by Joe Kemery: @Mr_Kemery
As with most things in my class, I love using Google Drive to store student work. It is so easy to share between students and teachers. More and more websites are allowing you to connect an app to Drive, which enables students to have access directly from their Drive while also saving it for them! Eliminating those added steps (no matter how easy) is such a convenient feature. One of those apps that can be connected to Drive is Powtoon. PowToon.com is a presentation tool that allows you to create animated presentations by simply dragging and dropping designed elements to your slides. Plus, slides can be turned into video presentation by clicking a button – literally.
Presentations can be created from scratch or by customizing a ‘Ready Made Powtoon’.
In my class, I generally like to have students use those templates for quick and easy presentations, while allowing for the start from scratch option on larger projects. This helps to add some versatility in how and how often you can use Powtoons. The styles you can choose from all have their own library of characters in different poses. Although certain features are locked in the free version, this also helps when asking students to focus on the content. It has enough features and pizazz to keep students engaged, though it may not be as customizable as Slides . Even with these restrictions, students have ample opportunities to express themselves creatively.
Most everything within Powtoons is adjustable. From text styles to objects, you can quickly click, drag and drop to modify a presentation. They also have a Simple and Customized mode which can help with the learning curve of Powtoon. The text options are pretty awesome too, with some very cool animations attached to them. You also have plenty of ticks, crosses, arrows and circles to choose from, and the props go into the hundreds. Even in a pre-created powtoon, you can always add features to a slide and voiceover recording is another great feature.
I love that tutorials are available to show how it all works. The training videos are 1 to 3 minutes and do a great job of highlighting the features in an easy-to-follow directions. Especially when students are watching, they are just enough to get them moving on a project without taking too much out of their work time.
The free account includes the ability to create your own Powtoons that last up to 5 minutes long, plus cool presentations that can include up to 5 minutes of animations.
You can make an unlimited number of presentations and animated clips and easily share them online on YouTube or through social media. The free account does show the PowToon watermark, which isn’t too much of a deal for me. If you want to export your PowToon without the PowToon watermark, Export in HD, or download to your computer, you can buy a subscription or buy credits for export.