EXPLORING TECH TOOLS for the classroom
- I decided to explore Powtoon because a classmate, Altan, recommended for it’s user-friendly features for making a whiteboard video creator. In class, Powtoon was introduced as an easy-to-use animator which really caught my attention.
- I have always wanted to encourage my students to make their own animated science related videos to help explain abstract concepts. I often say, “If any of you ever become graphic designers or animators, you could likely make a career by making high quality science videos and posting them on YouTube.”
- I wish that I could help facilitate their learner in making these videos, but the idea seems so daunting, that up until this week, I didn’t know where to begin. My hope was that Powtoon would be a first step in that direction.
- Characters (animated with the ability to portray different emotions)
- Props (icons)
- Specials (icons that move)
The platform is easy to use. I used a template to get started, and I was able to understand how timing of the video and animations worked by watching the sample slides play.
- User accounts can be created in a variety of ways (Email, Google, Office 365, Facebook and Linkedin)
- A variety of video templates are available (explainer, marketing, infographic, presentation, and video ads to name a few)
- When creating your account for the first time, users are granted full access to all of Powtoon’s premium features
- When entering the editor for the first time, the website walks you through different features that can help users get started quickly
- There are many tutorial videos found that can be found on Powtoon’s website and YouTube to help support users
- Allows for voice over during slides
- Many exporting options were included
- The free version of the website is quite limited
- Even with the premium options available, my patience was tested when I settled for mediocre props as what I had in mind wasn’t available (foxes, wolves, specific trees, porcupines, rabbits, owls, etc)
- Premium trial ends after 4 days – afterwards pricing ranges between $79-$165 USD/month if subscription is monthly, and between $16-$49 USD/month if subscription in annual
- The premium version is required to download videos as a simple MP4 video
- This website would be a good starting point for students interested in animation
- Students would be able to use this platform as an alternative to Adobe Spark or before advancing to more complicated animating websites
- Although the graphics related to science-specific content is limited, this could be used as a summative assessment for any unit and a different way of documenting learning
- Creativity and imagination will definitely come into play when props and images students have in mind are not available or easily found in the Powtoon’s search engine
- Due to the limited options, even with the premium version, I likely wouldn’t use this to make animated videos for my class
- I would still be interested in exploring the whiteboard video options because the program is quite easy to navigate, however, if a competing program was more cost-effective, I would likely go with an alternative option
- Let me know if you have success stories using Powtoon! If you have an exemplars to share, I’d love to see what you or your students have created!