Review by Seth Guttenplan, Common Sense Education | Updated June 2018

Plotagon Education

Create animated movies with customized characters and actions

Subjects & skills
Subjects
  • English Language Arts

Skills
  • Communication & Collaboration
  • Character & SEL
Grades This grade range is based on learning appropriateness and doesn't take into account privacy. It's determined by Common Sense Education, not the product's publisher.
3–12
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Pros: Wide variety of options to customize characters and practice writing while creating a movie.

Cons: Computer voices can be stilted; exporting is easier on the iPad app version; some of the available actions may be inappropriate.

Bottom Line: A fun way to show understanding of any subject matter, especially for those who enjoy making movies.

With Plotagon Education, students can create animated movies, make characters, and write plots about any subject matter. The website provides a plethora of ideas for any class, from language arts to social studies to math and even social skills. Students can create a movie re-enacting a scene from a time in history, showing how to solve a math problem, or with two characters debating a topic -- the list goes on! Teachers can have students work collaboratively on their movies: One student can write the script and another can work on the animations. Students can then export their movie as an MP4 file to submit it to their teacher. Overall, it's a great tool that gives students opportunities to work on their writing and creativity skills.

Caution should be given when students choose actions between characters, however. Some of the actions include kissing and caressing that may not be considered appropriate for a class project. Also, since the computer voices available can seem unnatural, it might be good to consider having students record their own voices instead. 

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Plotagon Education is a website that provides students with a tool to create animated movies. Students can create characters and write scripts, as well as give their characters emotions and actions. When creating a character, students can customize the head shape, hair, facial hair, eyes, and clothes and choose whether or not to give the character glasses. When writing a script (called "creating a new plot"), students start by adding a scene; they can write dialogue and choose from a long list of actions for each character. Characters can also perform actions on another character. Students can choose to keep the character's voice as it is or record their own voice. Music and sound effects are available too.

Plotagon Education movies can be exported as MP4 files and saved on the computer. Plotagon Education is also available on Chromebooks through the Google Play store. The website provides teachers with lesson plan ideas for many subjects.

The best part of Plotagon Education is how much you can customize your character. The program comes with Albert Einstein and Isaac Newton already created. However, you can take any person in history and create their look in Plotagon with all of the different facial and body features available.

Plotagon Education is a great tool that students can use to show their understanding of any topic in any subject matter. Instead of a written report, poster, or even PowerPoint presentation, students have the opportunity to create a movie as a more creative way to show mastery. It's a great way for students to learn a unique form of writing as they create their dialogues and full scripts, and students can also practice communicating social and emotional skills by focusing on verbal and nonverbal cues. 

Overall Rating

Engagement Is the product stimulating, entertaining, and engrossing? Will kids want to return?

Students are easily hooked as they are able to create characters and modify facial features, hair, clothes, and more. As part of their plot, students can also choose from a long list of emotions and actions for their characters.

Pedagogy Is learning content seamlessly baked-in, and do kids build conceptual understanding? Is the product adaptable and empowering? Will skills transfer?

Plotagon isn't a subject-specific tool; rather, it's a presentation tool allowing students to show their understanding of any subject matter. Students can also practice some writing and social and emotional skills.

Support Does the product take into account learners of varying abilities, skill levels, and learning styles? Does it address both struggling and advanced students?

While there aren't any demos or tutorials on the website, Plotagon Education provides a plethora of lesson plans from different subjects, a list of common issues, and a contact support form.


Common Sense Reviewer
Seth Guttenplan Technology coordinator

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