Storytelling is an indispensable human activity. Not only do we use stories to share our experiences and convey who we are, we also use them to create analogies, convince others and illustrate our arguments. Because storytelling is so valuable, we try to incorporate this activity into our lessons as often as we can—and do so in a way that both inspires our students and makes them more comfortable with the writing process.
In our experience, one of the best ways to teach storytelling to beginning writers is by using digital comic book generators. As with traditional storytelling, students must write, but unlike traditional writing, students are never faced with a blank white page...at least not for long. Instead, students drag and drop characters, images, backgrounds and objects into layout boxes; then they write around the images.
This morning we came across a couple of new comic book generator apps and wanted to share them with you.
Make Writing Less Intimidating with these 2 Digital Storytelling Apps
Bitstrips for Schools is intuitive and a heck of a lot of fun. As with most comic book generators, users are able to customize their own cartoon characters, backgrounds and images, but Bitstrips also allows users to import pictures into their comics. We also like the fact that we can share, remix and collaborate with others on our comics, set up virtual classrooms, and access an administrator dashboard.
Bitstrips is free, but only for the first 30 days. After that, it costs $9.95/month for your first classroom. Additional classroom are $4.95/month.
If you don’t need administrator controls and you’re on a budget, but still want a powerful comic-creation tool, ToonDoo is an ideal choice. ToonDoo gives you sophisticated results, but without the learning curve.
Everything is as simple as click, drag and drop. When you finish your masterpiece, grab your comic’s embed code, or click on the Facebook and twitter icons to share it with the world.