I struggled in starting this blog post. I thought I should be cautious when giving my advice- to avert stepping on toes. After a few minutes of typing and deleting, I threw caution to the wind in order to give it to you straight:
If you want to increase engagement in your classroom or during staff meetings, stop using PowerPoint and learn how to use Powtoon.
I created the following video for a recent staff meeting at the Alternative Learning Center where I work. My colleagues were blown away by the cutting edge style of the video, and immediately asked me how I did it. My response was simple: Powtoon.
Powtoon is an innovative web-based presentation software that allows users to create professional looking animated presentations with ease. The magic of PowToon lies in the animation. Check out the video below to see what I am talking about:
When you sign up for a PowToon, you are presented with a quick tutorial to help acclimate you to the software. TAKE ADVANTAGE OF THIS TUTORIAL- I can’t stress this enough! Granted, Powtoon is easy to learn and use, but the tutorial makes the learning curve much more manageable. You will learn the basics of the program within the first few minutes, and gain the confidence to create your own presentations along the way. Once you learn the basics, you can then choose to create your own PowToon from scratch or you can choose to edit one of the many premade PowToons to fit your personal needs. Creating a PowToon from scratch allows for total personalization, and will likely be the most common route you will utilize when using the program. But, don't overlook the option of editing premade PowToons- in my opinion, this option allows a novice user to look like computer programmer! The premade PowToons are already incredible, all you have to do is replace the text and/or move the images around to personalize the content.
The basic subscription is free, and paid education accounts are $2/month for a teacher, or $8/month for a class up to 60 students. Things get a bit outrageous in regard to the Premium account upgrade. A Pro account will run you $19/month, and business accounts are $60/month (when paid in full, annually). The premium account offer more features- go to the website to see the details- but free and education accounts offer more than enough functionality to accomplish your goals.
So, dump PowerPoint and give this software a try today. You will be able to make your own PowToon within 5 minutes of signing up- the hard part will be trying to unglue yourself from your computer screen after that!