11 August 2012

My First Powtoon

Powtoon is an easy and fun to use presentation software that lets you create animations - you know, those really professional looking animated videos - without any technical expertise.     The best thing about it is that if you're already a Powerpoint user, you'll have no trouble getting to grips with Powtoon.    It's still in Beta so you need to send your email address and get invited (which happens pretty quickly).  Here's my first Powtoon presentation.

To create a Powtoon, you can either create it from new, or use one of the templates to help you get started.  There are also some video tutorials to help you plan your presentation.  Once you've started, there's a range of images, props and other presentation type tools that you can drag and drop into position.  Then, you add any animations to the objects and upload a sound file.

The only part I found a bit tricky - but not difficult - was adding the sound file.  I wanted to narrate the text so I needed to record the voiceover using Audacity as there is no option to do a direct voice over.  It wasn't difficult but it just meant I had to go back in and change all the timings for each slide.

When I first looked at Powtoon over a month ago, my first thoughts were how to use it in the classroom.  I decided to do this short informational presentation as I wasn't sure if I'd be able to use it in the same way as Powerpoint or not.  While I was working on this it soon became clear that a lot of things we do in Powerpoint could also be done in Powtoon.  Here are a few ideas:
  • Get students to create their own Powtoons explaining something worked on in class
  • Create language presentations for students to look at at home.
  • Pronunciation work - the ease of resizing, colouring and placing words is great to show students how word and sentence stress works in English.
  • Games and quizzes - similar to how you would do in Powerpoint.
  • Instructions - this is a fun way to get students' attention
If you have any other ideas for using Powtoon, I'd love to hear them.

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