Pixton is a comic creator that allows to create comics using various editable templates, captions and objects. It is a web application available through your browser where you can do all the process from creation to sharing. This sharing aspect allows a ‘’remix’’ option where you can reuse work that other Pixton artists shared for this purposes or simply use templates.
HOW IT WORKS
You can create the ‘’account for fun’’ that is free, allows you to create Pixton comics with most features and to share it with who you want (or not). You can start with a template, do the remix of another artist or simply add caption by caption the way you want them to be. You choose through a large bank of objects, characters, backgrounds (or solid colors), you add speech bubbles and edit the text like you want. Once you are done, or want to continue later, you save it and when you are ready, you publish it. It gives you a link that you can then use to share, or, as a teacher, ask your students to hand you in as an assignment.
Pixton has many features and editable elements, I was surprise by all that you can edit and adjust to make it like you want while creating my Pixton cartoon below.
-Edit each frame size, create as much rows and captions as you want and copy/paste elements or total frame to re-use it faster.
-Delete any elements or frame and use a reverse option.
-Edit bubble speech size, text size + fit text to bubble option
-Add all kinds of objects and edit their size, position, rotate them, etc.
-Use characters creator to modify everything from their shape and clothes to their eyebrows color.
– There are face expressions and body positions pre-sets to help you.
– You can save or publish your work when ready.
Publishing settings allow you to choose to allow ‘’remix or not’’. The free version does not allow private publishing or classroom managed sharing. But still, many teachers get great results with it as an extensive tool for learning. With the free version you can only see the comic on the website and cannot download it or print it.
-tip: Windows as a screen capture option that allows to capture whatever you see on your screen (a comic for instance) and save it as an image file. See more here
HOW TO USE IT FOR THE CLASSROOM & PEDAGOGY
The biggest pedagogical element of this tool is the process of comics’ creation which is not reserved to technological applications (You could do a comic on paper). But there are some plus to this application:
All of its options, editable settings, pre-sets, ease of use, etc. are really appreciated. They allow less pressure on skills such as artistic features and the ability to reproduce visually and it works. The attention can be given to production, scenario, and ideas. So I allows to focus more on content, and think of a way to represent an abstract idea visually rather than how (possible or not) to draw it for instance. Student’s creativity in storytelling (Get them more involved and motivated, get a better idea of what they can do, get them learning more) — if you use it as a final exciting step
Of course, it is well known, comics can be motivating to students, and as they don’t need drawing skills with this tool they can be more interested and apply more on the task (learning actively at the same time). Comics can be a great tool to develop skills or go through some applied reflection. As you have a constricted use of framed story with small texts, they need to work the information to show what is important and to a creative delivery work. While teaching elements of a short story: characters, themes, plot, etc. In an English classroom, you can ask them to create a deconstruction/summary of a story creating a frame for 5 Plot elements: Exposition, Crisis, Rising Action, Climax, Falling Action, and Resolution. This way the analysis process has a concrete goal. Teach new vocabulary or grammar (verb tenses) asking to create a meaningful context around it to help learn and memorizing it.
The ‘’remix’’ option also allows students or teacher, to create comics with empty frames that other will remix by inserting elements. It will require understanding of the context to make a creative and logic story.
As ALL teaching apps, it’s a tool. I think that to use comics is a good idea to incorporate to learning process for summarizing, reflections on important elements and involving creativity. The application gets the comics creation faster, easier and focus on the content and thinking rather than the creation process.