Tuesday, May 26, 2009

Xtranormal Text to Movie - Publishing tool

I came across this method of presenting while viewing 21st Century Classroom. (an excellent presentation by a teacher who has dramatically changed her teaching style).
This movie had been made with Xtranormal.
You will need to sign up to an account to get started.
Choose your characters, your set, background music and voice. (Unfortunately there was no 'Kiwi voice' so I had to choose Australian female)
Then type (or copy/paste) your text into the 'Write the script' space.
Add more blocks to your movie and add more script. You can then drag camera angles, sounds into the script. You can change expressions and body poses.
Some uses for this application
  • students can publish their writing
  • present their research
  • use as a practice for their speech writing
  • teachers can use it post instructions for next topic
  • teachers can use it to comment on student's work
The only down side was that there were a few dodgy characters wearing only fig leaves or underwear amongst the 80 characters to choose from. And there were a couple of actions/body poses that I would not be happy if children chose them. But that is when we should, as a class talk about what is appropriate in a classroom situation.
For the free account you have only 5 takes, so get it right early on! I discovered it is wise to create many blocks or your script voice would run into other sentences.
Otherwise this is a great way to share and present yours/or your student's work.

R rating - R13

Monday, May 4, 2009

Create a Library of recommended books

Library Thing is a great widget to add to your Blog or Wiki. I often get asked what books I have read that would be good for other people to read so I always refer people to my 'ICT Teaching & Learning' site that has the Library Thing widget down the side.
For your class wiki & blog create a library of books for students to read.
You do need to create an account to get started.

Click on Join no
w or Sign in. Click on Add Books. Type in the name of the book and click Search. It will search Amazon for all titles of that particular book. Click on the name of the book cover you like and it will be added to your Library. You can add a review or rate it by clicking on the Edit Book tab.
To add your Library to your blog or wiki, click on the Tools Tab, then click on Make a Standard Blog Widget. Make a choice of how you would like your book list to appear. Make a selection from the Preset, the Widget type, layouts etc. Edit the title then Copy the code from the right hand side and Paste into a HTML widget space in your blog or wiki.

Navigation space in Wikispaces