Xtranormal is a text-to-speech video creation tool that creates animated video clips with three-dimensional, conversing characters.  This storytelling tool allows users to choose from the template, a wide range of actors and sets options.  Once selected, users enter into the timeline a text script with accompanying character actions and video effects to create a dynamic video in minutes.  Please view the video below for a sample of what students can create with Xtranormal, the free on-line version.  

Depending on student needs, access to technology resources and monetary availability, educators can choose from two versions of Xtranormal - desktop version and a web-based version.  The desktop version requires a software download and a monetary payment upon video export but as a result, it does include many more powerful video features.  The web-based version has both basic and paid account options but it also offers the flexibility of accessing the account from any web browser anywhere.  To help support schools, Xtranormal also provides a paid Educator Account that offers unlimited publishing, full access to the actor/set template, security features and grading options.  The following hyperlink - Xtranormal - has a more detailed comparison of the two options.   

How to Get Started:

Xtranormal has created an excellent 'How To' web page that assists users with the various features of the Online Movie Maker, the Xtranormal Desktop and the Xtranormal for Education account features.  Click on the link below to access this first-rate Xtranormal resources.  

Xtranormal 'How To' Webpage

Sample Activities:

1.  Narration of an Historical Event - As depicted by the video example above, my students used Xtranormal to chronicle an event from the Napoleonic era. 

2.  Improve Language Skills - Because Xtranormal allows users to change the attributes of a character's voice as well as the language a character speaks, a French Immersion colleague of mine has her students create short narrations for the purpose of exposing her students to new vocabulary, accents and expressions.

3.  Creative Writing - Storytelling is a fantastic way for students to express themselves creatively.  Use Xtranormal to teach students how to brainstorm, plan, write and edit a fictional story, mythical tale or space-age fantasy.   

Xtranormal has many, many educational uses that I know your students will enjoy.  Get started with Xtranormal by clicking here!

This post originally appeared on The De-tech-tive 4 Teachers.

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