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.
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.
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
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.
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.