Review of Powtoons

I have been wanting to try this and I am glad I did.   I have disabused any romantic notions I might have had about creating really cool professional looking animated lectures.   This tool would be best used to create a short (15 second) animated video.   Unfortunately, you can’t download or set privacy without a paid subscription, so I am not even sure that would be worth while.

I think this tool is pretty sophisticated, but I don’t see it coming in very handy in very many instances in the classroom unless someone has more time on their hands than   I do.   Or they have a very specific idea that fits the abilities of this tool.

Here is my animated PowToon review

Learning curve: Closer to MS publisher than InDesign
Ease of use: It was easy to use, but frustrating to get a clean result.   I think you would have to use it regularly to get a decent looking product in a reasonable amount of time.
Time required to create a product: It took me a couple hours do to this.   That includes the time I wasting by starting with a complicated 2 minute lesson intro lecture… instead of the beginner level video I’m including here.
Key features: Cool animated text and graphics.   Slides with a timeline.
Problems you encountered: The timeline is too simplistic to give precise control.
barriers: If there is a close caption feature, I didn’t find it.   That takes it off the table for me.   I think the animation would actually distract from a lesson message unless very sparingly applied.   Polished and professional looking results would take some time to create, sloppy results are even more distracting.   Expensive to be able to download your product.
Possible educational uses: Given the barriers, I think there are other products that would better for most educational uses.

The company puts out some fun animated video tutorials:

2 thoughts on “Review of Powtoons

  1. Hi Kim,

    Thanks for the review. Yes, this sounds like a pass.

    Many tools have a similar design curve. Easy and fun to dive in, but creating a polished final product is pretty difficult.

  2. When I was younger I fancied myself an animator. I’ve used Flash and ToonBoom before and made cartoons for fun but I’ve never really conceptualized them as being useful as teaching tools because the amount of work required to create a product is wildly disproportionate to how much you’re going to use. I’ve spent months on (good looking) animations that were minutes long. Nice to see that somebody has found at least some way to utilize this as an educational tool, even if, yeah, it’s still a major investment. It might be something that would be good for a distance class though, because you could make it once and have it forever.

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