“If you tell me to list out how, I could write a big, fat book on it.”
That’s how Shehrevar Davierwala, a global computer science educator and assistant professor at RK University, Rajkot, Gujarat, answered when asked how he’s benefited from using Prezi.
It’s certainly made his life easier, especially in attracting students’ attention. As an educator who conducts academic workshops using information and communications technology (ICT) to “contribute a sense of diversity and inclusion within various cultural aspects” to students from 30 different countries, Shehrevar wanted a tool that would allow him to better connect with his students.
Leveraging the flipped classroom model
Shehrevar had been using Prezi since 2018, but in 2021, he discovered the Prezi Certified Educator Program, which is a program that aims to help educators learn how to effectively use Prezi tools to support instruction, whether hybrid, blended, or in the classroom. By enrolling in the Prezi Certified Educator Program, he completed courses on how to create engaging videos for blended learning with Prezi Video, how to create dynamic presentations and content bundles for students using Prezi Present, and how to create stunning classroom visuals and graphics using Prezi Design.
Since then, Shehrevar uses Prezi on a weekly basis. His typical workflow is to import his PowerPoint presentations into Prezi Present to optimize for Prezi Video, which he uses to record async videos or present to his students live.
“The first reaction is always like, ‘Hey, you’re making a YouTube-like video. How do we do that? Which software are you using?’” Shehrevar said. “And the most important thing is you’re able to connect with the students because you have the presentation running next to you, so you can point and show some actions. You have full control.”
For more information on how Shehrevar and his students have benefited from Prezi, check out the presentation below.
How Prezi enables an exchange of cultural ideas
Since he has such a diverse group of students, Shehrevar encourages students to introduce themselves by showing off their country and culture to their peers using Prezi Present.
“So that’s where the first exchange of ICT is because we are learning a technology — Prezi — and how to use the presentation software,” Shehrevar said. “And through this software, there’s an exchange of cultural ideas.”
Additionally, Shehrevar works to make all his students feel seen. He paired with a student to design a presentation about building a virtual assistant, who voiced over it in Nepali.
His favorite Prezi features
Shehrevar upped his Prezi game with the announcement of Prezi Video in 2019, and now he leverages both tools to create a multifaceted learning experience for his students. Let’s take a look at what Shehrevar likes the most:
1. Sharing asynchronous lessons with students
Since the pandemic, Shehrevar now follows the traditional flipped classroom approach. He shares async videos with his students for them to go through and complete their tasks. Then, in the classroom, they focus more on the practical aspects.
2. Using Prezi Video for live video conferencing
One of the most impressive features for him was using Prezi Video for video conferencing because it made it so easy to review what was shared in their online learning materials, as well as have a discussion with key points outlined live with Prezi Video.
“So this was one complete package, where the students just had to log in and they got everything together, and it made the video in the live session much more engaging,” Shehrevar said.
Another feature that Shehrevar really appreciates is Prezi’s compatibility.
“The best feature is that Prezi’s quite compatible with other software. Like, if I have a Google Slides or PowerPoint presentation, I can import it. Or, it’s easy to take a Prezi template and start something from scratch,” Shehrevar said.
4. Collaboration with students
One of the features he uses the most is being able to add collaborators. Whenever his students create Prezi presentations, they add him as a collaborator, which enables him to add comments to give direct feedback on specific slides.
Going with the Prezi flow
In order to create his presentations, Shehrevar’s been using Prezi to create mockups. For example, for a class he’s teaching about Android mobile app development, he says that Prezi enables him to take his students on a journey and help them understand the flow.
“I use Prezi because I’m starting from the initial stage with the students and then slowly taking them on the path of coding,” Shehrevar said.
Using Prezi also gives Shehrevar the ability to incorporate storytelling and creativity into his presentations.
“I find that Prezi has made me more creative because you need to think more about how you design and how you add animations — not just about the content itself,” Shehrevar said. “And that creativity is one of the most important things as an educator.”
His work goes beyond the classroom, where he uses Prezi to support and train other organizations. One of these organizations is Afghan Tech Sisters, an initiative to train Afghan school girls in computer skills to motivate more girls to enter the IT sector by walking them through using Prezi. His commitment to these students is much more than just teaching them. Once they’ve completed their presentations and videos, Shehrevar showcases them on social to highlight their achievements and provide examples for future students. He has demonstrated how Prezi can support flipped classrooms to provide a better learning experience, introduce students to cross-cultural curricula in different ways, and connect them from all around the world.