Community reviews for Make Beliefs Comix

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Great creation tool for the kids!

Personally, there would have to be a specific lesson plan in order to incorporate this site into standard teaching. I like that the website is inclusive to students who speak other languages and those with special needs. Also, the directions were easy to follow, and provides a variety of options to choose from.
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Easy to Implement, Creative Tool Makes Students Believe in Their Power as Beginning Writers

Overall, I highly recommend this tool despite drawbacks outlined below because it's easy to learn and use for even those who are not tech savvy. The directions on the site are quite clear. It's a great teaching tool because it doesn't take a lot of time to teach it. I spent about 20 minutes going over the tool with the class, and clarifying expectations for responsible use of technology before releasing them to work independently because I find that is time well-spent with the younger students. It reminds them that when we are at school, we refrain from rabbit-hole searches and endless playing around with all the options on a platform. Usually I give them about 10-15 minutes of exploration time when they are introduced to a new program. I gave them another 20 minute with this so my actual introduction to the product was 40 minutes, but then after that they were responsible and on-task. With older students, I expect one could hold them to educational constraints with far less prep time, and I could have introduced my class to this and had it up and running in 5 minutes, but felt the groundwork was time well spent. Students intuitively knew how to manipulate the frames, resize objects, characters and bubbles, and change backgrounds. If that had not been the case, the directions were clear and right in front of them. I have found that it is usually only the teachers that need to read the directions with this site! There are several features that would make this product more flexible and usable in the classroom. First, it would be great to have the ability to insert a background of choice. When my students are writing about what they see, think and wonder in relation to a piece of art, it would be valuable to be able to insert the image in the background. Another feature that would make this tool more practical in the classroom would be the ability for students to save their comics to individual portfolios. My students have their own gmail accounts, but there are still several steps to labeling the emails they send themselves with the comics and then later snipping out the images into a separate document for printing and display as part of a larger body of work. Finally, while a strength of comics is brevity, it would be nice to have the option to insert more text by either enlarging a bubble or shrinking the font. It confuses young writers to have to remove several words due to space constraints when they've worked hard to craft a masterful sentence.
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2 people found this helpful.

Great for pre-writing narratives!

It can be used in a wide variety of ways, and fits easily into the English classroom as either pre-writing or post-reading. The only issue is a lack of being able to save to work, which is an issue if a student accidently presses the arrow back (thinking it is "undo"), they lose all their work! However, the fact my students don't have to register for the website more than makes up for it! Be aware it does use Flash so it will not work on iPads.
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Fun option for writing.

For upper level classes it would be nice to have a page option for "story" length writing assignments. Besides that, students love using this site. It is easy to navigate. Tons of options for backgrounds, characters, and special items.
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I used this to have students explain a math or science topic.

Great app for students to be creative in your classroom. You may want to have them explain a topic, process, or problem using comics. The only problem I have with the site is you can't save your work. Although I may be mistaken about this problem. The nice part is students can save the image to their device and/or e-mail it to you. My students enjoyed the simplicity of the program and the ability to be creative with math or science.
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1 person found this helpful.

Encourages students to think about concepts through a different lens.

Encourages deep thought and understanding of serious concepts in order to transform them into humorous comic strips. Thoughtful assignment design is important to successful use of this tool.
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Comix allows students to quickly make a comic strip, but there are better tools our there with more creative options.

A paid iOS app ($2.99) Strip Designer is a better alternative if you can access it. It allows students to create a comic book, rather than just one strip. It also offers many more design and art options. Comix is a nice, free entry point, but is limited.
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Comic fun for kids!

I really like this tool and plan on utilizing it in my classroom and sharing it with other staff. This site offers the students another form of art that they can produce and learn about. I would have to help them navigate through it at first with an introductory lesson to get them going but after that they would be able to navigate all on their own. This could definitely be a way to engage my students with an alternate method.
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Simple creative way to express knowledge

I think the site is simple to use and interactive but could be stronger with an interactive element between different students on the site also no platform for two to be working on different computers on the same comic.
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Quick Comic Creator For Short Assignments

It's great because set-up is quick and the UI is not overly complicated by too many choices. It also supports foreign characters. Students can print or e-mail completed comics, but they cannot save or embed them. I really wish there was an embed feature for sharing and collaboration.
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