PowToon: For Presentations and Videos

In a number of past posts, I have talked about delivering content in a variety of ways using sites like Prezi for giving presentations as well as GlogsterEDU, Youtube, and eduCanon to flip your classroom. Today, I have another great resource to add to the mix. It’s PowToon for education!

According to the website, “PowToon is an online animated presentation software that allows anyone to create amazing animated presentations and animated explainer videos,” which means it could replace your current presentation software and/or help you flip your classroom. Registration is easy, and there is a free account option. Like GlogsterEDU, PowToon has both commercial and educational sites, so if you sign up for a paid account, make sure you get the US$2 a month teacher account or US$8 a month teacher plus 60 students account instead of the expensive commercial plans. As always, I recommend starting with the free account until you see how you like and use it.

Once you have registered, you can start creating. Choose between “slides” for making presentations and “studio” for making videos. If you are familiar with PowerPoint or Prezi, “slides” will be a breeze to use, so I will not go into that here. Honestly, I was most intrigued by the video aspect of PowToon, which is where I have spent most of my time on the site.

There are a lot of templates to choose from and even ready-made PowToons, some specifically for education, that just need content added to them, which makes getting started pretty simple. The setup is similar to other video programs like Camtasia or Windows Live Movie Maker, and the tutorial is basic but easy to understand. The final tip I saw was to record the audio first, and I definitely want to emphasize the importance of that. The audio dictates the timing of everything else within your video, making it the best place to start. Everything works off the drag and drop concept, so just play around until you get the hang of it.

Creating new presentations and videos might be time consuming, but with a great site like PowToons, it can be enjoyable too. Do not feel the need to change everything over all at once and maybe just get started with one short presentation or video to see how it works for you and for your students.

Have you ever used PowToons or a similar site or program? Let us hear your thoughts by leaving a comment below.

About Tara Arntsen

Tara Arntsen

Tara Arntsen recently completed her Master’s degree in Teaching-TESOL at the University of Southern California. She currently teaches in the Intensive English Program at Northern State University in Aberdeen, South Dakota. She has taught ESOL in China, Japan, and Cambodia as well as online. Her primary interests are communicative teaching methods and the use of technology in education.

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4 Responses to PowToon: For Presentations and Videos

  1. Tong says:

    Hello Tara Arntsen,

    Thank you so much for your blogs about new technologies, like PowToon, eduCanon, GlogsterEDU, and Youtube. Your blogs remind me of the new literacies in today, especially digital literacy and multimodesmultimodel-literacyliteracy. These websites are amazing! I believe I will implement these into my future teaching.

    • Tara Arntsen Tara Arntsen says:

      Thank you for the comment, Tong! I definitely agree that digital literacy is a very important aspect of education today and that we can all help students learn to navigate this digital world. I am glad you are finding these posts useful and hope you have great success with them in your classroom. Good luck!

  2. Huiying Tang says:

    Thank you for sharing. As you said, I think Powtoon is a great resource for presenting. I’m not a teacher for now but I’m a student from TESOL program. We’re now learning how to use tech tools in classrooms to improve the learning environment. And I can relate your post to my first try of Powtoon video last week. I found that it take much more time to create a Powtoon video than to make a powerpoint. During the time of making, I found it was really hard to arrange the timeline. It’s hard to make sure every action is moving smoothly. But it was a great presentation when it’s done successfully. I noticed that you mentioned there is US$8 a month teacher plus 60 students account instead of the expensive commercial plans. So the students can also use powtoon for presentation in class? How would you arrange students to use powtoon for their study?

    • Tara Arntsen Tara Arntsen says:

      Thank you for your comment, Huiying! It’s great that you were able to create your own presentation in Powtoon! I agree that other presentation software, like PowerPoint, is often easier to use because many people are more familiar with it, but I have found that making presentations using other methods like Prezi or Powtoon can be really enjoyable and it definitely gets easier and faster the second or third time around. It sounds like you were happy with the results using Powtoon despite the initial challenges and time commitment, so would you use it again? Luckily, as you mentioned, Powtoon has accounts specially designed for educators so that it is more affordable to have teachers and students using the site. Teachers can use it to create learning materials for students and students can use it to create projects or presentations either individually or in groups. Unfortunately, I don’t know exactly how Powtoon structures its educational accounts, but check our the FAQ page for more information. Thanks again and good luck!