Thursday, March 10, 2011

XtraNormal.com and Language Arts

There's a website called XtraNormal that creates what they call "Text to Movie" videos - type in a script, and click through a few options, and bingo, you've got a movie.

I used it a few months ago, and then tried it again recently. They've now moved to a pay-per-use business model, which is too bad, because I enjoyed using their tools. However, if you poke around, it turns out that you can open an account, then send them a message asking for free credits for educational use.

I tried it out, and they gave me a bunch of free credits. So I decided to use some of them right away, and came up with this video. I thought it was kind of funny, and ironic because of the emotional nature of the poem, read by a machine.

Maybe it'll help students think of prosody, timing, pace, and meaning in poetry? Maybe it will make them try to read in different ways? Maybe it will just pique their curiosity.

Try out XtraNormal if you're interested. It took a couple weeks for them to send me the email to let me know they'd given me free credits, but you don't have to use any until you're ready to publish. It'll publish right to YouTube, too.