Reitz High School

Reitz High School
Evansville, IN

Thursday, February 28, 2013

Goodbye XtraNormal, Hello Go Animate!



            I am always looking for great web 2.0 tools.  I like to have a good 10 tools on hand all of the time.  I want them to be user and teacher friendly and most of all, free.  As teachers, we are on a tight budget and really do not have a lot of time to learn a new tool that is difficult to use.

            One tool that I introduced to my teachers last year was http://www.xtranormal.com/ .  XtraNormal is a digital entertainment site that produces do-it-yourself animation software for the web and desktop. It turns words from a script into an animated movie using text-to-speech and animation technologies.   It allows users to create videos by choosing from a menu of predesigned characters and sets, and scripting their own dialogue.

It was great.  Teachers used it to introduce lessons and students used it to create projects.  I specifically remember a health teacher that had her students create a short video where one character in the mini movie convinced the other character that using drugs was a bad idea and gave good reasons why.  The students were engaged and really got into it.

Just recently, I realized that XtraNormal is now charging after your first video creation.  I guess all good things must come to an end.  Now, it is still a great tool and the prices that they are charging isn’t going to kill anyone’s pocket book, but it makes it difficult for a classroom of students to use it.




The problem is now solved.  I was reading from The Journal, a digital newsletter put out by FETC.  I found from the Tech Smackdown, there is another tool that does pretty much the same thing that is totally free.  From what I have found, there is not a limit to how many videos you can make.  There is a limit to how long it can be and some downloading options, but it does not limit you to one video.  The site is called goanimiate.  The link is http://goanimate.com/ .  I made my first video yesterday.  It is very easy to use and I think runs even smoother than XtraNormal. 

So if you have been looking for a great XtraNormal replacement, look no further.  Check out goanimate.  I think you are going to like it.

1 comment:

  1. If you are looking for something very similar to Xtranormal, try our Moviestorm http://wwww.moviestorm.net
    They inventedthe 3d animated machinima tool genre Used by all ages and skills from elementary to uni, they have a free trial and a free version. They also have an iPad app.

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