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Turkish Online Journal of Distance Education

Yıl 2010 , Cilt 11 , Sayı 4

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Prezi: a different way to present

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University of Central Florida1, University of the Pacific2
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For many years now, Microsoft PowerPoint has been so dominant in the field of presentation software that its name has become all but synonymous with the generic concept. Professors often assume students have access to PowerPoint to create their own student presentations (or, at a minimum, to display and print the instructors' slides for use as notes or handouts, particularly since Microsoft offers a free viewer for download for anyone who lacks the full software). Even Macintosh users can reliably be assumed to have the ability to create and view PPT files, even though native Mac applications like Keynote promise enhanced design possibilities. The explosion of browser-based software alternatives recently has led to challengers in many fields, among them the category of presentation software. There are now several completely-free cloud-ware applications that offer similar fundamental tools to PowerPoint (and in many cases, they intentionally reproduce the same look and feel of PP), such as SlideRocket, Impress by OpenOffice, and Presentations by Google Docs. Newer and even smaller challengers are still more likely to mimic the design and feel of PowerPoint, including 280 Slides, BrinkPad, PreZentIt, ThinkFree Show, and Zoho Show. While such free alternatives may present an economic challenge to Microsoft's software, their mimicry of the functionality and layout limits their utility for professors seeking an alternative to the ubiquitous PowerPoint. Those seeking familiar tools but from a company that is ―anyone but Microsoft‖ would be satisfied, but anyone looks for ground-breaking ideas for presentations should look to still other vendors.

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