This coming winter term 2013, I am teaching a course that is offered only every other year.. and sometimes even less often. It was last run in January 2011. I was late reading it over for problems and when I did so the other day, found many dead links and other problems. There were so many broken links I had no time to find replacements. Instead, I decided to try an interactive tool to replace static links embedded into the text of the course notes.
Prezi is an interesting presentation tool, devised initially for presentations of architectural plans. I have purchased an education license and have been trying it out for about a year now in the one f2f class I teach. This past term I used it solely as my presentation software alongside lecturing. Students had no trouble with it – seeing the prezis [which are maintained in the Cloud], reading the information or understanding. What Prezi does well is show how ideas and in the case of History, my field, events and issues are interwoven. You can follow a path.. but you can also show how cultures are related.
So, my bright idea is to have the university Instructional Design staff place a link to a prezi I have begun on the main menu of the course website – the university uses D2L as its base platform. This can be done, as I already link my online courses to a blog I maintain.
But my favourite innovative Instructional Designer has moved on to freer pastures and the new Designer does not seem to like innovation and said no….. she would rather I supplied a Word doc with a list of links. A Word doc! This is not to say anything against Word, or any word processor for that matter. But….. that is a full step backwards in online instruction – back to the bad old days of lists of grey text presented in linear fshion on a difficult to edit screen. Using the prezi allows me to add further interaction with students online – to add to my use of Skype, email, discussion groups…….
Well, I will use it anyway, but without the menu link.