Video Tips from MSU School of Journalism’s Joe Grimm: Bored with zooming? Meet Prezi!

Joe Grimm gives a talk over PreziTHIS IS THE SECOND in a series of videos by Michigan State University Journalism Professor Joe Grimm—the founder and coordinator of the 18-volume series of Bias Busters’ guides to cultural competence. In these videos, Joe shares tips for writers, editors, educators and community leaders about how to create media that will excite people as you share your message. (In his first video, Joe talked about how his MSU team shapes the Bias Busters books so they can fully take wing in the world.)

First, Here’s the Fun Part—Joe Introduces Prezi!

Here’s the Story Behind the Video

For more than four decades, I have taught middle school, high school and college. I have been an adjunct and a regular guest in a middle school class. For 12 years, I have been full-time in the Michigan State University School of Journalism and spent five weeks of the summers in a dorm with high school students.

The fall of has been my most difficult semester. I have stress dreams, I wake up with the sweats and I never catch up. But I also hope this semester is shaping up as one of my best.

Teaching through a screen takes a lot of time, to be sure. It takes away some of a teacher’s best tools and forces us to keep lessons lively, be inventive and keep a closer eye on student progress. Truthfully, I should have been doing more of that. But now that we are here and must adapt to Zoom, I find that the learning curve is vertical. Part of this is learning new tools. Part is adapting old lessons to new ways. And part of it is that I try to make videos in one take, but that is not necessary.

In these columns for Front Edge Publishing, I’ll be sharing some of the low-cost or no-cost tools that have helped me, with links to examples. Some are not very techy. However, I have learned that the best online teaching is not about the tech. It is about the teacher, love for the content and respect for their students. All the tech in the world is no substitute for that.

You might be familiar with Prezi, which arranges images on a big canvas, rather than in a slide deck.

Students can swoosh through a story from the perspective of a camera that pans, swoops and dips in on content. Prezi Video still puts visuals on a screen, but it adds a camera on the speaker. The teacher and the images are in the same frame. This is similar to what happens in the classroom, but dynamic.

Teachers produce the show as they go, sliding new images into place and popping them up to fill the screen or hiding them to talk without images.

Want to Learn More?

100 Questions & Answers About Latter-Day Saints book cover
Click the cover to visit the book’s Amazon page.

Here’s the Wikipedia overview of Prezi.

And, the main Prezi website itself.

Plus, take a look at the 18 books my Bias Busters students have produced, so far.

BY THE WAY—In this column and video, we reference Prezi working with Zoom. That’s because so many of our colleagues are using Zoom software these days, which has boomed in popularity during the pandemic to the point that Zoom has been hosting more than 300 million Zoom meetings per day!

However—Prezi is flexible and also can be integrated—in various ways—to flow through:

  • Webex
  • GoToMeeting
  • GoToSeminar
  • GoogleMeet
  • OBS
  • YouTube
  • LinkedIn
  • Slack

About Joe Grimm

Joe Grimm is Editor-In-Residence and Professor at MSU School of Journalism. Along with students in his Bias Busters classes, he developed the popular series of 100 Questions & Answers guides to cultural competence.

Sign up for Front Edge Publishing blog updates!

Please refer to our privacy policy (written in plain English) for information on how we handle your personal data. The section on subscription forms applies to this form.


Thank You!

The Front Edge blog discusses new developments in publishing and technology every Monday morning. Grab a cup of coffee and join us! Make sure to add info@frontedgepublishing to your address book to stay up to date.

Check out the authors and publishers powered by Front Edge Publishing in our bookstore.