Powtoon: Create Eye-Catching Videos and Animations with a New NYU Stream Tool

By Heather Kipp | September 9, 2022

If you've seen cute, short animated videos around the web and wondered how you could create something similar, then it's time to check out Powtoon, a new animated video and visual communication platform now available to all NYU Stream users. Faculty, staff, and students can use Powtoon to easily create professional and engaging videos similar to what you may be familiar with in Canva and Vyond. 

Working in Powtoon is simple and quick to learn. Videos are assembled like a slide deck, and the tool offers such features as:

  • Ready-made and fully customizable templates
  • Intuitive drag-and-drop functionality
  • Access to a full suite of animated characters, music, graphics, and fonts

In spring 2022, NYU’s User Advisory Group published a User Needs Report (Google Doc) that identified the need for a self-service animation tool. Dom Bagnato, service manager of Educational Media Production, Tools, and Facilities said NYU IT licensed Powtoon to meet that need.

“While animations can be an effective way to present complex information, stories, and ideas, they are often difficult and time-consuming to make,” said Bagnato. “Powtoon empowers anyone to create animations that are easy to add to an existing course or presentation.”

Liz Melleby Welch, an educational technologist at the Faculty of Arts & Science, began using Powtoon in June to create brief animations for faculty. 

“For instructors who are interested in or already using video content in their courses, Powtoon makes a great addition,” Melleby Welch said. “It's especially preferable for instructors who do not want to appear on camera. Rather than record from their webcam, they can use a combination of Powtoon-provided animations and a voice recording to create rich learning content.”

Because Powtoon integrates with NYU Stream, videos are automatically added to the My Media library and ready for use in other NYU tools, such as Brightspace. You can access Powtoon via the Add New menu within NYU Stream—just click the Powtoon Video option, and the editor will launch. 

Melleby Welch said her favorite feature is Powtoon’s library of pre-made templates. “They can really help people who have never used a video editing platform become quickly accustomed to the interface.”

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