I use to really like Xtranormal and in many ways I still do… however though I like Xtranormal and am willing now and again to open the coffers to basically pay to use it, it’s not a tool that I can recommend to practitioners. I will show them, I do like it, but it costs money and it isn’t simple to get a site licence for a site as big as ours and as diverse as ours.
I sometimes find that though I like a particular tool or service, finding a way to allow access for all our staff and learners, on the assumption that only a few would actually use it to begin with, is quite challenging. This isn’t just an issue with small companies such as Xtranormal, but also with software providers as big as Adobe. We now have a site licence for Adobe CS6, in the past we were quite restricted on how we could use other versions of Adobe Creative Suite as it was on a per machine basis.
So what am I recommending now?
Well it’s GoAnimate.
It’s a simple text to animation tool. You choose a setting, choose a couple of characters and then type in the dialogue and then preview the resulting animation. The characters will speak the typed text.
It’s a simple way for learners (and staff) to create animations. The limitation of ten lines of dialogue (180 characters per line) can be a constraint, but from a literacy perspective working out a dialogue of text is a good way of improving vocabulary and writing skills.