Day 28: Storyboard That
Using comics in the classroom is a fantastic way for students to express their creativity while demonstrating their understanding. From summarizing a book chapter to creating their own original story, comics are a valuable form of storytelling. However, creating comics might be intimidating to those students who don’t see themselves as artists. Don’t let that be a barrier. Get your students creating their own comics with Storyboard That, a web-based tool for creating comics and telling digital stories.
Creating a story with Storyboard That is simple. I created a free account using my Google credentials. With the free account, I was able to create a 1×1, 2×1 or 3×1 celled story.
There are hundreds of backgrounds, characters, shapes, and textures to choose from. Drag and drop your element into your cell and customize as you choose. The level of customization for each element is impressive. You can change colors, resize, add filters, and even change the pose of your characters. The amount of customization combined with all of the characters, background, and textures available allows for unlimited creativity in your storytelling.
When your story is complete, you can save it, edit it, or copy it. You have several options for downloading your storyboards as images or slides. You can also embed them into your website.
You can get started for free like I did or choose from one of their many pricing options. Educational packages start with individual teacher accounts for $8.99 per month for up to 10 students and go up from there based on the number of students you want on your roster. There are many different pricing options to best meet your personal, departmental, school or district needs including a district-wide license for $2.99 per student.
I do love the free version and for the most part, I was able to create some fun comics. However, there are a few drawbacks to the free version that might make you consider going for the paid version.
Privacy – With the free version, all your creations are public and can be found through a Google search. With the educational version, all storyboards are private and secure. The teacher can see all the storyboards using a class roster and control privacy settings so students can view each others work. This alone would make me consider paying for a license if I was going to use it with students on a regular basis.
Other cons for the free version include:
- You can only save two comics a month with the free version.
- Using your own images or graphics is only available with the paid versions.
- You have limited layout options with the free version. The paid version allows for creating large comic grids up to 100 cells. The paid version also has custom templates for creating posters and other visuals.
I was very impressed with the resources and lesson plans available on the Storyboard That site. If you scroll to the bottom of the home page, you see the list of resources for teachers, business folks, and filmmakers. The list of lesson plans and teacher resources is huge!! I mean really huge! They have ideas and lesson plans for all subjects and grade levels. I also really liked the resources for filmmakers. If you are doing film production in your classroom, take a look. You and your students will learn a lot about the process of movie making.
The free version of Storyboard That is an easy way to create short comics, as long as you are OK with sharing them publically. If you currently use or want to start using comics in your classroom regularly, then I would consider a paid account.
Even if you are not going to use Storyboard That, the extensive resource library is a gold mine of ideas, lesson plans, and information. Bookmark it so you don’t forget it.