This blog is designed as a resource for CURR 501, Media Literacy, Popular Culture and Education at Rhode Island College, summer 2014. The course is driven by the essential question: How is new media and digital culture produced and consumed in ways that help us understand ourselves and each other in the context of the current educational landscape?

Thursday, July 3, 2014

Pixton: Online Comic Strips

Pixton Online Comic Strips is an innovative teaching tool that would work with any level of teaching and any range of ability.  There are many pros to this incredible comic builder:

  • Pixton is a great way to get students engaged in the text they are using and create their own text
  • It is fun, promotes collaborative learning, and can be catered to any learning level and language ability.
  • The primary language of the comic can be changed
  • Students can upload sound and images, something I find particularly useful in world language and ELL classrooms
  • Students can vary the length and layout of the comics they create, making posters or remixing exemplars
  • Navigation through the site is intuitive, however there are many online resources and tutorials for the technologically challenged like me!
  • This technology is compatible with SmartBoards
  • Teachers can create student accounts with or without student emails,  Student comics can be uploaded into a class gallery for comments and feedback from the entire class
  • Pixton provides a myriad of project templates aligned with diverse curricula as well as online teacher rubrics and a simple five star rating system
  • There are many how-to videos and resources for educating both students and teachers in Pixton
  • A free trial with limited graphic features is available.  I tried Pixton for fun yesterday, but I am saving my teacher trial for the school year!
There are only two cons I could come up with:
  • $$$  A subscription to Pixton can vary depending on the duration of your subscription and your number of students.  While I couldn't find a standard pricing chart, there is a simple cost calculator when you log in that provides pricing options:  For example, a one-year subscription for thirty students costs $87.  A two-month subscription for 50 students costs $42.  One year for 50 students costs $130.  You would need to do the math for your class size, and perhaps find a grant to support this service!
  • Once you initiate your free trial--I would definitely try using Pixton For Fun first-- you are limited to two characters and canned graphics which are still really fun to use.  I inadvertently created the same woman in two different races yesterday during class and was unable to go back this morning and create someone new.  
Begin your new comic by Creating a Character.
After selecting your format, get cranking on your own by playing with props and inserting them.

Below is a screenshot of my rendition of Shel Silverstein's "Messy Room",  My advice is to sign up for free, play around, and have fun with Pixton during the summer before going back to school and trying it with you class!  I already know I will be purchasing a subscription for my Spanish IV honors next year!
Have fun!

1 comment:

  1. Hi Amy,
    Thanks for telling us about Pixton, I just made a comic for part of my final project. I did it "for fun" and it only allows you do make one comic for free :( booooo after that it's $8 a month. Just fyi.

    I wonder if I can change my membership to "teacher"? I hope so! I want a year free :) I'll check it out.