Cool FREE Animation Tools – PowToon & Plotagon Demos

FREE Animation Tools for Instructional Designers!

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I love trying out new software applications, and of course I love free tools that help me design engaging e-learning modules quicker! 

Why include animated video in an e-learning module?

Instructional designers, trainers and educators have known for quite a while that using animated videos can increase learner engagement. Of course, the content of the video is paramount–to promote learning, the content has to be relevant to the learning objectives or training goals. It’s also helpful to have the learner interact with the video in a meaningful way, rather than simply passively watch the video.

Two Free Animation Tools

A couple of tools I use regularly when creating self-paced, interactive e-learning modules are PowToon and Plotagon. I like PowToon particularly for creating short, explainer videos, and Plotagon is great for creating scenario-based e-learning. Both tools are simple to use, and both have plenty of examples, tips, templates, and tutorials on their websites to help users learn to use them. I created a couple of brief example videos to demonstrate the types of animated videos you can produce in just a few minutes with these tools. I used Storyline 2 to insert a hyperlink to each animation site at the end of each video, should you want further information.

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Below are a couple of short examples of how you can create interactive e-learning experiences using each tool. In addition to PowToon and Plotagon, I also used Storyline 2 in the creation of these examples:

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What are your favorite tools for creating animated videos? Have you tried either PowToon or Plotagon? If so, what has been your experience with them? I’d love to hear your thoughts!


3 thoughts on “Cool FREE Animation Tools – PowToon & Plotagon Demos

  1. Hi Tracy,

    Since you have used both, which one is easier from a beginner’s point of view? Also, since both offer free and paid versions, which one offers more for free?

    • Hi Punam,

      Thanks for your question! I guess which one is easier would depend on the particular skill set you already have. For me, Plotagon was so easy to pick up I never looked at any of the tutorials. But PowToon had a little bit of a learning curve for me, and some of their tutorials were really helpful. Both Plotagon and PowToon also offer education versions for teachers, as well.

      I can’t really say which one offers more for free, since they offer different types of animation tools. It depends on the type of e-learning you are creating. If you want to create an explainer-type whiteboard video, then PowToon would be better. But PowToon does have the versatility so that you could do scenario-based e-learning–it would just take more creativity to do it. If you want to create a scenario-based e-learning video, then Plotagon would be easier to use.

      I recommend trying both of them out, since they are available for free!

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