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 XtraNormal . 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. 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 Vyond (formerly GoAnimate) . 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.