Playing With the Possibilities: ToonDoo

I wanted to begin by exploring a tool that some of my students are using right now as part of a Literacy Circle. One of their assignments was to do a timeline of major events in their book and I suggested using ComicLife and one of my boys also suggested to use ToonDoo. I have never used it before but some of my students did last year during a Novel Study with our TL. So I took this as an opportunitiy to explore the tool so that I can help those students who choose to use it.
Here is a shot of me playing.

Here is my first attempt at creating a ToonDoo.

Intro

I then decided to use it for a purpose that I may actually ask my students to do. One idea that I had for use for this tool is to capture a moment in history. I decided to express a scene where a mother is preparing her son to go to Residential School. I wanted to see if it was possible to express something with a serious context in this format. Here is my finished cartoon.
Leaving for School

I think that it actually turned out pretty well however, there are some concerns that I have with this application. When I was looking for a background to use with my cartoon, I found that they were fairly Americanized. I could not find a field of grasses or prairie without a cactus or adobe house included. I do like the look of the wooded area, especially with the use of the black silhouettes.

That brings me to the reason I had to use silhouettes in this depiction. When I tried to search the image of a woman, they were either very cartoony or depicted ethnic stereotypes. All images of Aboriginal people featured feathers in their hair and loin clothes. This also applied to images of African people, Indian people and Asian people. They too were depicted only by stereotypical representations. Because of this, I chose to change the images to silhouette form. This allowed me to avoid that type of representation which I feel would be inappropriate for the subject matter. Because of this, I would only recommend that this be used with a disclaimer about the kinds of images that they would have as options for use in their cartoons.

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3 Comments »

  1. kibrown Said:

    I’ve used ToonDoo for digital story telling along with GoAnimate. My students partnered with a younger grade to work on a gingerbread project before Christmas. The students wrote a story together then used either of the two sites to tell their story. It was a fun collaborative project. The really nice part is that you can print out the cartoons if you want but it is easy to embed them into blogs or wiki pages.

  2. Meera Said:

    Hi,

    We’re happy to know that you’re using ToonDoo in the classroom. Would also suggest you look at getting your own ToonDooSpace at http://www.toondoospaces.com as that would be ideal for your classroom environment. With your own ToonDooSpace, you can hide clipart which you think is inappropriate and moderate content better.

    Do try it out and tell us what you think!

    Meera
    ToonDudette from http://www.toondoo.com

  3. Vanessa Said:

    Hi Danielle,

    Before I comment on this post, I must say I LOVE the name of your Blog. ‘The Sticky’ is such a creative and appropriate name!

    I welcome your ToonDoo creation and blog posting as I have never heard of this tool before. Your posting and explanation provides me with a good idea of the capabilties of this program without ever having used it. In addition, I can see by Kimberley’s post that she to has found applicability of this tool to the classroom.

    I commend you for using your judgment to change the standard images to sillhouettes as you explain in your blog. If you were to use this with your students, I think a teachable moment could come out of this as you were definitely being sensitive and culturally aware in making this decision in this instance.

    Thanks Danielle.

    Vanessa


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