Just in time for back-to-school: New distance learning resources are available on Wide Open School.
NawmalEDU's uses are only limited by a student or teacher's imagination (and the fairly rudimentary animations). Make your lessons more engaging -- or at least more out of the ordinary -- by presenting text-based material in a quirky animated video. Content can be created quickly with lesson material for any subject and in any of the six included languages, which might make this a great fit for foreign-language classes. Students can also create their own videos, either as individual assignments or group projects. The nature of the program allows less-outspoken students to more easily express themselves, and all students can use it to develop their presentational language skills.
You'll need consistent high-speed internet access to install the program and to use some of the features (such as rendering video), but your videos are stored locally on your PC and not in the cloud. Editing and creating new scenes can be done without an internet connection, though. If you're unsure about whether nawmalEDU will suit your needs, there's a seven-day trial version, which allows access to most features other than exporting videos. Give it a try: It's a neat tool, and it might be just the thing you need to spice things up for your students.Continue reading Show less
NawmalEDU is an animation and text-to-speech program for PC (or a Windows-configured Mac). A preloaded video kicks things off and shows off some of the program's functionality. Users can modify that video or create their own. To create a new scene, users choose a set from dozens of options (some sets allow photos to be added to the scene) and up to two characters, along with customizable voices, from a library of 250 total characters. Once the set and characters are in place, users type or paste in the dialogue for each of the characters, who will speak via text-to-speech in one of six languages (English, Arabic, French, German, Italian, and Spanish). To finish the scene, users can add sound (both included and custom) as well as change camera angle, pause the action, change facial expressions and physical gestures, and more. Completed videos can then be exported into a variety of video formats and aspect ratios and then presented or uploaded to sites such as YouTube.
Nawmal is available in two versions, EDU and MAKE. EDU is for educational and non-commercial uses and comes with a lower price tag and fewer options. If this program seems familiar, that's because it's based on technology and digital assets acquired by nawmal from Xtranormal, which closed in 2013.
Teachers might use nawmalEDU to present text-based lesson material in a new and inventive way, and students might use it to demonstrate their learning or create their own imaginative videos. Nawmal's flexibility might be its greatest asset, although the fairly monotone voices and simple animations are the downsides. You can input any text, and you can often upload your own images, boosting flexibility and increasing the ways this tool might be useful. Overall, it's an engaging way for students to experience lessons or to practice their own language, spelling, grammar, and communication skills. Also, the tool is nicely responsive. Since the characters will say exactly what's typed, mistakes are instantly clear -- and they're easy to correct on the fly.
Different set and character collections within the program can be used to teach different subjects, to match the instructional content. Characters include animals, crash-test dummies, historical figures and presidents, holiday characters, stick figures, superheroes, robots, and more. All characters are presented without bias and represent diverse groups. Sets include indoor and outdoor scenes, TV show sets, labs, historical sites, the moon, abstract sets, a holodeck, and more and can be mixed and matched with the characters.
Key Standards Supported
With guidance and support from adults, use technology to produce and publish writing (using keyboarding skills) as well as to interact and collaborate with others.
With some guidance and support from adults, use technology, including the Internet, to produce and publish writing as well as to interact and collaborate with others; demonstrate sufficient command of keyboarding skills to type a minimum of one page in a single sitting.
With some guidance and support from adults, use technology, including the Internet, to produce and publish writing as well as to interact and collaborate with others; demonstrate sufficient command of keyboarding skills to type a minimum of two pages in a single sitting.
Use technology, including the Internet, to produce and publish writing as well as to interact and collaborate with others; demonstrate sufficient command of keyboarding skills to type a minimum of three pages in a single sitting.