Thursday, 23 January 2014

Digital Comic Strip Creator- Pixton

Pixton - Accessible and engaging.
I'm experimenting with digital comic strip makers this week. In a recent #edchatie discussion comic strips were discussed as a way of improving student literacy. I've used comic strips as a way of teaching narrative techniques in short story writing and JC Media Studies in the past. It would typically involve giving the pupils a physical comic strip template, giving them a technique to aim for (e.g. suspense) and sending them on their way. Some pupils are naturally gifted in the art of drawing. Many however, like myself, are artisans of the stick man variety. Having aesthetically pleasing pictures is not the point of using Comic strips to teach suspense but it can certainly cause some pupils to disengage with the activity when they are underwhelmed by their final product. With the new JCSA course, possibly!, just around the corner I've been looking for a digital medium that First Year pupils would find accessible and engaging. One of the best sites I have found so far is Pixton. You can create a Pixton account 'For Fun', 'For School' or 'For Business'. I signed up for both a 'Fun' and 'School' account. The School account will allow you to add 50 pupils for 30 days, more than enough time to complete your project. The fun account allows you to create an unlimited amount of comic strips. The site does operate on a coins or credit basis. Every time you use a premium skin or template it costs you some credits. There seems, to date, to be enough free templates for this not to be an issue. Of course, you can always purchase more credits if your or your pupils are particularly enjoying the task. Embedding and sharing strips once they are created is easy. I'm really enjoying it to date and will update any further feedback as I am using the site over the coming months. I might even update this post with future instalments of the (practice) tale you find below!