Assignment 4 – Media Tool Presentation by Ryan MacGregor and Rolly de Juan – PowToon

Media Tool Presentation – PowToon

Written Report:

Please find the attached link to view our written report:

Blog (with discussion questions):

Powtoon- A Pedagogical Critique

By Rolly De Juan & Ryan MacGregor

Powtoon is an online multimedia editor similar to Powerpoint. Its strength lies in the ease of collaboration, as it moves between most social media platforms such as Youtube, Instagram, Vimeo, and Facebook. The product is highly engaging, and easily created with a large library of images and avatars that animate quickly and fluidly. It contains an edit toggle that can keep things simple for new users, or unlock full manipulability for the experienced learner. Powtoon is examined using four lenses; Ease of Use, Pedagogy, Accessibility, and Universal Design for Learning (UDL).

Ease of Use

Powtoon Ease Of Use
The Pros The Cons
  • Object interactions run similarly to Powerpoint or Prezi, so experience transfers
  • Edit objects with ease
  • Create video in app
  • Fluid animation sequences
  • Two modes for novice and power-users
  • Easy to use templates
  • Quick to generate polished product
  • Point and click makes it hard to find menu items
  • Add-ons are expensive
  • Lots going- can be distracting
  • Potential steep learning curve for emergent users
  • Requires internet access, bandwidth, and computer that can run software well


Pedagogy and Powtoon

  • Constructivist; learners make sense of their knowledge, creating their output with autonomy. Creates a very large and flexible growth field for knowledge extensions, as users find their own limits.
  • Skills learned with the software become transferable to similar software.
  • Can be shared across multiple media platforms for collaborative projects, and to engage community.


Follows the ‘POUR” acronym.

  • Perceivable – provides the “wow” factor that enables the web-based message to be clear and memorable (Graham and Spitalnik, 2015) by taking information to make it work for them through sight, sound, and touch.
  • Operable – relatively easy to navigate through the content.  Fonts, text size, speed of presentation, and color schemes can all be adjusted and adapted.
  • Understandable – website support, webinars, and tutorials are available.  Captions can be enabled.
  • Robust – easily navigable and adjustable for use on devices including laptops, cell phones, tablets, and multiple web browsers.
  • Represents minorities and differing abilities in image library
  • Full version is cost prohibitive.

UDL friendly

In project- based learning,  five key elements can be evaluated including:

  •  Inquiry – allows students to review the features and benefits of the tool.  PowToon has user support from the website and blogs.
  • Research – allows students a blank slate to display research about their respective subject matter, and compile the information to generate a cohesive presentation.
  • Collaboration – students can collaborate with others on group presentations.  Animated characters can represent unique parts.
  • Presentation – the presentation itself will require time to perform edits with frames, timing, sound, and images to make a comprehensive presentation.
  • Reflection is difficult, and generally must come from external sources. In the case of Powtoon, there are discussion forums, and instructor feedback to continue the conversation.

Some food for thought as an extension to this critique:

How would you assure and assess a quality product from learners using Powtoon?

How can you use PowToon in your educational context and what type of presentations can you create for your learners?

What do you feel is the best approach to supporting students learning of the software- exploratory (where they trial-and-error their way through) or explanatory (where you assist them over the learning curve), and why?

Additionally, all questions and comments are welcomed. If you have had experience with Powtoon, please feel free to share it.


Assignment 2: Develop an Online Media Assignment


Activity 7: Generate and Embed a Transcript for an Audio File


  1. Hi Ryan and Rolly,

    I totally agree with you when you say that the skills learned with Powtoon are transferable to other programs. Powtoon is actually why I decided to take this multimedia course. I discovered Powtoon a few courses back in my MEd and since then have tried to create at least one Powtoon per course. Seeing how much more interesting something like an animated video looks compared to PowerPoint or even Prezi, made me interested in learning about more media tools! And the ease of exploring Powtoon helped me gain confidence to address my fear of technology!

    To answer your three questions:

    1) How would you assure and assess a quality product from learners using Powtoon?

    This is a great question that I think relates generally to using media tools, especially ones new to the learner. Of course, all that we have discussed thus far in this course in regard to media usage in education, such as providing tutorials, support, and practice, come into play. But I guess the question for me is whether the focus should be the formative or the summative assessment here. Is it about assuring a quality product or assuring continued learning in exploring the tool and continued improvement in its use? In my educational contexts, I think I would look more for continued effort than perfect results.

    2) How can you use PowToon in your educational context and what type of presentations can you create for your learners?

    I like creating and exploring Powtoons for my MEd classes, because I want to create more interesting content than a PowerPoint. But I will be really honest, I am not sure if I would take the time required to put together a quality Powtoon as a teacher. In my experience (and maybe it’s just because I am inexperienced) it took a LOT more time to create a Powtoon than a PPT. And while it looks really nice, I think it would take a lot more time for me to make it look really good (with audio/narration). I would much more likely ask students to create a Powtoon than create one myself!

    3) What do you feel is the best approach to supporting students learning of the software- exploratory (where they trial-and-error their way through) or explanatory (where you assist them over the learning curve), and why?

    Can I say both? I think both methods have benefits and I would want to provide support and let them be free to play around.

    Sorry for such a long reply, but I really am interested in exploring the use of Powtoon more. My final comment is that I found Powtoon to not be the best format for school/research type presentations (but maybe this is only a problem with the free version?). I have found that the fast-paced, overactive graphic, and limited narration time per slide has made school assignment/presentations not the greatest fit. Thoughts?

    • Hey, Keisha;

      Assessment seems to be a dirty word when we are talking about using technology, because there is so much learning going on; first there is the underlying outcomes relating to curriculum, and then there is the adoption and implementation of potentially new programs. And it’s all learning! I once did a lot of Pro-D with a fellow named Barrie Bennett, who is a phenomenal educator and researcher out of OISE, who talked about the adoption of new pedagogy and technology as being on a spectrum, which start with awareness and mechanical users, and then a phenomenon called the ‘implementation dip’. Essentially, when educators or learners take on something new, there is a period of learning where the functionality or effectiveness of something is hampered by the acquisition of skills. This is referred to as the implementation dip, and is where most users abandon the methodology or tool, before enough usage has occurred to acquire mastery. The didactic approach to using programs such as Powtoon behooves the coordinator to supply ample use of the tool to avoid the implementation dip; that is, facility with the program so that the elements and the process of learning of said program are no longer the achievement. I believe that then we can be more concrete about the learning facets, and apply assessment guides such as rubrics to outcomes. this will allow the learners to have explicit learning goals around content, and also remove the novelty and lustre of an exciting and new tool. I hope this part of the reply answers the first couple of questions you had.
      The last question is more along the lines of educational philosophy; sort of a pragmatic versus realistic approach. I think it’s really important for us as educators to examine the philosophical roots of our learning tenets, as I find it exerts a tremendous amount of influence on the design of student learning materials and goals. It’s obviously not a black/white scenario, and yes, I absolutely would expect that educators would both instruct and support their students throughout the learning process. More generally, but not specific to the example, what it your (or whomever may be reading this) generally approach to student learning? More ‘sage on the stage’? Or perhaps a more Montessori or pragmatic approach that involves discovering one’s own sense of knowledge? Or somewhere along the spectrum?
      Thanks very much for taking the time to provide a detailed and thought-provoking response!


      Ryan and Rolly

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