Tuesday, 15 November 2011

Prezi and Slideshare

The prospect of writing about Thing 17, Prezi, has delayed me considerably on the CPD23 path, as I really wanted to have a go at making one. Unfortunately, no opportunities presented themselves over the summer, and now we're in the middle of term my feet haven't touched the ground. I think this is one of the Things I'll come back to when a presentation is called for.

I've seen Prezi in action at several events this year, and it seems a really interesting alternative to Powerpoint. We know that people think, and learn, in different ways, and I can see that the two tools allow for two very different types of approach - one linear and hierarchical, the other more free-form and mind-mappy. I'm always happy to try new things, but I strongly suspect that the archivist in me will always prefer Powerpoint. I know that you can import Powerpoint slides to Prezi, but this does seem to defeat the point of using this very imaginative tool.

For the time being, I'll watch and learn from others' use of Prezi, and hopefully it help me think about presentations more creatively.

I've used Slideshare in the last week - being required to host a workshop to music students at short notice, I had a dig around to get some inspiration. Although I found little which was particularly relevant to this specialist area, I found some useful introductions to using primary source material, and a link to a timeline builder, which will be very useful for a workshop I teach on the history of printing. Paul Dijstelberge, the Special Collections Curator at Amsterdam University and Associate Professor for the History of the Book, has produced and shared a timeline for the history of printing taken from all over the web - a very informative and well-researched resource which will be fun to explore in workshops.

I will certainly host presentations on Slideshare in future, and would recommend having a poke around - you never know what you might find.

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