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.