Review by Amanda Bindel, Common Sense Education | Updated October 2015
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Seedling Comic Studio

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Showcase student work through photo-based comic strips

Subjects & skills
Skills
  • Creativity
  • Communication & Collaboration

Subjects
  • Arts
  • English Language Arts
Grades This grade range is a recommendation by Common Sense Education and not the developer/publisher.
3-8
Common Sense says (See details)
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Not yet reviewed

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5 images

Pros: Photo editing features add pizzazz to comics.

Cons: There's no way to rename saved comics, which could be an organizational mess.

Bottom Line: Creative options are endless and inspiration abounds -- just do your best to keep your creations organized.

The possibilities are endless for the kinds of comics kids create -- either using the existing backgrounds, themes, and stickers or getting totally creative and starting from scratch with their own photos. There's a lot of room for customization and creativity as kids alter photos and maneuver elements within the comic strips. Text space is limited, as it always is in comic strips, so kids much think critically to get their message across with images and a few words. Teachers could create their own comic strips to present lessons or ideas to students, or students could create comic strips to publish their writing or as a culminating project for a science or social studies unit or for literature.

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Seedling Comic Studio is a creation tool that lets students take and edit pictures and then add words, stickers, and backgrounds to create comic strips. Some backgrounds and stickers are available for free, and others can be purchased in-app. Kids can share their creations via email, SMS, or other social media connected on the device. Besides the app, Seedling sells creative play kits, and kids can connect to the toy store through the app by solving a multiplication problem. Language options include English and Spanish.

Students create the comic strips, using layouts from one panel to six. First, they choose a layout from the template selections, tap the panel to take a photo, add a background, and then embellish with speech bubbles, thought bubbles, or stickers. With the photo editing options, kids can flip pictures, change filters, or cut out the person to drop them into a new background. Designs are saved automatically by date created to the device and can be edited, deleted, or shared.

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This creative tool makes it easy for kids to make impressive comic strips featuring their own photos and ideas. Tools run along the top and bottom of the screen, putting all options at kids' fingertips. There are no instructions or tutorials, so students will need to play around with it to figure out all of the creative options. Most impressive are the photo-editing options: Students can use a filter to change photos to sketches, give someone a comic-like bulge, or pixelate their photos. 

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Overall Rating

Engagement Is the product stimulating, entertaining, and engrossing? Will kids want to return?

The tools make the creation experience really fun. Kids can use photo effects, add crazy backgrounds, or embellish with stickers.

Pedagogy Is learning content seamlessly baked-in, and do kids build conceptual understanding? Is the product adaptable and empowering? Will skills transfer?

Kids can find inspiration from the existing backgrounds and stickers, or they can get creative and make a comic strip totally from their imagination.

Support Does the product take into account learners of varying abilities, skill levels, and learning styles? Does it address both struggling and advanced students?

No in-app demo or instructions are available, though tools are clearly labeled. Student work is saved automatically by date but file names can't be changed, so that may get confusing with multiple student projects.


Common Sense Reviewer
Amanda Bindel Classroom teacher

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