Xtranormal Makes the Grade with K-12

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Educators are leveraging Xtranormal’s digital storytelling platform to increase learning retention and student engagement.

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Xtranormal allows them to have more fun with the math and is enough of a hook for students to then see that we can have some fun, too ... It was exciting to see students, who in the past have not created much, really step up and do stellar work.

Xtranormal™, the company with a revolutionary online approach to digital storytelling, has been a huge hit in kindergarten through grade 12 classrooms since the November 2011 release of its education platform. The flexibility of the Xtranormal technology serves a wide range of learning initiatives, increases student engagement and improves classroom participation, whether it is sixth graders studying electricity or third graders preparing for standardized tests. “We are very pleased that educators are successfully pioneering new approaches to teaching using Xtranormal,” says Sophia Kim, CEO of Xtranormal. “In a world where technology is so prevalent, it’s important to provide students with innovative tools in the classroom. Xtranormal provides a visual approach that enriches the standard curriculum by helping students make learning more fun and interactive.”

Bridging the Gap: From Mundane to Xtraordinary
For educators like Denise Harlem and Gerard Kwiatkowski who teach subjects that may not come naturally to all students, Xtranormal bridges the gap. “I teach language arts,” says Harlem. “That’s usually not a subject they’re so enthralled with. But my students love Xtranormal. It makes them want to participate. They don’t even realize how much they’re learning because they’re having so much fun doing it. They think it’s the coolest thing…and they get very clever with it.”

Harlem is the technology coordinator at Park Avenue Elementary School in Orange, NJ, and teaches language arts on Saturdays as a remedial elective aimed at improving scores on statewide tests. She said, “I saw a funny [Xtranormal] example and thought this might be something fun to do with the kids. I made an Xtranormal video and showed the class how I did it, step by step – they were glued to the SMART Board. I couldn’t believe how engaged they were.” Not only do Harlem’s Xtranormal assignments make learning fun, they help reinforce writing skills through visual and audio sequences. For her students, seeing and hearing their work played back through the videos helps them understand the importance of working with timelines, and strengthens their writing and communication skills.

Gerard Kwiatkowski teaches math at Galena Park High School in Galena Park, TX, and says, “Some students come in feeling math is boring, and when they have that mentality, they don’t get as much out of class as they could. Xtranormal allows them to have more fun with the math and is enough of a hook for students to then see that we can have some fun, too.” He also noted that it can sometimes be difficult to find projects that fit all of his students’ learning curves. “Part of the problem of assigning projects is that, if it’s too open-ended, it’s overwhelming for students who struggle with math. With Xtranormal, they have enough freedom to write scripts with good math vocabulary that shows they understand the concepts.”

For Kwiatkowski’s students, creating Xtranormal videos deeply engaged them in a way that made them excited about math. “It was exciting to see students, who in the past have not created much, really step up and do stellar work. They did a really stand up job that I wasn’t expecting,” he said.

Evolving Tech for Evolving Students
Vance Kite is a science teacher at the City of Medicine Academy, which prepares high school students in Durham, NC, for health care and biomedical careers. He had his Earth and Environmental Science students create Xtranormal videos to describe the dangers associated with storms. He reported that even with just one day to work on videos, the students did quite well with the project, and he plans to assign more in-depth Xtranormal projects in the future. “I must say that as a teacher, I see this simple movie creator as a source of endless possibilities,” Kite comments on his Lab blog. “With a couple of clicks and some carefully typed words, students are able to create beautiful animated movies. Xtranormal provides the user with a full toolbox of characters, camera angles, actions, and sounds. All the student has to do is write the script and coordinate the characters.”

For more information about Xtranormal for Education, please visit http://www.xtranormal.com.

About Xtranormal
Xtranormal makes your stories come to life. It's that simple. Create a story. Share a story. Watch a story. Funny? Romantic? Dramatic? Xtranormal helps you create amazing interactive stories with a few clicks and a little imagination. You're instantly an animator, poet, pundit, educator or comic. Couldn't be easier.

Xtranormal’s contagious technology has made it a viral sensation with millions of users through the simple act of typing. To learn more, visit http://www.xtranormal.com.

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