Video Animation sites

I’ve been interested in video animation sites for a couple of years now. They allow quite good videos to be made without expensive software – everything is done online. Sites generally allow the ‘videos’ to be exported to YouTube, which allows for easy viewing and further editing using the YouTube editor.

Early usage

I think I must have started using video animation around 2011-2012. I was teaching an ELEP News course (a course I liked because I could use the students for experimentation).

Here is an example that I made using Go Animate for ELEP News: Anger at online essay service

Here is another example using Xtranormal for another course: Staff Survey about Working Conditions: Recommendations

As part of the ‘Assessment’ for ELEP News, students had to create their own video animation on a news story. Six videos were made. See them all in this playlist.

It was quite a lot of work, but overall it was successful as the videos were made.

Later on

I became very busy with other things, and but Goanimate and Xtranormal had changes.

Goanimate is still around, and there is a education site, but I don’t think it is free anymore.

Xtranormal has stopped.

This is not the first time that innovate tech companies that I have used in classes, have ceased trading or stopped their free service.


I am using Powtoon a lot. It is also easy to use, and a great advantage is that videos can be edited and copied once made.

Some examples:

Understanding Turnitin

EUS Assessment 2


I am planning to use Powtoon in my BOT course. I plan to get students to create a powtoon which gives advise as to what they should do / should not do during a presentation.

But – what happens if / when powtoon goes the way of Goanimate and Xtranormal? Youtube used to have a ‘creator channel’ where you could find companies such as GoAnimate and Xtranormal. It has changed and now looks like this:

There are alternatives: (summary here)

1. Wideo ( I have made one here; I think at the time it could not be exported to YouTube)

2. Moovly (never used but have free version and exports to YouTube)

3. Video Rascal ( “we will refund your money” – so it is not free?)

4. Plotagon (needs to be downloaded? But still free and can export to YouTube)

Make an Assessment?

Possible if – a small group of students and instructors. In my subjects (ELC1012 / ELC1013) – there are hundreds or even over a thousand students, plus multiple instructors, then logistically we probably want to keep assessments as simple (and boring) as possible. ELC1011 does a ‘digital story’ – so we need to be careful that we are not repeating that.

If an assessment, we need the flexibility so that if a site which is available in Week 1 has gone down or changed its pricing structure by the time of the assessment, changes can be made.

An alternative is to have a self made animation site – but this is probably not realistic.


I’ll continue to use the animation sites for my own purposes, and will try them with students. Maybe other teachers are brave enough to try one as an assessment.