Education / Instructional Design / Web 2.0 Tools

Meeting with the Folks at Prezi’s San Francisco Office – Great People.

Billy in San Francisco

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!

Prezi Logo

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.

Prezi U Learning Community

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!

Digital Media and Learning Conference 2012 Logo

Thanks for reading :]

Advertisements

7 thoughts on “Meeting with the Folks at Prezi’s San Francisco Office – Great People.

  1. Great Article! It’s nice to hear the people at Prezi are nice guys/gals. I use pretty a lot and although it’s limited in a lot of ways it’s still a great presentation tool. Did you find out what updates they are planning on doing to Prezi?

    • Thanks Pat! It was nice meeting them and discussing how people use the tool. They have plans to make Prezi even easier to use and will likely roll out new features along the way. Can’t be too specific, but I can say that I was happy to hear their plans. Have you checked out the support community? They do lots of Q&A at http://community.prezi.com/prezi, can have specific questions addressed too.
      Thanks again for commenting, Pat :]

    • Aloha Pat. I can’t say much about new features, but I can say that the Prezi Community Leader is very involved with users. If you have a suggestion for a feature or other feedback, the Prezi Community site is a great place to poke around. Thanks for commenting!

  2. I agree with Pat – It’s great that you are getting to meet with the Prezi folks and discuss new ideas for educational use. And you’re at the DML conference?! Looking forward to hearing more. Thanks!

    • Would have been great for you to make it out to DML, Melissa. Yep, meeting with the people at Prezi was great; they are focusing on Prezi use in higher education (look at edu.prezi.com if you haven’t already). Will be writing up my biggest take-away points from DML soon. Thanks for commenting!

    • Thanks Melissa! Yes, it was great talking story with the guys over at Prezi. They’re headed the right direction, focusing on education. DML was awesome! Made a post while on the plane back to Oahu. Take a look when you get a chance.

  3. Thanks for the write-up, Billy–great to know that you have Prezi’s attention! I wish that I could have been at DML this year, but it’s a busy time in Austin with South by Southwest this month. I’d love to know if the folks at Prezi plan to add HTML 5 animation support or some usable alternative to Flash. Looking forward to more updates!

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s