi. A word of caution: to ensure students are accountable for their postings, you can require students list their names before posting anything to the online forum. This reduces any inappropriate content and promotes high expectations as the entire class will be reading their contributions.
This activity was a fun and interactive way for students to build content, evaluate it’s accuracy and contribute to the overall success of the class. I hope to adjust and use this same protocol in other classes and settings.