Interactivity with a personal touch that includes everyone — that’s what attracted Michelle Singh to Prezi from the first time she saw it.
During her time working at the Miami-Dade Public School System, Michelle was first introduced to Prezi because her students used it as a tool in the classroom. Then, a few years ago, she was attending a session as part of the Microsoft Innovative Educator Expert program, where they spoke about Prezi Video. When she first tried it out for herself, all she had to do was import existing PowerPoint presentations and fell in love.
“What a great way to bring in something that’s already created and have that interactivity with my content and me on the screen,” Michelle said. “It allows me to create presentations with a personal touch.”
For the college courses she’s teaching, virtual workshops, webinars, workshops, trainings, and client meetings, Michelle uses Prezi Video to create welcome videos and lead live sessions to connect better with her audience and increase participation. She uses Prezi for these trainings to not only show teachers how practical of a tool it is, but also all of its possibilities for student engagement and interactivity. By using Prezi Video, educators can “have an added layer of visibility and creativity for your students to view this content, as well as more personalization.”
“Engagement and retention are definitely addressed when you’re using Prezi, whether it’s in the classroom or in a meeting,” Michelle added. “I’ve had meetings where someone made a great point or I want to reiterate a point, so I type it right there on the screen. And then that light bulb goes off.”
Check out her upcoming workshop on March 30, Creating a Culture of Engagement & Equity, if you want to see Prezi Video in action.
Michelle’s educational journey
For 15 years, Michelle Singh worked as a classroom teacher, teacher leader, department chair, and district curriculum specialist and technology trainer for Miami-Dade until 2019. One year later in 2020, she founded LCT-E Learning Solutions™️, a leading education consulting firm that specializes in diversity, equity, and inclusion training and development. One of the reasons Michelle left her career as a public school educator was because there was a need for teachers to have research- and evidence-based techniques that they can use in the classroom, especially in a public school system where 54% of students are Black and brown. Michelle used her 20 years of experience and expertise in education to design the powerful proprietary EQUAL Methodology™️, a simple and effective framework to address the complexities of diversity, equity, and inclusion in schools.
“There are disparity gaps that exist in our educational system that need to be addressed, and we are really doing the work to equip teachers with the tools, strategies, and framework they need to bridge these gaps and meet the diverse learning needs, cultural needs, relationship-building needs, community needs, socio-emotional needs of students of color, and really of all students.”
Her daughter, who is in college now at Howard University, also matriculated through the system and faced similar challenges that Michelle had faced in school. It broke Michelle’s heart to see her daughter at the back of the classroom, being ignored. When Michelle migrated to Florida from Jamaica at age 9, she entered the Miami-Dade County public school system, the third largest public school system in the United States. As a student and educator in the system, Michelle faced similar challenges, which is why inclusion, and diversity, equity, and inclusion are so important to her.
“The reason that I decided to quit my 15-year career for this journey was seeing my daughter experience shame and pain as the only Black kid in her classroom — being ignored, not being understood — which broke my heart,” Michelle said. “It tore me apart to see my daughter this way, but it also lit a fire in me. That fire fueled my passion to support and empower children like 9-year-old immigrant me, my brilliant and bold Black daughter, and all the other Black and Brown students whose voices are silent in their educational settings. I have the tools, experience, empathy, and expertise to help them flourish and shine culturally, academically, socially, and emotionally. And to help them reach their full potential, despite the obstacles they may face. This is my why. This is my purpose.”
This is why Michelle gravitated toward and was encouraged by Prezi — it includes and engages all. Michelle is currently working on programs using Prezi for new teachers who want long-term guidance and mentorship, specifically when it comes to DEI. Everything she teaches is aligned with her methodology that addresses five key areas — the school culture, the pedagogy and practices of the teacher, how to build students’ skill sets and their mindsets, how to utilize relationships and partnerships within the school and the community, and how to leverage equitable assessments.
“That’s where Prezi comes in because students have access to Prezi as a way to show their learning,” Michelle stated. “Teachers have access to Prezi as a way to make their content more multimodal and engaging for their students to be able to consume it and learn it.”
How to encourage others to get started
It’s just a matter of a click. That’s how simple Michelle says Prezi Video can be.
When Michelle first started using Prezi, she started by importing PowerPoint presentations because it was easy and they were already done — it was just a matter of bringing them on screen with her.
“I tried to get teachers to see that it’s like the Staples Easy button,” Michelle said. “You already have the content and you’re more than halfway there. All that’s left is to try it.”
When Michelle uses Prezi Video for a virtual conference, other people are just sharing their screens. Most recently, Michelle used Prezi for a pitch competition, and Prezi definitely made her stand out, earning her second place.
“It has really amped up my game,” Michelle said. “There I am with Prezi on the screen, interacting with my content, which has totally leveled me up.”
Best of all, this platform is accessible and engaging for all, no matter where you are in the classroom.