So another Web 2.0 tool that would be fun to use in the classroom is Xtranormal.com. This tool gives an opportunity to the user to create an animated movie to share information. It is fairly simple to use and as the ad says, if you can type, you can make a movie. However, it used to be a free service with some options to pay for more popular characters, but now there is a cost for everything. The cost is minimal and there is an educational option that costs only $10 per month for a teacher plus $.50 per student in the class. If you were to use this service and pay for it, you would want to use it fairly often or you could purchase a month or two to complete a specific project. You may edit as many times as you wish and you can embed your videos on your blog or tweet.
Here is an example of a video that took me about an hour to create. There is room for improvement; I would play with the camera angles and add more pauses so the characters wouldn't speak so quickly, but it gives you the idea.
I also used this for announcements at a staff meeting. We all had fun listening to who the resident experts were in the school.
Check it out:
There are many ways to use this tool and a multitude of characters that you could use to get your information across. Students would enjoy this creative way to demonstrate their learning.
I certainly have enjoyed making these movies and teachers enjoyed the "change" from listening to me to watching a cute video with the same information. I expect I will use this again many times for different occasions. As well, one teacher in my class used this tool for students to demonstrate their knowledge last year. She had some problems with the program originally but I think the designers have ironed out some of the earlier programs.
TeachersFirst.com describes this program as easy to navigate in all subject areas and even suggests it would be a great program for students new to the English Language to add their own voice to the characters ( a feature of the program).