IntroductionViv: Hi, I'm Viv, and this is Dave... Dave: Hi! Viv: In our presentation today we will focus on the Xtranormal for Education learning platform, and how we have been using it to create engaging activities and assignments for FE students at Worcester College of Technology.Dave: We will look at how teachers have used it with students, before looking at how students have also been using the application.We will present some teacher & student observations, relate these to relevant theories, before concluding with details of how you can have a go for yourself!Viv: However, before we can do all this, we must first introduce you to the Xtranormal for Education learning platform.
What is Xtranormal for Education?Dave: Launched in 2008, Xtranormal is a website where users can create animated clips by typing text into a box and pressing Publish.Cutsto exampleDave: Xtranormal for Education, which was introduced in November 2011, is a learning platform that both staff and students can use, which allows the user to work with a very different type of technology to that normally used for creating presentations. To illustrate this point, we will first look at how teachers have used Xtranormal for Education to engage their students.
Teachers Using Xtranormal for EducationSpeaking & Listening Viv: In this clip, staff recorded a sequence, that Functional English students would watch, then note down examples of inappropriate examples of speaking and listening.Cutsto exampleAccording to the teachers, students in the Functional English class sometimes find it difficult to concentrate, and can become easily bored. Using Xtranormal for Education provides the teachers with an alternative way of presenting the activities, hopefully making them more engaging to the students.
Functional Maths Levels 1 & 2 Dave: In this example, students would be asked to work through the stages of booking a holiday, with Xtranormal clip introducing the scenario. ClipThese examples highlight how Xtranormal for Education has been used by staff. However, you can also set up assignments for your students, which we will look at in more depth now.
Performing Arts Restoration Comedy Students were able to choose how they made their presentation, with XE being one of the options. Similar to the previous example, except that the teacher specifically asked the students why they chose Xtranormal.
Students Using Xtranormal for EducationGCSE English An Inspector Calls Students asked to focus on different themes, and rather than creating a more traditional presentation using PowerPoint, the students used Xtranormal for Education. They chose the characters, voices, gestures, and motions. When all were completed, the students made their presentations to the rest of the group, explaining how the characters and settings made their point, and why the characters and gestures were chosen.
Observations/FeedbackAsk Jane and Paul and Linda for feedback“Xtranormal had been the catalyst for a more insightful and better quality discussion than they might otherwise have had.” (Jane Hill; GCSE English teacher)“The addition of Xtranormal is a vital link in making maths more interactive, to be able to hear and read and replay instructions meets all learning styles and promotes independent learning.” (Linda Randall; Functional Maths teacher)Student commentsCollaborationIt was fun!Too nervous to present to the group.
Supporting evidence/TheoryDave: The observations above are supported by theory.According to Dreier, “When used appropriately, technology acts as a catalyst for learning in the classroom” (Eric Dreier, in Valdez, G. (2005) Technology: A Catalyst for Teaching and Learning in the Classroom. Critical Issue Report. North Central Regional Educational Laboratory. Downloaded July, 2012: http://www.ncrel.org/sdrs/areas/issues/methods/technlgy/te600.pdfThe importance of engaging students is stated by Means and Olson (1997, cited in Jarrett, 1998) - “Technology is treated as a tool to help accomplish complex tasks…that engage students in extended and cooperative learning experiences that involve multiple disciplines”Consequently“provision of tools and activities that increase opportunities for students of all learning styles to be engaged and challenged in the learning process is also important.”
Alt c presentation
BUsing „Xtranormal for Education‟ to engage FE students
D What is Xtranormal for Education? Type your text into the box, press ‘Publish’, and Hey Presto…you have created your very own custom animation!
VTeachers Using Xtranormal for Education – Functional English
D Teachers Using Xtranormal for Education – Functional Maths
V Students Using Xtranormal for Education – Performing Arts
DStudents Using Xtranormal for Education – GCSE English Literature
Observations/Feedback StaffStudents “Xtranormal had been the catalyst for a more insightful and better quality discussion than they might otherwise have had.” “The addition of Xtranormal is a vital link in making maths more interactive, to be able to hear and read and replay instructions meets all learning styles and promotes independent learning.”
Supporting evidence/Theory“Technology tools and activities that increase“provision of is treated as a tool to helpaccomplish complex tasks…that engageopportunities for students of all learning stylesa “When used appropriately, technology acts asstudentsfor extendedin the classroom”learningto be engaged and challenged in the learning Ecatalyst in learning and cooperative (Dreier,experiences that involve multiple disciplines”process is also important.” (Solvie, P., & Kloek, , 2005)(Means &M., 2007) Olson, 1997)
B Conclusions and how to try it yourself! Go to ? xtranormal.com/students Enter code – Create login, and have fun!!