Wednesday, June 11, 2008

Community and Collaborative Comicstrips

Bitstrips is a site that has taken on the collaborative model for the creative side - telling stories with comics.

Bitstrips helps you create your characters and tell your story through their process of "Design, Create and Laugh." It has used a collaborative model that allows your to share your comics, get feedback, track how many people have viewed your comic, other comics by the author, etc....

This art form has been around for a long time and is one that most of us have grown up with. As kids, it was one of the first tools that really motivated many of us to read.

So what is it that attracts young and old to comics or cartoons? Many adults today still enjoy this form of media. Is it the way the story is told? Is it the visual with the text? There has been a lot of research done on the art of telling stories through comics.

I have used Comic Book Creator in the classroom and teachers and students love it! Classes have used it for developing study reviews or presenting an idea/project.

Use Comics to help students understand a difficult concept or theory - first have students develop a story around the concept. Characters don't have to be "real people" and they can give live to concepts and theories. If students have developed a storyboard first around their story, they could present it in a variety of ways. Staging the story and taking photographs (like frame-by-frame animation), then uploading the images into Comic Book Creator. Students could draw the images and scan them or draw in Photoshop Elements and then the images then import them into Comic Book Creator.

Students with learning difficulties such as dyslexia have been drawn to programs like Comic Book Creator as it has allowed them to be able to express themselves and tell their stories.

Don't think comics are just for kids.....this can be a very powerful way to get kids hooked into learning and telling their stories.

Other Links:

NACCAE (National Association of Comics Art Educators)

Comics in Education

Comics in the Classroom

Comics Art Education

Comics in Education

Better Education Through Comic Books

Motivating Through Comics

Creating your comic avatars in Bitstrips.

Starting your Bitstrip comic panels.

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