Course blog for CSP 11 (Fall 2012) @ Occidental College

Prezi is a moving presentation tool, and for this assignment you will will use this tool to map out your term paper project through images, video, and text.  But this isn’t a simple Powerpoint- you should use Prezi’s scaling and zooming features to visually convey your argument, how you are tying together evidence and analysis, and intervening in broader debates around copyright + culture.

Your Prezi should:

  • Convey the central argument, evidence, and analysis of your term paper (in other words, this presentation will function as a “draft” of your final paper)
  • Use Prezi’s design capabilities visualize this argument (this means thinking through how certain ideas/evidence might be connected and grouped together, thinking about how visually represent the “big picture” of your project by using scale and zooming, etc.)

In terms of approach, much like the writing process, I would begin by selecting and organizing the materials you want to you use as the touchstones to guide the audience through your argument and/or most effectively and efficiently convey key points and ideas:

  • Text = quotes, keywords, dates/facts, etc.
  • Image = data visualizations, charts/graphs, logos, representations of the artists you’re addressing, etc.
  • Video = remixes, news reports, etc. [Reminder: If you’re doing a 5 min presentation,  this content should only be 1 or 1.5 min, if you’re doing an 8 min presentation, you can scale up the video component accordingly]

Next steps:

  • Write up your presentation, keeping in mind which materials you’ve selection to visually convey your project in Prezi.
  • Time your presentation by running through it out loud, slowly, several times, make edits where needed.  You may not be able to cover everything, or there may be one section of your argument/analysis that lends itself better to Prezi’s design capabilities.  If so, verbally walk the audience through how this segment fits into your broader argument.
  • Map out your Prezi, either through some mind-mapping software, or on good, old-fashioned pen and paper.  Think through how you are grouping/clustering content, how you might make some elements bigger or smaller to play with the “big picture” and details of your project.  Spend some time drawing out your path through the project.  Mocking this up before you begin working in Prezi will save you a lot of time.

When you are beginning to map out your project, think about how you want to spatially arrange your materials on Prezi’s canvas, and the connections between materials (both in terms of how they’re located spatially), and in terms of the points on your path. The image above is useful in terms of beginning to map out your project.

  • Design your Prezi, beginning with selecting and customizing a theme.  Consider both aesthetics (e.g. which theme/fonts seem to best suit your content) and legibility (e.g. does the color/font choice make it difficult to read?)
  • Drop in all of your elements and begin moving them, resizing, layering, etc.
  • Build your path between elements
  • Practice your presentation alongside your prezi.  Are you jumping from slide to slide too quickly?  Are your giving your audience time to read/digest the content on screen?  Are you putting your verbal presentation in conversation with the Prezi content, or relying on text too heavily to convey your points?

When you have completed your Prezi:

  • Change the privacy setting button to “Public”
  • Share it with me (click the “Share” button and send me the link via email)
  • Download a copy of your prezi (just in case we run into connectivity issues on the day of your presentation)

Still feeling stuck?  Here are bunch of excellent Prezi resources and some sample Prezis on issues around copyright for you to consider…

  • Prezi 101: the Basics and the Prezi Manual
  • Great blog post, “Prezi for the Win?: Ten Top Tips to Make a Good One”
  • A basic Prezi on “10 Ways to Say It With Prezi”
  • Here’s a Prezi about Digital Rights Management (This presentation has a nice timeline/chronology in it, and uses zooming effectively to give the viewer a clear sense of their argument.  Also, in interesting use of frames to create venn diagrams.)
  • Here’s a Prezi on Intellectual Property (This presentation has a clean/simple design and uses the templates to good effect. Note that some of the images, like the US Patent Document, are too low res, keep this in mind when pulling images.)
  • Here’s a Prezi on the Sonny Bono Copyright Term Extension (This Prezi falls prey to the “roller coaster” effect, and it could use its background image more effectively, but it draws clear visual connections between guiding questions and potential answers.  If you zoom out, you get a real sense of the progression of ideas.)
  • Here’s a Prezi on Cybercrime/Cybersecurity (This Prezi effectively begins with the “big picture,” and then focuses in on particular topics/issues, posing and answering questions along the way)

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