I met PowToon today , thanks to one of my year 8s. For the junior students for homework I set a research project which is broken down into weekly tasks and then they book in to present it to the class on the whiteboard. My classes are around 30 students and they learn very quickly they need to do something different or 30 presentations can really go on and on and on. Each time we do them we look at how we can do better next time. Today , they came up with 3 Powerpoint slides full of good presentation tips because the presentations we saw today were in a league of their own. Students had really gathered momentum and confidence with their presentation skills and they were all really interesting. The feedback I get is students really like to do this and they really enjoy having homework like this where they get to discover things for themselves. Past the Term One presentation the weekly tasks are optional. If they can think of something better to do that week, they can. After the first one they understand the process and then what happens if they come in and they are not properly prepared. I also allow them to choose how they are going to present after we have done the first one. The first one is a slide presentation. After that they can choose for themselves how to present on the board. As I explain to them, it gives me a chance to see what they can do and it gives them a chance to try things out they might think are a good idea. There are no penalty points if it goes a bit wrong because they took a risk as long as they have met the criteria of the assessment task. Today we sat through a charming PowToon presentation which the student had embedded into a PowerPoint presentation. It was interesting, dynamic and really, really good. It had such a complexity and then a strong narrative. The liveliness of it captured our attention and so 30 people sat and watched mesmerised and the student was rewarded with a big clap at the end. The presentation benchmark has now been lifted. I shared PowToon with the year 9s this afternoon and said they had 10 minutes to have a look at it. Many explored it for the full time I gave them and were totally engrossed. It is not just for students, though. Teachers could use it for some really good content delivery…note to self.
There is a good review of PowToon here.