Chelsi's Educational Musings

Archive for November 20th, 2011

I have been working on my Summary of Learning today, and after playing with several of the Web 2.0 digital storytelling tools, I decided to use xtranormal.  Xtranormal is a movie maker where you can create your own animated movie and have the characters say your text.  I wanted my Summary of Learning to be told like a story, and this seemed to be the best media through which to share my summary.  I think that I was also inclined to use the program because as a child, my brother and I had a movie maker program on our computer that reminds me a lot of this site.  It was a lot of fun, but not nearly as simple as xtranormal was to use.

While working with xtranormal, I discovered a few pros and cons.

Pros:
– Quite easy to use.
– Several characters to choose from.
– The characters can ‘do’ several different actions.
– The drag and drop process by which you place the action command right into the text was simple.
– Simply type your text into the window, and the characters say what you want them to say.

Cons:
– The site is free for a 14 day trial, but I had to pay for an account in order to access more options.  It was only $10, so I think it was a good deal.
– The characters are static and do not walk around.
– You cannot make more than one scene in a movie without upgrading to a higher account.  This is what I found most frustrating.  I had to make four mini-movies that I will show in order for my presentation.  I wish that they could have a fade-out in between each one so that the scenes changed.  In my program as a kid, I was able to do this.
– The computerized voices are not too bad, but I wish that I could record audio right into the program.  However, it is kind of cool having them speak in their monotone way haha.
– In order to preview the movie to see how it looked, it took quite a long time to load each time I wanted to see how my changes worked.

All in all, I think that this storytelling tool has been a creative way to share my Summary of Learning.  Now, my only problem – it is nine minutes long! :S  I have some serious editing to do!

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