Thank You South 4

This post is by way of a thank you to the colleagues who attended my workshops at the South 4 Shared INSET Day at Bridge Learning Campus last Friday.    The blog set up for these session is available at where you can access the starting points and template files shared at the session.


Comic Strip Creator Applet

I have been preparing steadily for a workshop on using Video and Comic Strips as storytelling tools and devices.  Although I had intended to focus on using a range of familiar tools such as Publisher and Powerpoint as the vehicles for this I recently encountered a really useful little tool  created by

Comic Strip Creator is simple to use and does exactly what it says on the tin, but as with so many tools of its type, its apparent simplicity hides beneath some quite powerful possibilities for cross curricular use.  To download the application you first of all must register, but then you are a click or two away from a handy little piece of freeware.

Once downloaded and installed clicking the shortcut leads to your first choice whether to create a 1 or 2 row comic strip.  The interface has a tabbed panel to the left, from where
  • You can choose to add or remove frames
  •  Import and insert images as backgrounds
  • Import clipart (some can be downloaded from the site, while others may need to be prepared or sought from other sources)
  • Add balloons (speech and thought bubbles are available but not captions, though this could be solve in later uses of the images created)
Unfortunately the environment does not support saving of draft comic strips but only allows export of completed strips in jpg format.  However this can also be a strength, with students and teachers being able to engage with drafting tasks in desktop activities before using the tool to create digital outcomes for use in other applications for printing or web based environments such as blogs and wikis.  The image outputs could also be cropped or edited for use in video presentations through PhotoStory or MovieMaker, perhaps even allowing additional text support in background images for animated storylines using products such as Pivot. 

It could also support assessment for learning activities, planning tasks in support of talking for writing and enable differentiation through the use of images captured during sessions, or prepared in advance to support digital literacy outcomes.  These images could be shared through network and online spaces for inclusion in comic strips to support and enhance this work.

I'm sure that a few minutes play with the tool will open up a host of other posibilities to you.  I hope to come back to again sometime in the near future, with more time to assimilate it for myself, but also I hope with some insight from the colleagues I share it with.  Any suggestions or ideas that spring to mind, please feel free to share through commenting here.