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Creating a Second Life Workshop with Prezi

by shornik on July 30th, 2009

On Sunday I’ll be doing a workshop as part of the American Accounting Association‘s annual conference.  My workshop will be given prior to the officaial start of the AAA as part of the Conference on Teaching and Learning in Accounting (CTLA).

I struggled to figure out how to do a workshop about Second Life in a limited amount of time, with attendees who have limited experience in Second Life if any, and who will have limited if any internet connections.  I wanted to keep away from PowerPoint and find something that would be compelling enough to keep the groups attention, my argument is that Second Life is engaging so my workshop should be too.  Thankfully I stumbled upon a wonderful new presentation tool called Prezi.

I see Prezi as a tool that helps you to tell a story and while PowerPoint lends oneself to use a lot of text, Prezi lends oneself to use more media – flash movies and pictures along with text to help tell the story.  You don’t have to worry about transitions, Prezi zooms into each object in your presentation which turns out to be a really nice way to show emphasis.  Prezi is fairly new and there are certainly some things I’d like to see.  For example, a way to include sound so that I could create a narrated presentation or at least some background music.  It can be more flexible in terms of themes and color choices as well, but all in all I think it did a nice job of forcing me to think a bit outside of the box.  Will see what the workshop thinks about it.

Below is an embedded version of the prezi (you can also see a larger version that is hosted on their site).   One thing that might not be inuitive at first is the need to click through the presentation and that is accomplished by using the controls on the bottom right corner of the prezi. You can view it full screen, click on any object to zoom in for a closer look, and click the links to open up a web page.  One of the nice features is that when an object is a flash movie, it automatically starts playing nice and seamless.  Let me know what you think in the comments.

I’ll also be giving a talk about Twitter and how it can be leveraged for classroom use in which I’ll be doing a basic run down of what twitter is – for anyone in attendance living under their green eye shades.  I’ll also cover some of the relatively newer ways of interfacing with Twitter including TweetDeck, Seesmic, Spreadtweet, Mishnet, and Tunein.  For managing multiple accounts something most anyone using twitter will end up doing, one for personal use and one for the classroom, I’ll be talking about two products, HootSuite and CoTweet.  And finally I’ll be discussion a neat tool from Poll Everywhere that allows you to take polls with responses coming from various sources – the web, text messages, mobile web and of course twitter.

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