Hello! My name is Melda. Thank you for coming to our session. In the next few minutes, I would like to share a few slides with you.
During the technology session, students used Comic Life Software to create comics that merged visual images with the text. Students worked on Macintosh computers. Comic life has a simple interface. This software application can be used to create greeting cards, photo albums, story books, instructional handouts and brochures, storyboarding video projects, and comics or graphic novels.
The Comic Life Software provided students with the opportunity to create their own comic in digital form. The software had options for creating comics with different page layouts with boxes, images, and text. There are many different filters, effects, word/thought balloons, templates, fonts that can be applied to create almost any type of document and turn text and images into a comic.
The students completed two projects using the Comic Life Software. The first project required that students write a comic strip about themselves. Students created narratives about their lives and used the software to produce a comic version of the story. During lab time, student used techniques learned from the book Understanding Comics by Scott McCloud to explore concepts such as templates for manga and graphic novels.
The second project was a group project where they created their own graphic piece about a contemporary, controversial social issue.
Using Popular Culture to Promote Reading and Writing
We found that all of the students were engaged while completing their tasks. While working with the Comic Life Software, students dragged and dropped various images onto the page to digitally alter photos and graphics to look like comic drawings. None of the students used the computer to draw images.
Most of the images students used were downloaded from the Internet, pictures they saved on their UB drives, or pictures downloaded from a personalized flickr.com site, which was established to store pictures students were taking in class using a digital camera. Some of the students drew their own illustrations and scanned them into the computer.
While creating individual comic strips, the students created title and speech bubbles in a variety of styles. They experimented with elements of the comic medium. Some students included speech bubbles outside of the frame and captions in order to provide the reader with additional information about the story—these elements are often seen in comics. Other students were able to add text and bubbles with relative ease.
We observed that this was often the first thing they did when they started working on a comic template. The students also tested how to alter their images and change them to comic form, but most of them left their pictures unfiltered in the final product.
Students also worked in groups to complete a second comic project. Students were randomly assigned to groups ranging in size from 2 to 4 members. Each group selected a topic, relating to social justice. As previously mentioned, the issue of social justice emerged because it was one of the focus areas of the program. Each group selected a contemporary issue they knew little about. Once a topic was chosen, the groups researched this issue before creating their informational comic about the topic.
One group were interested in researching and raising awareness in their readers about the topic of modern slavery. Students researched this issue and then chose a few key facts from their research to incorporate into this comic.
It appears that this group then linked their background knowledge of slavery in the United States, prior to the civil war, to the issue of modern slavery.
They searched the Internet and found relevant pictures to incorporate into their comic. We found that by the third session, the groups had researched and discussed the issue, obtained relevant graphics