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My Digital Footprint

John Seely Brown

The web has just begun to have an impact on our lives. As fascinated as we are with it today, we’re still seeing it in its early forms… My belief is that not only will the web be as fundamental to society as electrification but that it will be subject to many of the same diffusion and absorption dynamics as that earlier medium.

Comics & Cartoons

MakeBeliefsComix (Free)
This is THE simplest comic strip creator to use in the calssroom.  No login is required- simply print out the comic or email it to yourself.  Bill Zimmerman is a veteran of interactive multimedia.  MakeBeliefsComix is an effective literacy tool allowing children (or adults) to create comic strips in English, Spanish, French, Italian, German and Latin.  Select from 15 fun characters with different moods and write words write in the conversation or thoughts.  The teacher's resources and writing prompts blog add to the value of this resource.  As recommended by Geekdad

A very flexible animation tool that enables you to easy design and create an animated film strip.  Basic available free with more options on paid version.  Well suited to use by students.  Requires login.  

ToonDoo (Free)
An easy to use cartoon creating site with various other options available.  Login required.  Students can easily share their work or keep it private.  Very intuitive, easy to use.  Contains extensive libraries of backgrounds and characters which is useful to assist students with the drawing process so they can concentrate on their story content.  E.g. Bullying story examples.

Strip Designer (iPad App) ($)
Create your own personal comic book strips using photos from your photo album or iPhone camera or draw your own sketches. Apply simple image filters to increase the impact of photos, and add speech balloons and text-boxes. This is a simple to use app with fast results.  See also Lifecards from the same designer.

Comic Master
Create your own short graphic novel on this site provided by the National Literacy Trust, UK.  Supported by the Reading for Life Program which has an amazing amount of online reading support resources.

Create simple comics and cards starring you and your friends! Design expressive cartoon avatars.  A simple application - education accounts available.

Comic Creator - ReadWriteThink
The Comic Creator is simple to use for students of all ages.  No login required. It iinvites students to compose their own comic strips (1-6 frames) for a variety of contexts (prewriting, pre- and postreading activities, response to literature, and so on).  Resources are limited and finished product must be printed, however, this is an effective tool.

Login is required for this comic making site.  Free for individual users, you can create and remix comics, rate comics, post comments, enter and vote in contests.  Contains safety mechanisms to make it suitable for younger age groups, e.g. language filter: Flagged words are automatically turned into grawlixes like #$@! in all comics, comments, and messages. Use the age specific filter to see more comics intended for that age group.

Comic Life
Comic Life was originally Mac only software but it's now available for Windows or Mac, individual or network licenses.  It's not free but it's fabulous.  Students are familiar with it as it's used in most primary schools.  It's my preferred cartoon creating software and I've used it for many, many years.  For the value it provides, flexibility and ease of use, it's not expensive.  Highly recommended.