Friday 4 December 2009

Xtranormal evaluation

This animated film was made in my BTEC Media class this morning in about 15 minutes. I'm trying to encourage my students to evaluate their ePortfolio websites using a variety of tools. A couple of weeks ago we recorded podcasts on my iPhone using the excellent Audioboo app. Last lesson, we videod a couple of students presenting their sites on the whiteboard at the front of the room. These films will be uploaded to YouTube and embedded in the relevant sites. One student has already made a very detailed screen cast demonstrating an advanced use of HTML and CSS.

Having discussed the kind of language they need to use to gain merits and distinctions for this unit, I am keen to enable every member of the class to demonstrate their learning using the tool most appropriate for them. Today, I told them about Xtranormal and encouraged them to present their learning as a dialogue between a fictional me and them. This is one of the films that was made, published and shared with the group during the 1 hour lesson (from a laptop on a wireless connection).

What I like about Xtranormal, apart from its simplicity and speed, is the fact that films can all be remixed. This means that students who need more of a helping hand could be given a partially finished script and asked to complete it. Or, they could choose the camera angles, expressions and soundtrack to a completed scenario. The potential applications of this tool are almost limitless. For example, I suggested to a colleague at lunch that it could be used by A level Philosophy students to present competing theories as part of their revision.

If you haven't had a play with Xtranormal yet I strongly suggest that you give it a go.

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