Creative Thinking, Education, K-12, Videos

Thank You for Maker Club

A few of us started a Maker Club on our campus this year.  We have 24 students from 2nd-4th grades who meet once a week after school. We began the year with Global Cardboard Challenge, and have recently been working on making videos.  Their current assignment is to make Powtoon videos that show different ways to say, “Thank You.”

I was checking my Powtoon classroom last week to see if there were any new submissions from the students, and stumbled across this video.  It was not part of the project we are working on.  This student created this video on his own time.

Screen Shot 2014-11-23 at 6.18.10 PM

And I cried.

Sometimes (actually, often!)  we put all of our energy into something and have no idea if it’s having any kind of positive effect.

But every once in awhile we are given the ultimate gift – evidence that someone appreciates our efforts.

What a treasure!

Creative Thinking, Education, Fun Friday, K-12, Student Products, Teaching Tools, Videos

Powtoon Power

It’s Phun Phriday and I want to share this great Powtoon video that one of my students created to invite everyone to our Cardboard Arcade next week.  I love that he did this on his own time, and using a relatively new tool.

3-12, Creative Thinking, Education, Student Products, Teaching Tools, Videos, Websites

Powtoon for Educators

I had to search my own blog to find the last time I posted about Powtoon.  It was two years ago!  They have come a long way since then!

Powtoon is a fun way to present, allowing you all kinds of dynamic tools that will keep your viewers engaged.

The company recently launched a major campaign for educators offering free classroom accounts.  These accounts are usually $96/year, and you can add 60 students to your account!  The offer expires on October 31, 2014 – so be sure to activate yours soon!

Powtoon Educator Offer

A lot of resources have been added to the Powtoon library since the last time I reviewed it.  For example, when you go to your Dashboard, and choose to create, you will find that there are many templates that you can use .  These templates are fun; there’s even a “Teacher Intro” one!  I took that one, made a couple of minor changes, and had the one embedded below finished in under 5 minutes.

With all of my talk about creativity this week, Powtoon certainly fits the theme.  Imagine what your students could do with this great tool!

6-12, Creative Thinking, Education, Teaching Tools, Universal Design for Learning, Videos, Web 2.0, Websites


During the summer, several of my favorite bloggers, including Richard Byrne at Free Tech 4 Teachers and  Kelly Tenkely at iLearn Technology, posted about a new tool that is in Beta right now, called PowToon.  If you have advanced from Powerpoint to Prezi, and are looking for a new presentation tool, PowToon might be your new choice.  You will need to give them your e-mail address in order to get an invitation, but you should receive your login info fairly quickly; mine was in less than an hour.  The basic level is free, granting you 20 uploads per month to YouTube.

Because PowToon is in Beta, there are a lot of features that are promised for the future.  One problem that will hopefully be fixed fairly soon is the method for inserting images.  You cannot insert directly from your computer files; you must give a URL on which the image is hosted.  This is not insurmountable, but causes a few extra steps that are a bit monotonous.

I will direct you to Richard’s and Kelly’s posts for more details on PowToon.  Kelly’s post is quite detailed, and she recommends watching PowToon’s How to Create Series – which I also highly suggest – once you get logged in.

Below is one of my PowToons, created about Universal Design for Learning.  The video can also be found here: