Telling stories, animating them, provides a different stage for student work. Over the past year, cartooning sites have exploded, ToonDoo was my go-to, especially once they made the “keep it private” option for cartoons (almost a problem for me a long time ago), but now there are so many more options: Kerpoof (K-5), MakeBeliefs Comix (multi-lingual too), BitStrips (free individual accounts and an “Education” option that isn’t free but has a free 30 day trial), PikiKids (with real images) and Read-Write-Think are some of the comic generators now. And not sure what to do with cartoons in the classroom? The Association of American Editorial Cartoonists (AAEC) have lesson plans, the Daryl Cagle site (great for education-friendly political cartoons) has a teachers’ guide section, and the National Association of Comics Arts Educators has ideas and lesson plans, study guides and more for using comics in the classroom.
And if interested in animating video, Muvizu is intriguing for making 3-D animations, scripting and more. I especially like that it allows a “gatekeeper” account to be set up by teachers or people who work with people under 13 years old so you have administrative control over the account. I have loved Xtranormal in the past, but it isn’t as easy with students as it has been in the past. Memoov also looks like it has a lot of potential for making animated movies in the classroom.
A is for animation.