What is PowToon:
PowToon(https://www.powtoon.com/) is an engaging and interactive web based audio/video tool designed to bring presentations to life via animation. This drag and drop program allows users free access to basic pre-designed themes, backgrounds, objects , music as well as user narrated voice over capabilities. Educators using PowToon can create content that captures the student’s attention that goes beyond the normal heavy text presentations that are known as “PowerPointless”. Furthermore students are able to utilize PowToon to demonstrate their skills and knowledge of assigned subjects. PowToon was launched in 2012 by co-founder Daniel Zaturansky and founder Ilya Spitalnik. It maintains a diverse user group beyond the educational setting to include IT, HR, Marketing and Training.
Benefits and Challenges of PowToon:
PowToon offers a free basic edition that can certainly upgrade to Pro, Pro+, and Agency editions for a fee. The free basic edition allows for creativity and integrates will with YouTube, Google and Facebook. Additional benefits of PowToon are the easy use of numerous design tools, embedding reusable learning objects, the availability of multiple video tutorials and live chat with a PowToon representative if needed.
Easy is subjective thus what may be easy for one becomes a challenge for another. Instructors and students may be reluctant to try new technology preferring old methods of presentations. The number of options for creating an animation could be overwhelming for some users. Another challenge could arise if students or instructors focus more on the animation process rather than presenting critical content. Lastly, the limited amount of time offered (3 minutes) in the free edition could pose a challenge. Students and instructors will need to maximize the time by presenting critical content.
Application of PowToon for assessment:
PowToon is a unique and powerful assessment tool. Students using PowToon may begin to move from the first level of the revised Bloom’s Taxonomy, remembering to higher levels such as analyzing, evaluating and most evident creating. Instructors should direct students in the creation phase by integrating some key words in the learning objectives such as invent, organize, develop, design, assemble or construct. This tool gives students control of his or her learning outcome. Students can use the tool as an assessment of content present by an instructor. While instructors are able to use PowToon to create an assessment by embedding a blog or virtual wall within the animation. PowToon becomes a beneficial formative or summative assessment tool. The ability to incorporate and develop economic concepts into PowToon should lead to positive outcomes in principles of macroeconomics for both the students and myself.
Macroeconomic students will be able to create a supply and demand graph via PowToon evaluating the impact of the tennis ball market.