I am preparing an activity for grade 6 students and I decided to have them make comic strips on the computer. After researching on the internet for a software, I found what I believe to be the best of them all for comic and story online creation : Toondoo.
I will first tell you about the different ones I have tried and I will tell you why I didn’t choose them and why I choose Toondoo. I’m not going to have extensive descriptions and research on them since I want to concentrate on Toodoo but a comparative is always important.
1. Make belief comix :
Make belief comix is great for teachers how make strips and have the students fill in the balloons . For a creation activity where the students have to create a story and make a comic strips out of it, however, there are definitly not enough options for them to be creative. Furthermore, you can’t save them online and you have to print the strips or send them by e-mail. Another problem is that the software only offers a three frame layout and the possibility for characters, backgrounds and such are not extensive which makes it an okay tool but definitely not the best one. Also, as Sarah Kessler shows it in her review of comic strips creators, colours aren’t really present in this software and rends it not very good looking after all.
Comic creator is approximately the same thing as Make belief comix but worst. Less characters, less props, no colours… lets say it is not the best and probably the worst one I know about. It may, however, be used for small kids since the pictures are made for them.
Toondoo is and will be my choice for comic strips creation for many reasons :
1. There is a fair amount of props, characters and backgrounds that come with the software. Almost all the themes are covered, sometimes not extensively, but it gives students the possiblity to do anything and that is a major point. On the same level, as a teacher’s guide to toondoo presents it, it offers the possibility to really transfer concepts and ideas into pictures and text. Furthermore, Toondoo offers a creative path in the sense that there are two tools called TraitR and DoodlR which helps you create new characters and background. The program also offers different ways of importing pictures and other items to put in your comic strips.
3. The software allows the students to save their work online, to download them and to share them. This way it is easier for a teacher to leave feedback and see the progress of students. It is something most of softwares don’t offer.
4. As sgmires acknowledges it, toondoo offers so many possibilities that all types of students can find their share of the creativity it offers.
5. For the utility and application department, a wonderful webpage is offered at ICTAcrossCurriculum2012 where you can find a lot of ways to use toondoo and all its functionalities.
The only real problem I have found for this tool is that it is sometimes heavy for computers. It, sometimes, doesn’t work well for a short period of time. I guess it is the price you have to pay for such a great tool.
To conclude, I must say that toondoo is a great program and that it should be used in schools for comic strips creation. I will use this program soon in an actual class for a term project and I will be able to experience it even more with the students and write more about it later on.
Go on and create!