New Tools!

This week I chose to learn how to use Powtoon to present my learning project goals for this semester! Powtoon is an extremely useful tool to make quick animation videos for a variety of different uses and/or topics. The free version definitely offers enough features to meet your needs and get you a great animated video, but there is also a premium version with many more options as well, if you so desire. There are many different type of videos that you can create such as for student projects, teachers and faculty, administrative staff, training, announcements, etc. There are tons of different templates that you can use as a basis to create any video that you might need such as information summaries, lessons, personal/company goals, resumes, project pitches, reports, safety/protocol training, skills training, etc. You name it, you can probably find a perfect template for it on Powtoon. Once you choose a template, Powtoon is extremely user friendly and easy to use. There are tons of options for backgrounds, images, transitions, animations, etc. so that you can customize your video to look exactly the way that you want it to look! If you would rather start from scratch than use a template, this is also an option. There are many different options and features that you can play around with to create the video that you desire. After watching just a couple short tutorial videos on youtube about how to use Powtoon, it was smooth sailing for me, and I am no tech person at all!

The tutorial videos that I watched on youtube to learn how to use Powtoon included:

Both of these resources are really great in depth tutorials all about how to use Powtoon. They have great step by step explanations of everything you might need to know as far as downloading, using the different features, finding different options, transitions, and animations, sharing, etc. They demonstrate everything that you could need to know to start a video from scratch or use the templates for some guidance. They both show a ton of different free features that you can use to create a quick, easy, and shareable, animation.

I also created my own screencast to make a quick tutorial of how I used Powtoon for the purpose of presenting my goals for my learning project this semester! The tutorials that I mentioned above go a lot more in depth than I do and are also a lot more articulate than I am. This was my first time making a screencast, so it is a bit rough. I used screencastify to create my screencast, which is a top rated and extremely user friendly screen casting tool, that even amateurs like me can use. I found a few tutorial videos on youtube to give me a rundown of what screen casting was all about and specifically, how to use screencastify. All the tutorial videos that I watched were super useful and gave me a good idea of what I had to do regarding downloading and using the screencastify extension on chrome, creating the actual screencast, editing it, and sharing it for my chosen audience: you! There were also a few very quick tutorial videos on the screencastify website once you download the tool, that are super useful as well!

The tutorial videos that I watched on youtube included:

  1. Easy Screen Recording with Screencastify: great in depth, step by step tutorial of the whole process from how to get the extension in the first place, all the way to sharing your own.
  2. How to use Screencastify: quick and thorough tutorial, very helpful if you do not have a lot of time and want to get straight to the point.
  3. 5 Screencastify Tools you Should be Using: also very short and to the point, pointing out some interesting additional options that are good to know, without going too in depth.
  4. Screencastify Website: 3 short informational videos including, overview video, how to make your first recording, and screencastify knowledge base.

My screencast of a quick tutorial about how I used Powtoon:

Screencastify is a great tool to use to create a screencast. It is extremely simple and easy to use. I totally understand why it would be a top rated extension on chrome and why I have heard so much about it regarding creating screencasts. The only things that I struggled with regarding creating a screencast were I was super rushed because the free version only allowed me to make a 5 minute video at the maximum and also I had to redo it about 15 times because I kept stumbling over my words and not saying everything that I wanted to. I am sure that I could have done more editing to fix these problems, if I had more time than 5 minutes. In my case, I had to do it effectively in one go, as I did not have any extra time to cut down/edit. These issues are less of a complaint about screencastify as a tool and more about utilizing free versions and clearly needing more practice in creating tutorial types of videos!

My Powtoon about my Learning Project goals for this semester:

Overall, I am so glad that I tried out Powtoon for this assignment and have added it to my toolbox to use in the future. As I mentioned, it is extremely user friendly and if you use one of the many template options, you can create a great animation video, in no time at all! It is so easy to use, has so many free features/options, and is shareable to tons of different platforms (or you can just download it as well). I cannot imagine why anyone would not want to try it out! I wish I had known about something like this sooner as it totally would have come in handy when I was in high school working on BOSS (Board of School Spirit), SRC, and Yearbook. Powtoon is such a fun to use and extremely useful tool in making engaging animation videos for so many different purposes!

As for my learning project and actually ukulele playing, regular scheduled programming will resume next week. I dedicated this week to learning to use a few new presentation tools that I will definitely be using in my future as an educator. I definitely neglected playing my ukulele this past week. I cannot wait to get back into it this week and make some more progress in my chord changes and strumming patterns. Since I did something a little different this week, my plan moving forward from last week still stands. Hopefully by next week I will be able to share another new little song (maybe with some more advanced strumming?). And I will definitely have some new great resources to share with you next week that helped me get better at playing the ukulele. Thanks for your time!

3 thoughts on “New Tools!”

  1. Good evening,
    Great explanations of both Powtoon and Screencastify. I have never made a Powtoon before but I am going to have to give it a try at some point. I am loving that this course is giving us the opportunity to take some time to figure out all of these amazing tools. Good luck with the ukulele this week!


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