Saturday, October 18, 2008

Zuiprezi -- Breaking the linear fetters of traditional presentation

Zuiprezi seems like a boon to the mind which wearies of endless powerpoint-type presentations, or (heaven forbid I say it!), linear text-heavy mediums of any kind!

I'm aching to try out Zuiprezi myself. I have a feeling that it will immediately speak to many students, and gradually gain everyone else as converts. It is tremendously intuitive: Zuiprezi has the research-backed logic of a mindmapping tool, and brings Web2.0's multitude of possibilities for media, design, and openness to bear on previously wordy-heavy cognitive maps.

What I am really enthused about is how this tool could make the content of any presentation accessible to a far greater number of people. When I say accessible, I mean the following: a person can trace connections and meaning at his own speed through (most) of the sample presentations, and also follow the predestined path of the presentation's creator.

I like to put myself back in the shoes of that younger me, that somewhat introverted bookwork whose cognitive centers were on overload (and consequently, the fritz) during many a science class. I wager that my capitulation to the "not-a-science-guy" identity was less a nod to fate than to the realization that those who "got it" were making connections in their heads that weren't easily teachable. At least not via the routes of being a decent student, doing your work, studying, and getting extra help.

Might Zuiprezi (or any non-linear presentational medium) have helped? Have given me insight to those nuances I was missing, the connections I was not making, as well as let me then grow closer to the learning objectives of the unit?

Well, here's hoping I get a chance to try out Zuiprezi soon, and see if it opens up some of those dark, liminal learning boundaries for my language learners.