Wednesday, October 7, 2009

Witty Comics - Easily Create Simple Comics

Creating comic strips can be a fun way to get kids interested and engaged in writing. Witty Comics provides a simple platform that students can use to create two character dialogues. To use Witty Comics students just need to select the pre-drawn background scenes and the pre-drawn characters they want to feature in their comics. Writing the dialogues is the creative element that is left to the students.

Applications for Education
Witty Comics provides pre-drawn background scenes and characters which leaves students free to focus on the story they're trying to tell. Students only have three frames with which to work in. The three frame limit will make students focus on selecting their words carefully for maximum storytelling effect.

If Witty Comics is too basic for your needs, you may want to explore one of these other great options.

Here are some related items that may be of interest to you:
Online Art Activities at the National Gallery of Art
Blogs for Art Teachers

TED Talk - Animation of a Cell

Here is an interesting TED Talk that should be of interest to biology teachers and students. In the video, David Bolinsky explains and shows the inner workings of a cell. After watching it this morning, I Tweeted that I learned (or at least recalled) as much as I learned in a semester of Biology 101. (That's probably more of a reflection on my interest in Biology 101 12 years ago than it is on the course or the instructor I had).

Applications for Education
The visualizations and explanations provided in this video could be a good supplement to a lecture or a lesson on cell biology.

Here are some related items that may be of interest to you:
Get Body Smart - Interactive Tutorials and Quizzes
Medical Animation Library
Dr. Saul's Biology in Motion

Brain Flips - Create, Share, and Search Flashcards

Brain Flips is a relatively new flashcard service. Brain Flips allows anyone to create and share flashcards about any topic. To create flashcards you must register (it's free), but to just use the publicly shared flashcards does not require registration.

What makes Brain Flips unique is that it offers three ways to review the flashcards. The three modes for using the flashcards are introduction mode, traditional mode, and response mode. In the introduction mode the flashcard's question and answer appear side by side. In traditional mode the flashcards display the question on one side and displays the answer on the other side when clicked. In response mode the user is prompted to put in an answer before the correct answer is displayed.

Applications for Education
Brain Flips is a nice, free, option for students to create flashcards and study them. Brain Flips is interesting because it does offer the graduated modes of studying.

Here are a couple of related items that may be of interest to you:
10 Places to Make and Find Flashcards Online
Free World U - Free K-12 Flashcards

What Browser Explains What a Web Browser Is

What Browser is a site launched by some folks at Google for the purpose of explaining what a web browser is and to offer some browser comparisons. For the average end-user, the value of What Browser is the short video explaining what a web browser is and what it does.

The video is embedded below.

Applications for Education
This video could be a good introduction to web browsing for an introduction to computer use offered in an adult education class. I'm thinking particularly of folks like my step-father who think that Hotmail is their web browser or personal website.

These are some related videos from Common Craft that are also useful for introducing basic computer use and web browsing.

World Wide Web in Plain English

Web Search Strategies in Plain English