Prezi vs. Power Point

Although there are quite a few very good presentation software available for instructors, the decision frequently comes down between Prezi and PowerPoint. This post is designed to help you determine which is better for YOUR presentation. Although you can use them both to achieve similar results, I’ll be comparing the two for :

  • accessibility
  • exportability
  • inclusion
  • engagement

By accessibility I mean how easy is the software to use. This includes any additional hardware you might need, and how well can you upload written or visual content you’ve made elsewhere. With exportability I am looking at how easily can they export content to be shared. This is an often overlooked feature of a presentation software that causes issues once you’ve created your project. Knowing how you want to share your presentation (live stream, online link, YouTube video, upload to blackboard, etc… should play into which software you make it with. My last two criteria are designed for judging additional features a software offers to make it interactive.  Inclusion indicates how well it can include multimedia. This includes embedded videos, links and other resources you might want to navigate to without exiting the program. Finally engagement looks at how the software enhances a student’s experience and how interactive it can be. This includes quizzing components as well as the general format of the presentation.

Pick Your Presentation

Picking the Presentation Software that is right for YOU!


Both Prezi and PowerPoint boast high accessibility. They’re interfaces that are designed to work for someone with limited PowerPoint slide creation experience. Both set up their designs in a fairly linear timeline, that can be manipulated visually. Prezi and PowerPoint allow the user to drag and drop components where they want them and have shortcuts to make uploading content easier.



How do you prefer to export your presentation? Prezi exports easily to a URL which means you can share it, embed it, and have it accessible long after your BlackBoard course closes. PowerPoint is limited in the formats it can export to BUT because it has been a standard for presentations for so long many other software are designed to import PowerPoints. Depending on your preference you can also screen-record in which case how you export the presentation doesn’t matter!



What is exceptional about Prezi is its ability to embed content. You can play a link or a video from the presentation rather than having to navigate out. As a librarian I want to minimize the number of click-throughs it takes for my audience to see the content, but students are used to navigating to and from different content. It just depends on whether you want a seamless self-contained presentation or if you’d rather use the time that they navigate to outside sources to let them further explore those sources before they return to the presentation.



There is no single way to use these presentations, so engagement depends on how you make use of the advantages of each program. Prezi is engaging simply by design due to its non-linear format, but if you over-do the zooming feature you will have your students feeling dizzy rather than enthused. PowerPoint, again because it is a standard for presentation software, offers numerous add-ons such as quizzing functions.


Final Re-Cap

Both software are great for creating interactive presentations, but at the end of the day it comes down to 1. how you use them, 2. how comfortable you feel when you use them, and 3. how much time you want to spend on a presentation. Prezi is definitely more time consuming, but PowerPoint can be if you explore some of their add-ons. If student engagement is what you are aiming for, especially for an online course, I’d suggest swapping between the two. You can also use a screen-recording software like Camtasia to make your presentation come to life.


Beyond PowerPoint- Boosting your Presentation Technology

As Faculty, you are probably familiar with PowerPoint. We’d like to show you some alternatives and options to make your presentation more engaging! With a wealth of technology available, why not take your presentation skills to the next level? Many of these examples draw upon PowerPoint, so you can easily adapt old slides and creating new ones will feel familiar!



Articulate Studio ’13 and Articulate Storyline are an add-ons to Power point that allow you to add quizzing, narration, and other interactive features into your slides. With Articulate you can publish your presentation in three different ways: in Flash; HTML5; and mobile, which is viewable, with a free app, on mobile devices, including iPads and iPhones.  You can import Powerpoints and do simple voice-overs, or you can create fully interactive scenarios that engage the learner.  Published files can be big, so they may take some time to upload to blackboard, but if you are familiar with PowerPoint, articulate should be just as easy. We have purchased licenses for this product for use by the ATSU community.

Your ATSU Lynda account offers training materials as well as this Articulate support site. We’d recommend checking out this site since it offers some great articles on course creation and improving student interaction.



Prezi is an innovative PowerPoint alternative that allows you to visually move through a timeline. You create content along the way in a manner similar to using PowerPoint. The Prezi conveys a greater sense of movement and interaction throughout the presentation. Like PowerPoint slides though, Prezi is not designed to be too text heavy. What is great about Prezi for classes is that it can be shared through a link. The link adds not only the presentation (with an audio option)- it provides access to slide notes too.

You can download Prezi here.



Camtasia is an integrated video and audio editing software that allows you to add captions, text, titles and transitions into your recordings. You can cut, edit, and split videos without having to re-record.   It can be used to capture screen activity with your narration and save it as a recording that students can play back. It also offers the ability to edit the video and audio after it has been recorded. Our instructors get free access to Camtasia, and it is installed on our ETDC computers if you wish to record in our offices. Camtasia also offers quiz features.

The ETDC has produced some quick tutorials and guides for using Camtasia.



Adobe Captivate is an amazing resource if your department has purchased a license. Adobe captivate allows you to use fairly standard Adobe Photoshop editing tools on slides. The software allows you to add and upload content. It also supports responsive movement, quizzing and drag-and-drop elements.Captivate also offers an iPad app and an asset store.



SlideDog is the perfect example of a way to create a glitch-free presentation that pulls from multiple resources. If you’ve ever wanted to open a link to a browser window half-way through class and then had difficulties either connecting to the Internet or navigating seamlessly back to your presentation, this may be something you want to look into. It works really well for transitioning between different formats (and diversity in formats can help improve student engagement). You can also live stream or record your presentations.




Projeqt allows you to weave together multiple sources into a single presentation. The website pushes live content, however you can add audio notes, stream videos and include web links. This is the perfect tool to pull in online resources that you’ve come across or that you previously had your students look at outside of your presentation. It doesn’t offer many layout options, but it does make for a visually compelling narrative.

Want to see an example? Check out WebMD’s executive creative director’s John Weiss portfolio.



Are you uncomfortable or tired of having your face on all your video recordings? You can easily create animations to talk in your place to add to your other presentation software. You can upload audio and in a couple steps manipulate your avatar to lip sync it, and then load your avatar into a variety of compatible presentation software.We don’t necessarily recommend adding an Avatar, but if you want to switch it up, we threw in this resource as a bonus!

Not sure how what programs you can use to record the audio or add screen capture to these presentations? Check out our LibGuides on Windows or iOS resources!

Note Taking Tools- Get your students collaborating early!

When every incoming class of students starts, it’s nice to provide them with a list of resources to improve their organization and retention of the wealth of information you plan to provide them! Below we’ve outlined a few of our favorite note-taking, information sharing, studying and organizational software for students!



This Mac based software allows you to take notes with attached audio, images or files. Each note can be classified into file folders and is linked to a calendar. You can export single or multiple notes to friends or print them later. More importantly when you want to look back over your notes you can search them OR you can tag them so that you can better organize them by subject!

imgres Evernote

This FREE note-taking software syncs your notes across platforms! You can pull up your notes on your mobile device as well as on your desktop. Evernote allows you to organize text, images, audio, video and pdf, although some formats need to be uploaded through your desktop account. (Note the downside of this app is that once you want more space you have to pay for it).

imgres Google Docs/Drive

With unlimited space AND access provided by your ATSU account Google docs and your Google Drive are a great space to take notes. Your docs can be shared, edited by other students at the same time, and link to your drive with uploaded pdfs, images, etc…

screen-shot-2013-08-15-at-6-35-10-pm Notability

Notability allows you to combine handwriting, photos and typing to create visually appealing notes. The touch screen app allows you to zoom in and out to add depth to your notes. These notes can be shared through your Google Drive, Apple AirDrop, Email and Dropbox. What we LOVE is that you can receive verbal AND written comments from the people you share your notes with!

icon_myscript My Script Smart note

This is an app, linked to the larger MyScript software that allows you to draw, write, annotate, and insert pictures into notes. Like other digital note-taking devices, it allows you to manage your notes within larger digital documents. As a mobile app, however, this app also allows you to swipe to make editorial adjustments and look up words.

Information Sharing:

photo Flip Board

Flip board allows you to collect and share articles, videos and photos and displays them like a magazine. This self-curated board imports from curated online sources as well as self-provided content and allows you to follow other boards or subjects. Flip Board is great for completed information and preliminary information seeking,  rather than the note-taking process.

images Diigo

Diigo is my all time favorite resource, designed primarily around Social Bookmarking . Diigo lets you bookmark a variety of sites and sources, annotate PDFs online, and organize your collection of notes, resources and other content. More importantly Diigo shares like social media. You can follow others, see what public material they are saving or commenting on AND you can also comment on their bookmarks.The group aspect of this site allows for collaborative discussion and revision.


Scrible is similar to Diigo. It allows you to save, manage, annotate and share online content as well as store PDFs or other files in the cloud. Scrible lets you create a library, organize it, and offers a full-text search of your collection. From here you can annotate, comment and share articles. Unlike Diigo, however, you can’t see a live stream of participant’s work, you have to share articles individually. We’re including Scrible for the Full-text search function.

imgres Google Drive

As a University run through Google, you can see the appeal of using Google Drive. With unlimited space you can upload and share information. You can manage access restrictions. MORE IMPORTANTLY there are some incredible AddOns for documents and spreadsheets. These include EasyBib for bibliography creation, Translate, and Twitter curator (to search and save tweets). Google Drive will also let you track your revision history.

images Twiddla

Twiddla is the ultimate collaboration tool. It allows you to set up meetings without even signing up to create a creative whiteboard OR co-browse websites. It essentially allows for real-time group annotation and collaborative brainstorming. You can use Twiddla from any computer or web browser! This resource is great for students and teachers alike!

images Cacoo

Cacoo is another collaborative forum for annotations, diagrams, mind-maps etc…Cacoo also offers Google Drive Integration, Security controls and file recovery. It also supports an in-app chat and lets you upload images. Additionally you can send your finished product as a link that you can embed. Cacoo is only free for your first 25 sheets***


Studying/Organizational Tools:


Brainscape lets you find and generate flashcards, share your flashcards AND track your progress. We love it because it allows you to interact during your studying process by saving flashcards for later, while providing a progressive flashcard algorithm to ensure you’re not just guessing the answer.Teachers can also share flaschard decks if they are so inclined.

images Cram

Cram allows you to create and find online flashcards. They also provide their own mobile app. Cram is a great way to digitize the traditional flashcard studying process, but they do not contain any smart algorithms to track or improve your studying process.

unnamed Flashcards +

If you want a great Mac app try Flashcards+. It allows you to make your own flashcards (including images) and study them on your phone. This app is linked to Cram (see above) and you can download your own or others’ Cram flashcards.

images Todoist

Another FREE software that works across all devices. It that allows you to better organize your time and syncs across platforms. It is your Google calendar, reminders, to-do list, and group task manager all in one. It will show you your productivity, allow you to share events or tasks with group members, and can keep track of your due dates!

icon128-2x iStudiez Lite

One of the top-rated academic organization apps, this app allows iPhone users organize courses, assignments, exams etc… The free (Lite) version limits you to 5 courses over a single semester. This app is a great way to keep on top of assignments but doesn’t extend into non-academic activities.

Mind Maps

XMind, MindMeister and Coggle are some of the better Mind and Relationships mapping Software. They allow you to create relationship maps that are stored in the Cloud. This software is great for INDIVIDUAL brainstorming but does not allow collaborative mapping. However you can export your maps into a variety of formats.