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Comic Life 3
Pros: Offers a creative outlet to demonstrate concepts in all content areas.
Cons: Lacks some features for classroom use; kids may spend too much time playing with the program and not completing a project.
Bottom Line: Comic Life 3 helps students apply their understanding with a creative approach, but guidelines are needed to ensure success.
Teachers can use the Comic Life 3 application to help kids develop skills in storytelling, writing, vocabulary, reading skills, and self-expression. In addition to language arts, templates cover other content such as science and social studies; historical events can be sequenced visually, and scientific processes can be demonstrated through images. The templates are easy to personalize and challenge students to demonstrate their understanding visually in a creative format. Examples of finished projects could include steps in a science experiment or report, examples of character traits with trading cards, or a graphic novel about a social issue. While Comic Life 3 is great for demonstrating knowledge of information, teachers who are looking for more classroom-ready features might want to also consider Pixton.
Comic Life 3 provides students with an easy way to demonstrate learning through comic design, with customizable options and predesigned templates. Students can use many types of images -- either stock art, pictures they've drawn (using other programs), image files stored on a computer's hard drive, or even snapshots from a computer's webcam. The program is intuitive, but a help pop-up is available with additional information.
The robust drag-and-drop editor allows students to add filters to images while adjusting the style and size of the text. Word bubbles can be added for a creative element to each frame. Final projects can be saved in an image format or a PDF and work with Google Drive.
The Comic Life 3 application is a great way for students to create their own comics and graphic novel-style narratives. The library of templates is versatile and can help students design projects sequencing images and text to retell a story or demonstrate an understanding of learned materials. A handy script editor offers students a way to develop and brainstorm ideas prior to creating the visual product. Text can easily be dragged from the editor onto the comic area. Comic Life 3 will help budding artists work on the design, layout, and other visual literacy techniques. Students will also learn presentation skills, and they'll become more aware of their audience as they write and create comic-like projects.
Students will need guidance and specifics when using the program (such as limiting their project to two template options) so that time isn't wasted trying to decide on a beginning template. Also, classroom-ready features are missing, including assignment creation, embedded rubrics, and peer feedback and collaboration.