Prezi is slowly making its way into academia from the bottom up. This innovative presentation service is being used by many students (myself included) in small scale group presentations. The question of course is whether this is just another fad, or if it genuinely contributes something to the way we present knowledge, and if so, if it then lends itself to the specific setting of a lecture hall commanded by a university teacher.
I would like to make the case that Prezi is indeed something that is qualitatively different from the classic Microsoft Powerpoint – not so much in its slick movements or its embeddedness in an online environment, but more because of the spatial arrangement of knowledge. What powerpoint fails to do is to facilitate is the creation of mindmaps, and this is where Prezi shines. Mindmaps can be very useful and powerful to structure and present knowledge, and Prezi’s graphical tools – the frames, lines, highlights, arrows – all support this function very well.