After that, we had five class periods before the Prezi was due. In each class, we spent time working on the Prezi and answering questions. We also used a peer review focused on the format, as well as a rubric to perform peer review. A common theme throughout the sections, which was no different from working on any other paper, was that those who put effort and thought into their Prezis were immediately recognized by their peer reviewers. However, I also noticed that those who were struggling a bit would make comments about how they could incorporate the “cool stuff” that the others did into their work. Overall, the positive comments revolved around the very reason I use Prezi, which is the freedom it provides for students to express their own ideas in a different way than they are used to. The negative comments were more connected with the technological frustrations, when they encountered software glitches or the Internet connection failed and data was lost. In all sections, the complaints about not being able to figure out Prezi died out fairly quickly and very soon the students were helping each other with Prezi.
As I got to grading the final versions of the Prezis I was positively surprised by the fact that the I got so many different Prezis. There were various templates used, many different organization schemas and shapes enacting the main ideas. That was a really positive and entertaining part of grading. I also noticed that they were breaking out of the essay form even more than I expected. For example, sometimes the thesis would begin the paper, and it really made sense! Or we would see images of the artist they were working on at first that would implicit connect to the ideas presented afterwards. Overall, the Prezis came out great, and I really enjoyed the process. I think that there were some glitches along the way mainly because of the learning curve with the technology. However, they didn’t outweigh the positives.
So, without further ado, here are three examples of Prezi papers created during this journey. No, these papers are not perfect (what texts are?), but notice the creativity used in them, the distinct voices presented, and the cool effects the students used to reinforce their ideas and make their arguments. Enjoy the ride!