One of the great things about education is that it can be as dynamic and creative as the person in charge. A teacher can be as “out of the box” as he/she wants and still be in accordance with the mission of the school and teach that which needs to be taught.
A few years ago I heard the term “digital storytelling” which was simply using digital tools to tell a story. This was used in some English and social studies to help the students become more engaged with the lessons. The results of utilizing these tools in the classroom instead of just paper/pencil were great for most students. (Some would have preferred to do it the old way and that should always be ok. Not all students are the same nor should they be expected to be, but thats another discussion.) I’ve seen teachers use tools like flickr, powerpoint, animoto, and even Alice 2.0 for digital storytelling.
ToonDoo is yet another tool that could be great to tell stories digitally. This tool has the opportunity to reach a group of students that may be missing out on other forms of expression. I had a group of students in my class who were very artistic and smart, but not very directed or motivated. They always wanted to use paint instead of working on their keyboarding lessons. I gave them an opportunity to use a program similar to ToonDoo during an English Enhancement across the curriculum program and the results were outstanding! They were motivated, told a great story and their work was the best in the class.
I haven’t used ToonDoo, but the potential for its benefit in education is huge!
ToonDoo is a free and hot technology that I learned about at a conference a couple of years ago. I was perplexed when I noticed it on your blog. After attending the conference and as the semester drew to a close I decided to introduce it to my classes to evaluate their reactions.
As a college instructor I was not quite sure what to expect and was a little worried the students would not be interested. The assignment was to create a three pane illustration narrating how they planned to spend their summer break. The students were completely engrossed in their assignment spending the entire 50 minute class working. Many took the opportunity to print it out on the color printer so they could take it home with them.
Some of the students were education majors and said they would definately use the technology tool again. As Michael indicated above the idea of digital story telling in literature would be a wonderful way to tie the information to something more relevant. Also showing the incorporation of another subject area. You may see my toon by clicking the below link:
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