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Review by Mieke VanderBorght, Common Sense Education | Updated March 2018


Cool presentation tool lets students turn slides into video animations

Subjects & skills

  • Communication & Collaboration
  • Creativity
Grades This grade range is a recommendation by Common Sense Education and not the developer/publisher.
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Updated review coming soon
Teachers say (20 Reviews)

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Teacher Reviews

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Featured review by
Courtney S. , Classroom teacher
Classroom teacher
Valley Elementary School
Jefferson , MD
A highly creative way for students to show what they know using animation
I absolutely love Powtoons for a number of reasons. The first being that it can be a completely student driven tool. This tool fits under the "create" level on Bloom's Taxonomy, which is the highest level on the pyramid. Students are having to develop an animation video to inform, persuade, or entertain a variety of audiences. They can work together to accomplish their video , which would require collaboration and communication for it to be effective. Third graders can have a difficult time working in collaborative groups, but because this program is so engaging they want to be able to work well together in order for their presentation to be successful. This website fits under the Redefinition category of the SAMR framework. They are making a short digital animation video that they wouldn't be able to create otherwise without the use of technology. This video can be used to teach other classes or audiences about a subject they are currently learning about. Students can also be as creative as they want to be with the Powtoons and all of the animation features it provides. As a recommendation and prior experience, I would recommend telling the students they need to write or record their information first before they get caught up in all of the animations. In addition, this tool serves a lot of the needs of my students. It allows English Language Learners to voice their opinions with the recording element on the program. It helps my students who have a difficult time organizing thoughts and ideas. With the slide tool on the program, it allows students to organize their thoughts into groups. Each subtopic or idea can have it's own slide. Many of my students are very out of the box thinkers, and get bored with writing down their speeches or anything that doesn't allow them to be creative. This tool allows those students to show off their creativity while still meeting the needs of the standards or expectations I am giving. I have a student who currently receives speech therapy, but because this tool is so engaging she wants to use the voice recording and talk as clearly as she can. I especially like that Powtoons require my students to give their thoughts fluently and expressively. I have them write down their speeches beforehand and then record it, so they are working on their reading fluency and accuracy at the same time. Sometimes I use Powtoons to present information in a different way. This is very helpful for my students who are visual learners and need to see pictures to access the information given. I wish some of the tools on Powtoons were easier to navigate or use however. Like I mentioned before, I had to give my students a lot of time to explore the website before using it in an assignment. It is very easy for the students to login using their gmail account, but that also means that I have to have their email account to access their presentation to check it. This can be a safety concern, because I'm not always aware of how students are using the program or the information they are putting on it. I wish that they had a set up like "Google Classroom," where the teacher could set up an account and then the students could get on the account by a code and create videos through the classroom. I think this would also allow students to use their critical thinking skills to evaluate each others videos by commenting on it through the classroom.
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