I’m in San Francisco at the moment, writing from my room at Hotel Mark Twain. This hotel doesn’t have much to do with Mark Twain other than a few pictures and quotes along the walls. Fun fact: the owners are allegedly from Hawaii. What are the odds?
Doesn’t Prezi have an office in San Francisco? Yes they do. And I poked my head in!
Over the last couple of months, I’ve been speaking with representatives at Prezi regarding the support community, expansion of their product into education, and about the tool itself. I’m in SF attending the Digital Media and Learning Conference (DML), trying to keep up with the latest research in educational technology (and to do some networking). There have been some interesting conversations sparked, which I’ll touch on in a later post. But for now, let’s talk about Prezi.
Apparently, I’ve been on Prezi’s radar for a while.
After creating and delivering a few workshops for the faculty in my department about the tool, I was given the opportunity to speak with Prezi co-founder Peter Halacsy back in January. If you’ve seen the free Prezi iBook on my blog, the series of conversations I had with Peter were what led to its creation. It’s a free and open resource for people who want to learn how to use Prezi well, but may have struggled with it in the past. Check it out if you haven’t already.
So what was it like meeting them?
First, I’ll admit that I got a little lost trying to find their office. Walking from Union Square in SF, I set out on foot to make my 10am meeting. My new Samsung Note mini-tablet phone has a beautiful and functional native Google Maps application, so we’ll blame this one on me. After a little hill-climbing in SF, I made my way to their office near Jackson Square.
I was greeted with a warm smile from Susan, who I presumed to be the Office Manager. Drew Banks, the Head of Marketing, welcomed me to sit down in their casual office space. Drew is a cordial person; professional and straight-forward, but with a welcoming demeanor. After a brief talk with him, I was introduced to Chris Connick, Curriculum Designer at Prezi. Another impressive person to speak with!
Prezi and Education: What’s up?
Chris Connick is a man of many talents. What I found to be of specific interest is his confidence on how Prezi can change things. Having used Prezi in higher education, I was able to speak at length with him about the troubles users have when learning how to use Prezi as well as the seemingly-endless possibilites for information-sharing that Prezi is opening up. We chatted about learners and usability (which my MEd project focuses on), being on the same page about many many things. Before I knew it, an hour and a half had flown by. It felt more like ten minutes.
The plans Prezi has for learners and for the field of education as a whole are ambitious. They will also make them a reality.
The team of minds working at Prezi is top-notch.
I have little doubt that Prezi will become both more usable and more powerful in the next six months. Prezi cares about their users. And they will make moves to help people share their ideas more easily.
So what’s next?
For myself, I will do my best to stay in contact with these folks. They are a great group of people and I plan on maintaining a relationship with them that will ultimately benefit anyone who wants to use Prezi. I’ll be at DML here in San Francisco until Sunday, then flying home to Hawaii. The 5-hour plane flight home will give me time to write up a summary of my time at DML…lots to share!
Thanks for reading :]