How to Use Powtoon in the Classroom

Studies have shown that students lose valuable knowledge over the summer months. Some suggest that students can lose more than two months of reading and math skills over the break. How can you help your students brush up on rusty skills without cutting into your plans for the new school year?

Our recommendation is PowToon, a website that helps you create short animated videos on any topic. PowToon—which launched in 2012 and is gaining popularity every day—is a fun and easy-to-use alternative to PowerPoint and Prezi.

The free version of PowToon lets you build an animated video using a number of backgrounds, images, effects, and sounds. A paid subscription gives you additional choices as well as the option to publish your creation without the PowToon watermark.

PowToon is more than just a flashy way to focus your students’ attention. It is also a great way to pack a lot of content into a few minutes of classroom time. Created by a former college composition instructor, this short and snappy video presents material that used to take an entire class period to cover. Instead of spending 50 minutes listening to a lecture and practicing, students can spend a few minutes watching the video, save the link, and revisit the lesson as needed.

We discovered PowToon a few months ago when we were doing research for our blog post on using videos in the classroom. Now we can’t stop using it! Green Light Learning Tools has been working to develop a suite of grammar and English language arts videos to help educators teach basic concepts their students can use when writing in any discipline.

However, PowToon can be used for more than grammar and writing. Math, history, science, foreign language—any material you can write on a board or IWB screen can be transformed into an engaging animated video. With PowToon, your only restriction is the five-minute time limit for each video.

There is a bit of a learning curve involved when using PowToon at first, but overall, we’ve found that the results are well worth the time and effort. Plus, there are lots of handy tutorials to help you along the way.

So, as you prepare for the upcoming school year, consider turning some of your lesson plans into animated videos using PowToon. Your students will appreciate the lively and entertaining new way to absorb information, and you’ll have fun, too.

How can PowToon benefit your classroom?