Xtranormal haspopped up in bookmarks and blogs for a couple of weeks and I have finally got round to having a look at it and I love it!

Xtranormal is movie making with cartoon characters but what makes this site stand out is the way in which you create the movie.  First you type in a script and then to that script you add the details such as actions, expressions, camera angle for filming, background and sound.  There are a range of voices to choose from plus background music.

I originally sat down at my computer to think about creating a few podcasts for grammar and ended up creating this rather rushed film

What I particularly like about this site is the fact that you can remix other people’s film.

If this wonderful site will pass through your school filtering system it has a wide range of uses.  In literacy it could be used to write a speech thinking about the actions and what angle you should be filmed from when saying particular things.  It can obviously be used for playscripts and to rehearse persuasive discussions with two points of view.

It can also support the development of character in story writing.  Children can make a short film of the character speaking shwoing through actions and expressions how the character is feeling.  This can then be turned into writing which shows not tells.

Now to the work I should have been doing!

Creating Comics with Pixton

I am thinking about collaborative writing at the moment and I also love comic creation sites as they have so many uses in the classroom.  With Pixton you can do both.  Pixton allows you to create comics and then make them available for others to remix.

Comics are a great way to show pace through a story.  The larger the frame the slower the pace.  They can be used to sequence the main events of a story.  They can be used to explore how stories can be made to move on when told through speech.

This is such a flexible tool.  Characters expressions, features, clothing and positions can all be changed.  You can zoom in or zoom out, add props, add backgrounds and change the colour of almost anything.

I invite you to remix this cartoon and add your own ideas.  Post a link in the comments section so that we can see the changes.

For soon to be updates at Pixton read the Free Tech 4 Teachers post