My media-infused Prezi on Potential and Kinetic Energy could be used as a whole group introductory lesson or assigned to students as a flipped lesson. This presentation was created for my 6th grade science students. I started off with a video that would help them create their own definition of potential and kinetic energy before giving them specific examples. I included questions in the Prezi that could be used as discussion during whole group instruction or give them something to think about if they are watching it individually. I also found that incorporating videos and images from Discovery Education could be done with ease.
Prezi is a great technology tool to utilize when trying to help students synthesize information. Gardner defines synthesis as taking ‘the current state of knowledge, incorporating findings, and delineating new dilemmas’ (p. 12). Students can use this presentation to activate their prior knowledge of energy and incorporate the new information to create their own connections. He describes four basic components of synthesis (p. 51-52). Students must have a goal or objective during a lesson and a place to start the building of their knowledge, the teacher must determine a strategy for the lesson and students have to have an opportunity for feedback. I believe Gardner’s four basic steps to help develop a disciplined mind are closely related to his components of synthesis (p. 32-34). These steps include identifying the instructional purpose, taking the time needed to learn, use a variety of methods, and give the students opportunities to show their understanding.
I started my Prezi with the instructional purpose so students would know what we would be learning and included the use of video, audio and text throughout the presentation. I also included questions for students to think about and answer in their journals. If the Prezi is being used during a whole group lesson, the teacher could take time to talk about possible answers. If the students are working individually on the lesson then the questions would lead into the next class period.
Prezi is also a very engaging technology tool that the students enjoy using. Students that are engaged in the method of delivery and with the instructional purpose tend to make more connections to the content. Group discussion after the lesson can help reel in those students that did not engage or connect with the concepts on their own.
Gardner, Howard. (2007). Five minds for the future. Boston: Harvard Business School Press.