Common Sense Review
Updated September 2014


Super-cool presentation tool relies on teacher for classroom relevance
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Common Sense Rating 4
  • Anyone can sign up for free and get limited access to design options; teachers can buy a classroom account.
  • A classroom account includes access for one teacher and 60 students.
  • Manage and view projects; students can choose which projects to send to their teacher's account.
  • Create presentations from a template or from scratch.
  • Here's where you keep track of slides, animation, images, and more.
  • Choose from images and animated figures organized by style.
Presentations look clean and professional.
Support and blogs are geared more toward business use than school use; more collaborative elements would be useful.
Bottom Line
Creative tool has potential to be a unique addition to any classroom, but could use more support for teachers and classroom inspiration.
Mieke VanderBorght
Common Sense Reviewer
Common Sense Rating 4
Engagement Is the product stimulating, entertaining, and engrossing? Will kids want to return? 4

Students will enjoy using the images, animations, and other cool creation tools. 

Pedagogy Is learning content seamlessly baked-in, and do kids build conceptual understanding? Is the product adaptable and empowering? Will skills transfer? 3

The tool provides many options for creative expression. Kids and teachers can put together professional-looking presentations, which can increase student interest in the subject matter. 

Support Does the product take into account learners of varying abilities, skill levels, and learning styles? Does it address both struggling and advanced students? 3

After an initial getting-to-know-you period, navigation and creation are pretty easy. Lots of tech and how-to support is provided, but not much help for classroom implementation. Prompts or examples could inspire teachers and kids.

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How Can Teachers Use It?

PowToon has the potential to be an effective tool for both teachers and kids. Teachers will need to familiarize themselves with the tool before introducing it to students, however, and they'll need to spend some time walking students through the basics.

Then, just let kids get creative. Instead of having them write reports, assign presentations on topics as varied as historical images, science experiments, or literary analysis. Have them work in groups and present to the class, or work on their own and present directly to you.

Teachers can liven up their lessons with attention-grabbing presentations on an unlimited number of topics. PowToon blogs feature inspirational articles on the merits of using animated presentations. Mostly marketing hype, they also provide some useful hints, so you may find it helpful to browse through them.

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What's It Like?

PowToon gives users tools to create animated and slideshow presentations. Anyone can sign up for free with an email address; teachers can buy a classroom account for up to 60 students. Once signed in on the website or Chrome app, users can design presentations using ready-made templates or start from scratch. Both options allow unlimited customization by adding text, images, simple animations, enter and exit effects, and more. Images are organized by styles; for example, the marker style offers visuals that seem as though they're whimsically drawn with a marker. (Free, classroom, and premium accounts unlock different numbers of styles.)

When finished, upload the presentation to YouTube and send it to the teacher account for review, or keep it in your personal PowToon dashboard. Many other features, such as professional voice-overs and the ability to download presentations onto DVD, are available for a fee.  

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Is It Good For Learning?

PowToon seeks to spice up the traditional slideshow presentation, and for the most part, it succeeds. Tools are easy to use, and attractive stock images and animations make professional-looking presentations. This could be a terrific resource for teachers to present more interesting lessons and for kids to create unique reports on what they're learning. 

PowToon's use in the classroom, however, feels a bit like an afterthought. Support, examples, and the general feel are geared more toward use in the business world. More education-related examples and blogs for inspiration, along with the ability to collaborate and work on group projects, would make this tool an even more valuable classroom resource.

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See how teachers are using PowToon

Lesson Plans