There are thousands of interesting and unique ways to give a presentation with the use of technology. I was given a rather open-ended assignment that asked for the use of some sort of media, so I decided to step outside of my comfort zone a bit and try something new. A couple random Google searches led me to Powtoon.com, and I was not disappointed in what I found.
Powtoon advertises itself as a program that creates animated videos and presentations and targets people in marketing, small businesses, and education specifically. While the pricing for businesses which want to use the program are very steep, Powtoon offers great student and teacher discounts as alongside a free membership. Since I was just testing it out, I used the free membership.
This program offers a new way to introduce one's ideas and makes an impact due to its overall uniqueness. I had never seen an animation like Powtoon in class before, and it stood out from the other presentations exactly because it was something new and unusual. Powtoon offers lots of options and animations that the user can use in his or her presentation, all of which have different personalities to them that effect the overall message. Some are comical, while other are more serious and business-like.
The goal of this presentation was to give my class, who are all in training to become writing tutors, an idea of what professors expect from their students' writing in a particular class. For my presentation, I created a Powtoon about a called Citizenship (here is a link to my Powtoon). My group did research on the project and then presented it in class. It was very low-key, so I wanted my presentation to be light-hearted, but professional. Powtoon helped me get to that point quickly and easily and I was very satisfied with my results.
While Powtoon is generally easy to use and offers tons of options, there are several drawbacks to the free membership. At the moment, it is in its beta testing phase, meaning that not all of its features are not quite available or complete. However, unless one wants to pay money, the length of the presentation is limited to 5 minutes, the quality of the video is limited and options are limited. For a free membership, it is really nice, but it was a bit of a drawback when I made my presentation.
I think that Powtoon has a lot of potential to become the next Powerpoint or Prezi. It was easy to use and gave great results. That being said, there were a couple glitches (likely due to its beta phase), and pricing was a bit of an issue if one wanted more freedom. Still, I'll be likely to use this program again in the future, as it made an impression in class and was very easy to use.
This is my last HASTAC post, so I'd like to reflect a bit on my experience here. I have been a member for two years and have grown in more ways than one while on this website. My writing has improved, but I've also found myself encouraged to step out of my comfort zone and try new kinds of technology, such as Powtoon. I have also gained skills in interviewing others and editing videos, both of which have already proven to be useful to me. Writing for HASTAC has been a great experience - thank you for the opportunity!