How I Use It
If you are looking for a highly engaging presentation tool, Powtoon is for you. Once you sign up as a teacher, look for an email offering free class subscriptions. I especially like that a “manual” was included with the subscription which provides some very useful graphic organizers which are a great help for brainstorming and organization of material. Powtoon also offers helpful tutorials for creating a video. As teachers, we normally think more is better, but what Powtoon teaches students is how to create a presentation which will keep your intended audience’s attention and pull out the important information (gist, theme, etc.). Although Powtoon was originally created as a strategic tool for marketing, its focus on audience, message, and time, aligns nicely with some of argumentative and persuasive writing strategies. It can be used to help write an effective thesis, used as a “trailer” for an argumentative essay, or to simply provide the writer with another way of looking at writing an effective thesis statement! Like many animated creation tools, it is very important that students start with the “nuts and bolts” (I strongly suggest using an organizer) first, before they begin the animation piece.
I really enjoy using Powtoon and your students will love this tool too! After introducing various presentation ware to students, I like having the ability to offer choice later in the year as to the “tool of choice” for collaboration and presentation. The product engages critical thinking skills and requires strategic planning and execution in order to create an effective presentation. Definitely, not your mundane presentation!