Posts Tagged ‘Comics’

Bitstrips for Schools

Posted: October 26, 2010 in Websites
Tags: ,

I was recently reading this article about 6 websites that allow you create your own cartoons online. I was saddened that one of my favorite websites didn’t make the cut (though it likely didn’t make the cut because it isn’t free. The websites in that article are all fantastic alternatives if your school board isn’t able to fund purchasing bitstrips).

Bitstrips for schools is an absolutely amazing website that has enhanced my lessons in almost all subject areas. Once you’re registered, you can add students to your class and have them create their own avatars within the website. Once the students are added and avatars are created students are free to create their own comics using any of the avatars in the class along with a vast collection of props, characters, and backgrounds.

The technology: Bitstrips for Schools

My impression:

I have used this program with students of all ages, and it’s easy enough for very young students, but diverse enough that high school students enjoy it too. I have never had a student tell me that they didn’t enjoy working with bitstrips- there is nothing like having your students creating a good quality product when it’s not even an assignment.

There’s very little I can think of about this program that’s negative, but there are a few criticisms that I have after working on the program with my classes. The character creation is somewhat limited, and it can sometimes take awhile to create a comic that looks the way you want it to. Students who are perfectionists (or who like to goof off) can spend hours messing around in the program, trying to get it to do exactly what they want. While I normally applaud this kind of determination in my students, it can be frustrating when you have an assignment deadline looming and all they want to do is make sure their character’s hands are posed exactly the way they want them to be : ) .

Possible uses in the classroom/ Lesson ideas:

One thing that I love about this program is that there are hundreds of activities and assignments that you can use with your students built into the websites. The majority of these assignments have been created by teachers for their own classes. Best of all: they’re searchable by grade and subject. I’ve used this feature a few times when I was in a pinch to create an assignment and didn’t have time to be creative on my own.


Creating a character

An example of what a finished class looks like.

Example of a finished comic.

Where can I learn more?

On twitter @bitstrips4school

Or their blog

Rating: 4 stars

Sign up for a free 30 day trial! If you like it, convince a colleague or two to give it a try as well. Having your district pay for a subscription to bitstrips is the cheapest way to activate an account. Individual teachers pay $9.95 a month, and school districts pay $1.50 per student per year.