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.
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?