Kate Galloway, in her recent series of posts on legal education in a digital context, invited us all to take some step to try something, anything, to digitally enhance our legal teaching practice, whether we were at entry level, consolidation or mastery of our skills.
We always talk about getting away from reliance on powerpoint slides, so I decided to try Powtoon, a free animated video editing site, that allows you to make short presentations that can be accessed online by everybody. You can also upload the link they give you to a you-tube channel, embed it in your learning management platform, or into your presentation slides.
Setting up an account was easy (email address, password, username etc) and you can get started on a presentation quickly. There are templates, or you can design your own from their ‘drag and drop’ collection of icons, characters and backgrounds. I deliberately used every font and animation I could (defying all edicts of visual communication and design) so I could see what’s available. Some fancier gizmos, backgrounds and music can be purchased with an ‘upgrade’, but click through for a sample of what a novice can do in 2 hours for no cost:
I found the ‘drag and drop’ process quicker and easier than Prezi, and much more fun than powerpoint; the end product, the videos, are engaging. It could be used by law lecturers for introducing a topic, for conveying the relationship between parties or facts of cases, or for student presentations. It would be suitable for ‘flipped’ learning. What do you think of Powtoon? Have you used any alternatives to prezi or powerpoint recently?
I would love your feedback via comments below.