During my time at Lane Community Collage I have engaged in the Honors Program the school has to offer.  I wanted to get into the program to launch my academic career into a realm befitting of a prestigious four year institution, to highlight my work ethic, and how serious I am about my passion I am chasing.

My time in WR 227 Honors was spent developing our research topic in teams of six. I was chosen as leader of my team to guide us through the term, developing strategies, and diving into our research. Our topic was “Power Point vs. Prezi: What is the better presentation Software.” this topic actually became our inquiry question as well. This set the stage for what we would need to specifically look into and built the criteria we would use to gather research on our subject.

Source Selection

Our main points were platform compatibility, user compatibility, and online surveys with users of what they preferred and why. We chose this criteria because we felt that these were going to be the main points one would look into when choosing a presentation software. One source I found that had good information but I chose to leave out was: Yee, K., & Hargis, J. (2010, October). Prezi: A Different Way to Present. Retrieved May 2, 2019, from http://www.eric.ed.gov website: https://files.eric.ed.gov/fulltext/EJ1042449.pdf. The Source has great material detailing everything Prezi was doing that PowerPoint was not, but my specific criteria I was researching was Prezi software and Operating System (OS) compatibility. One source that really dived into my specific criteria was: Perron, B. E., & Stearns, A. G. (2010). A Review of a Presentation Technology: Prezi [PDF]. Retrieved from https://deepblue.lib.umich.edu/bitstream/handle/2027.42/78306/Prezi.pdf?sequence=1. This source really got into the nuts and bolts of system requirements for Prezi and what OS systems the software was better suited for.

One thing that kept coming up during my research was that most sources only focused on editing advantages and disadvantages and the over all visualization specialization that Prezi  is known for. I really had to dive deep for actual logistic and technical data on the software and how well it interfaced with the OS platforms.

Source Overview

I discovered some things while working on this project. First was the massive advancements in presentation technology from what now would be considered “rough starts” in software technology. This is outlined in the blog post Prezi versus PowerPoint: The effects of varied digital presentation tools on students’ learning performance. by Pao-Nan, C., Chi-Cheng, C., & Pei-Fen, L. In the blog they do a case study on learning performance through presentation software with Prezi and PowerPoint. They even reference the original PowerPoint software as a control group. Through their findings they learn that the learning curve is massively boosted with the newest visual presentation software.

Another idea of note was now that the concept of presentation technology was incorporating visual “flow” and moving away from slides. Prezi is at the forefront of this and the “Journal of Medical Imaging and Radiation Sciences” highlights in the article “Evaluating The Effectiveness of Prezi in Higher Education” by Lam, A. The article goes on to describe the process in which medical professors utilize the visual flow that Prezi offers to conduct educational lectures by starting out with the human body in their presentation then “zooming in” to a specific organ for discussion. The professors go on to say at this method not only showed the students exactly where each organ was but how to look out for signs of infection based on how the information was presented to them.

The last point of interest that I found was that Prezi for being at the leader in presentation innovation had a very nice system requirements; meaning that the software used very little processing power and overall put very little stress on the operating system (OS). This is outlined in the report A Review of a Presentation Technology: Prezi by Perron, B. E., & Stearns. The report’s findings say that over all for being a powerful software the program uses less then 1GB of RAM (a standard computer has 16GB or higher in todays markets) so well within the capacity of todays computers and can be run on a factory (stock) graphics card, no aftermarket graphics card needed.

I found that The Journal entry by Lam, A  that highlighted the educational effects of visual flow was the most interesting. The journal entry shows that there are multiple ways to present information and that sometimes the standard i.e. PowerPoint is not the best fit for conveying ideas and thoughts. It also shows that education is evolving with technology as it becomes available, and with more technologic resources that becomes available to the teacher the better equipped the teacher will be in the classroom to educate students that all have a different way of informational intake.

Key Takeaways

For me, one of the biggest takeaways as a researcher was my ability to lead a team in a academic based research project. It was my first time doing so in that setting and I learned a lot in the process. For one it took organization to a whole new level, it went from self organization to team organization with self organization becoming second nature. I decided to structure our Team into two groups, one researching Prezi and the other Researching Powerpoint. I also delegated a leader for each group and intentionally was not the leader for one of the groups. This made everyone feel on equal terms and there was a sense of social order within the team.

Another is team focus with an emphasis on communication. As team lead I made sure that everyones voice was heard at meetings and also to lay groundwork for a positive environment. This kept productivity moving forward and kept morale high. I also took it upon myself  to create a communication server with the communication app known as Discord.

Based on what I learned I want to revise just some minor logistical components like source research. I was using google scholar but I feel not to its full potential and I feel that with an extra couple of days tacked onto the research portion I could really harness the full potential of google scholar and the sources it has to offer.

One thing I found really successful was dissecting my sources when I was doing the annotated bibliographies. Once I had my sources I found that breaking down their content and purpose was very effective in the sense that I knew that was needed and I knew what the source had. So annotating them was like a brush stroke, fluid and precise.

Some tips I would give away would first of all be communication. If you are in a group research setting, constant communication is essential to a successful research report. It was one of the key components to ours. Second is dive deeper, If you think you have all the sources you need just keep going to see what else you can find. You never know what else you will find, this happened while I was conducting my research and I actually found my best sources by doing this. Third is Formatting, when its coming down to finishing up and you have team members loading information into the report you need to format it, then do it again later, one more time just for kicks, and them later do it again for the cherry on top. Odds are team members will forget something to add and add it in at a later time (sometimes multiple times) and if you have a large research group you have potentially three to six people doing this. Hope these tips help thank you for coming to my TED Talk.