Edutech for Teachers

Cool Tools for the 21st Century Classroom

Tech It Up Tuesday: Sunday Funnies for the Classroom


Tech It Up TuesdayTime for the next tech-isode in my new “Tech It Up Tuesday” series in which I will share an edtech tool, app, site or other resource that can be utilized in the educational setting.

Regardless if it’s print or digital format, many students and adults alike love reading comics. But did you know this form of recreational reading can also be a powerful teaching resource? Yep, it’s true! I don’t know about you, but there’s nothing better than captivating another’s attention using comic strip style visuals and/or humor as the vehicle. Well, the survey says….. A super cool tool that provides students with the opportunity to do just that is Bitstrips for Schools. Most importantly, this web-based resource also enables them to demonstrate knowledge and creativity about a particular topic, regardless of artistic ability, using a fun setup.

I recently created a Bitstrips for Schools account and set up my first ever classroom for the Multimedia II course I teach. To get things rolling, I required students to create an avatar. Not only did this activity familiarize students with the interface, but by doing so, Bitstrips automatically generated this totally awesome group mug shot—one I’m now using to represent our class in various print and digital projects.


Is that just too funny or what?

Anyway—I realize it’s not the most academic of examples, but check out the sample shown below demonstrating the potential of this edtech tool.

Haunted_House-Angelee McAlkich

Not only does Bitstrips for Schools provide students with an option to save their comics as an image, but it’s also possible to snag an embed code that can be utilized to post an interactive version of the comic on blogs and other online spaces.

Warning Label: If you elect to utilize this very cool tool, you may find yourself messing around endlessly with all of the features, giggling like crazy and even forgetting to watch your favorite TV shows. (Yes, I know this from experience!) However, these side effects are well worth it! And trust me—your students will definitely agree!

In fact, while working on this project, I repeatedly overheard my peops discussing how creating comics was the coolest project we’ve done all year. Honestly—we’ve completed some really neat stuff since August, so that’s really saying something about the use of a resource such as Bitstrips for Schools to engage students in learning.

Classroom Connection:

Although the reasons for incorporating Bitstrips for Schools (or any comic generator) into classroom activities are seriously endless, one of my favorite involves enhancing student writing by making the process fun and visual. Equally appealing is providing a creative alternative for students to complete projects across the K-12 spectrum—biographies, historical events, poetry, examples of figurative language, math and science processes, vocabulary and foreign language practice and/or diaries to name a few.

Need some additional info regarding the use of comics in your classroom? Then check out the following Slideshare presentation from S. Hendy containing 26 ideas for implementation of this concept. There’s even a list of additional cartoon creation tools at the conclusion of the slideshow.

If that’s not enough—here’s another comprehensive resource worth viewing: Comics in the Classroom 100 Tips, Tools, and Resources for Teachers. This list of goodies will surely convince you of the why’s and how’s of using comics as a teaching and learning tool.

And if you really want to get all teched out, import student comics into an interactive tool such as Thinglink or augment them for even more depth of knowledge! Now that’s what I’m sayin’!

Bitstrips for Schools is just a few clicks away… Once you arrive onto this scene, you and your students will be creating comics for learning in minutes!
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Hey, edu-tech gurus!

Looking for some technology integration ideas to enhance your classroom lessons? Then be sure to check out my "Tech Tips" for the latest and greatest Web 2.0 tools, applications and web sites that can be incorporated into activities and/or projects. Although some posts may not be applicable to your content area or grade level, be sure to check back often as I will be varying ideas in order to provide resources across the K-12 curriculum.

Be sure to add this awesome tool to your tech-box!

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