Xtranormal for Education

Xtranormal is a great tool that allows for the easy creation of animated movies.  Just how easy?  Well, according to the tag line, "if you can type, you can make movies" and I'd have to agree that it's just that easy.

You start by choosing from hundreds of actors and in addition to controlling what they say, you have the ability to control their emotions, gestures and voices.  You can type or record the dialogue and the characters automatically lip-sync your words.  I recommend writing the script or dialogue for your movie using a word processing program and then copying/pasting it into the dialogue box.   In addition to controlling what the characters say and how they say it, as the director of your movie you can also select backgrounds and control camera angles, add sound effects and more.

Initially, there was only a single version of Xtranormal, but recently Xtranormal for Education was launched.  For a cost of $10/month for teacher access and $0.50/month for students, teachers have the ability to set-up classes and create assignments (the students submit these to your dashboard)  in which the teacher has the ability to control the types of characters/scenarios the students will use for a particular assignment. 

I used Xtranormal for Education in a high school economics class for their Independent Study Project.  To introduce the project details to the students, I created an Xtranormal video which I used to kick off the project...

So what do the students think of Xtranormal?  They found the user-interface highly intuitive and welcomed the opportunity to demonstrate their knowledge/understanding of key concepts in a way that catered to their visual-verbal strengths. 

Here is an example of student work...

In terms of where and how you choose to use Xtranormal in your classroom, the possibilities are endless.  In terms of the justification of why you would use it,  the use of Xtranormal provides students with an opportunity to demonstrate their knowledge of essential or enduring understandings (Wiggins and McTighe, 2005) and extend their learning in a differentiated manner.

So, why don't you give Xtranormal a try?

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