BP6 – ToonDoo for You

ToonDoo.com is a free comics creation tool that appears on all three of the Web 2.0 resource pages our professor shared with us this week.   I love cartoons and comic strips. Effective cartoons convey large ideas in tiny spaces.  Would ToonDoo deliver enough variety to keep students engaged?  I created an account to find out.

Registration and Account Options

Registration for a free account requires an email address; something to bear in mind if students will be setting up their own accounts.  There is a paid and private service called ToonDoo Spaces which some schools and teachers may elect if there will be a large implementation.  Usually the free accounts are sufficient for most classroom student projects.

Toon Creation & Editing

  • Click on the create button.
  • Choose a layout.
  • Wait for the tools and editor to open (which can take a while).
  • Click on the menus across the top of the page to preview the galleries of free clipart.
  • Drag and drop objects onto the page.
  • Click on each object to move, shrink, enlarge and activate all the editing tools.
  • Note that characters with Emotion and Posture icons offer alternate versions of themselves which works well in creating narratives.

edit

Saving, Publishing & Purchasing

Click on the main menu (top left corner) to access the Save folder. Fill in the title, description, any tags for your Toon and check or un-check the desired sharing and privacy options. These are:

  • Publish to the World
  • Keep it Private
  • Share with friends
  • Allow others to Redoo your Toons
  • Allow others to purchase your Toons

I would recommend students keep their Toons private during the creation/revision process. Once Toons are complete, students may elect to Publish to the World.  At that point, if the options are checked, others may Redoo the Toons or purchase them from the ToonDoo Shop.

The ToonDoo Shop offers high resolution renderings of your Toons. Purchase them through PayPal for a minimum order of ten at $1.00 a piece.  Earn points or Tookens when others purchase your Toons.

Sharing

To view the Toons you’ve created you’ll need to access the My ToonDoos page under the Toons menu on the Home page. All your toons are displayed as thumbnails.

  • Mouse over the Toon
  • Click go to page
  • Review the sharing options
  • Click on <> to grab the embed code for posts on blogs or websites

ToonBooks

Create “graphic novels” using the ToonBook creator. A series of Toons that tell a story can be dragged into a template that generates a flash-based flipbook.  Students would enjoy creating an avatar or TraitR as it’s called on the site.  Add a title, publish, and share your flipbook on the web.

Summary

I enjoyed the variety of landscapes, characters, props and speech bubbles available on ToonDoo.com. The editing tools were intuitive and it was fairly easy to download, email, print, and share Toons on the web.  To print larger Toons requires some adjustments to your printer options, but it can be done.

I did find the interface to be a bit cluttered and navigating the menus confusing at first.  The greatest challenge was being patient waiting for the creation tool and galleries to download. The site appears to be flash-based and blog posts from past users indicate sluggish downloads have been a problem.

Overall, the positives outweigh the negatives.  With the exception of dealing with the downloads, teachers and students should enjoy using ToonDoo.

This entry was posted in Cartoons, Digital Storytelling, Middle School, Web tools, Writing tools. Bookmark the permalink.

2 Responses to BP6 – ToonDoo for You

  1. Hi Jeffrey. Thanks for your comments and suggestions. I read the ToonDoo review in Common Sense Media and took a closer look at ToonDoo Spaces. The pricing predictor tool was really fun!
    http://www.toondoospaces.com/pricing/

    Now that I see the flexible pricing options, I’ll mention it to teachers planning more extensive projects that would make administrative controls more useful. Otherwise, for a single use of the tool, my experience has been that teachers opt for students creating their own accounts. This would happen no earlier than in the 5th grade when students are set up with school email, could log in themselves, and continuing to receive training on responsible use of Internet resources and digital citizenships.

    I can see this tool being useful to convey key concepts from a lesson. Health classes could illustrate scenarios on fitness, nutrition, and managing stress. English classes could creating alternate endings to stories or create their own original graphic novels. World Language classes could demonstrate use of key vocabulary and grammar.

    Check out my About page! You’ll see what I’m up to at work.

  2. Hello Lee,

    I hope all is well. You seem to find some of the most creative online tools out there. I like what you did with your ToonDoo post because you kept me informed and broke down the basics of ToonDoo. I know you must be somewhat relieved because I can only imagine how creative a teacher has to get in order to keep the attention of school kids. Additionally, by making cartoons, kids can earn how to create characters and practice language skills.

    I noticed you mentioned students need an email account in order to set up a ToonDoo account. Does ToonDoo Spaces allow teachers to add as many students as they need without inputting every child’s email address? If so, how is it possible?

    The next time you share this creative tool with us, you might want to elaborate on the age limit. According to ToonDoo, the library of homemade cartoons includes a variety of tame and not-so-innocent content. What is the age limit for kids wanting to use ToonDoo? Can you disable the not-so-innocent content? Here’s a link you might want to look into. http://www.commonsensemedia.org/website-reviews/toondoo

    You mentioned students and teachers should enjoy using ToonDoo. What subject do you teach? Can you share some examples on how you would utilize this tool in the classroom? Overall, I enjoyed reading your post.

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