How I Use It
Finding Powtoons has been transformative in my classroom. I search the public archives for videos that I can use as hooks for my students. Usually, however, I have my students create Powtoons. After we learned about various ancient civilizations, each group was assigned a different one to create a video for. I showed them how to do 3 simple things when we first used it (choose a template, change text, and change photos). As we use it more continuously in class, I have also shown students how to add/edit photos, backgrounds, videos, etc. Each time we do it, their videos get a bit more advanced. And this is a presentation tool that they can use in other classes so it has a lasting impact. For students who are not Native English speakers, it allows them a way to demonstrate mastery of a subject area without the organization and vocabulary that a full essay would require. Finally, since it is all done online, students with an internet connection can work on it outside of classtime.
Teachers could also create their own Powtoons to share with students (instead of notes, or a PPP) but that would be time-consuming. After my students create Powtoons, I often save the links to the best ones as exemplars to show my students the following year.
free (though there is a paid version)
highly sophisticated finished product
little teacher set up time required
students love it
Sharing the videos is complicated
Students have to work alone - no way to collaborate
long intitial time to load
Pro tip: Make sure that you create a rubric so students know exactly what to include in their video!
I would definitely recommend this product to other teachers.