"World's fastest way to create cartoons!"

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Description of the 2.0 Technology
Toondoo is a "free comic generator" which can be used to create "visual stories" (Bustamante, C. Hurlbut, S. Moeller, A.J, 2012). This Web 2.0 technology allows students to become creative comic producers, providing them with opportunities to explore illustrations, conversations and dialog which are key features needed to make comics (Bustamante, C. Hurlbut, S. Moeller, A.J, 2012). According to Versaci (2001) being exposed to comic books helps develop children's "analytical and critical thinking skills" and Toondoo helps foster this as it is an easy way to create cartoons, leaving more time to develop characters, stories, and text.

Toondoo has a number of "pictures, characters and scenery" which children can choose to use, or they can upload their own pictures and use them in their stories (Bustamante, C. Hurlbut, S. Moeller, A.J, 2012). This is a valuable feature of the technology as students who are not so good at drawing their ideas with paper and pen, will feel more comfortable creating their comics using characters from the online library located in Toondoo. These "student-generated comics" can then be shared with the class and students can also continue working on the projects from home, as it is an online technology (Bustamante, C. Hurlbut, S. Moeller, A.J, 2012).

Toondoo helps students make sense of difficult concepts and issues as it "summarises and rephrases information" to aid student understanding (Wordpress, Unknown). The illustrations and pictures "grab the students attention" and they become more intrigued and engaged to read the information (Wordpress, Unknown).

ToonDoo Spaces
Toondoo also allows groups, for example schools or classrooms, to 'toon' in a private, safe and sercure environment.
There are additional costs, but educators can block and edit information students are exposed too. For example creating a Toondoo Space for 30 people (students) for one month would cost $8.00 (estimated from Toondoospaces, 2012).
For more information about the use of Toondoo Spaces visit;

Other features of Toondoo:
  • Embed your toons in blogs and websites
  • Share and mail your toons
  • Create Toonbooks by combining your toons
  • Add to and finish a series of incomplete toons by using the Compleetoons option
  • Create comic strip layouts choosing from 1, 2 or 3 panels
  • Toons are stored in 'the cloud'

Why should I use Toondoo in the classroom?
Illustrations have numerous possible learning benefits for students. Some concepts, especially in the sciences such as chemistry, can be difficult for students understand textually, but are better communicated in pictures (Wordpress, Unknown). Providing guided opportunities for students’ to design multimodal representations such as cartoons provides potentially strong motivational gains for students’ to represent their conceptual understandings (Waldrip, B. & Prain, V. & Carolan, J. 2006). Waldrip et al. (2006) claimed that using a multiple representation approach in teaching heightened students’ sense of ownership of their work, increased their motivation and creativity and overall improved student learning outcomes.
By creating cartoons, students can also:
  • Interpret a concept from verbal/textual form (provided by teacher) to visual form (created in ToonDoo)
  • Organize science concept to fit a limited-panel representation
  • Create their own new, unique representation of an idea
  • Appreciate the difficult scientists encounter when trying to communicate their ideas to others
  • Demonstrate computer skills
(Wordpress, Unknown)

Examples of current classroom application or professional use by teachers
Toondoo is currently being used in schools and in classroom in numerous and creative ways. Below we explore a selected few examples of current classroom applications of the web 2.0 program;

  • Minibeast Lifecycles

Two classes of Year 1/2 students in the eastern suburbs of Melbourne Australia have been using ToonDoo to show some of the things that they have learnt about insects and minibeasts. Toondoo was used in science to allow students' to represent their understandings about the science concept of life cycles in a multimodal and engaging way. Below are some examples of the students' work retrieved from;

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  • Water Cycle
This is an example of a scientific flow chart which represents the water cycle. This student has created this flow chart by using ToonDoo.

  • Story Boarding with Toondoo - from

A Victorian Primary School teacher blogs about her use of ICT for powerful learning;

Grade 5 students were asked to 'create an informing cartoon about different major organs in the human body, including some of the facts they had learnt over the past week. After sketching their ideas, they used Toondoo to present their work and then uploaded these onto their class Wikispace' (ICT in the classroom, 2011).

The following ToonDoo is an example of a students work for this science task:

  • Valley Park Primary School

Professional use: Mark Allison was keen to find strategies and tools to re-engage children in literacy, and in particular, writing stories.
The emphasis for this project was to explore science fiction, and to provide opportunities for children to "create their own stories in fun ways, using rich media where possible" (Asprey, E. & Gardner, J. 2010).
Initial project aims were to:
  • Explore the history of comic writing
  • Discover what makes a "good story" and consider how to create one;
  • Recognise what is unique about comics – the mix of graphics, dialogue, narrative and drama;
  • Improve engagement in literacy activities, especially creative writing;
  • Explore "peer to peer support options" (Asprey, E. & Gardner, J. 2010). - View the full program and explore other schools and how they used ICT

  • Using Toondoo to publish a story

  • Using Toondoo in literacy; storyboarding and creating their toons

  • Kevin Hodgson shares his experiences with ToonDoo and ToonDooSpaces in the classroom; literacy

Links to relevant resources that help expand our knowledge about this application & its use in schools

Lesson 1: How to use Toondoo.

- Continue to watch How to use Toondoo lesson YouTube clips
Ideas about classroom and/ professional use:

The list of educational uses of Toondoo in the classroom are endless, with our imagination being the only limitation. This versatile web 2.0 application can be integrated into any subject/area of the curriculum, providing a bounty of learning opportunities!

Curriculum Area
Comedy Festival
ICT – creating and making
  • Students’ use a joke they have created to make a Toondoo. They have to use appropriate characters, props, speech bubbles, expression etc. to suit their joke. They enter their Toondoo in the classes ‘comedy festival’ where students’ present their joke and are peer evaluated.

Students’ use Toondoo to;
  • Develop characters for their narratives, or of narratives they are reading
  • Rewrite an ending to a narrative, or create an ending to a story
  • Create the basic plot of a narrative e.g. orientation, complication and resolution
  • Comment on issues such as bullying, belonging etc.
  • Create persuasive writing such as advertising
  • Create a Toonbook
  • Students can create their own graphic novels
  • Exchange individual ideas and opinions about current, social, national and international issues and events
  • Create advertisements to sell a newly designed product
  • Students practice the concept of sequencing of events with the three way panels
  • Conduct a report on ToonDoo (gets students to think of ways to condense their information and present it in a fun and creative way)
  • Use already made ToonDoo’s, cut the panels up and get students to re-order the story
  • Create a class ToonBook filled with explanations on how to play different games, cook, or create crafty things and share this with the class (get students to explain things that are of interest to them or that they want to learn about)
  • Use Compleetoons, and get the students to imagine the story that goes with the images. What do the pictures tell us? Then have them add text. What text would enhance the story?

Students’ use Toondoo to;
  • Create scientific drawings
  • Represent their observations
  • Express ideas about science conceptions e.g. friction using bike riding, or solids, liquids and gases, a snowman melting
  • Create multi-modal representations for projects
  • Retell the story of a science discovery e.g. Newtons discovery of gravity
  • Represent flow charts and science concepts on Toondoo

Students’ use Toondoo to;
  • Comment on issues such as sustainability and rubbish
  • Re-create historical moments (e.g. timeline of historical events)
  • Create a comic strip to show issues around the world such as endangered animals or local pollution
  • Create a ToonDoo, based on a recent class/school excursion. E.g. A day at the zoo, what did they do? What did they see? What did they learn?
About me
Intrapersonal Development
  • Students’ use Toondoo to create a TraitR of themselves. They can create a toon about them and express interests and thoughts.
  • Students create a Toondoo as a plan, before recreating it in paint, collage etc.
  • Have students document how they are feeling in the class and at school in general through making a ToonDoo. This can be done regularly throughout the year to track progress. Often students will be more inclined to be open and honest as they can express themselves visually, and use a different character.

  • Get students to explain how they would work out an equation or maths problem by using ToonDoo
  • Display a worded problem in the form of a Toondoo, for the class to work together to solve
  • Have students create their own worded problem using Toondoo, and then circulate them around the room. Could even be bound to make a class, problem solving book.

Lesson plan of mock class
Target Age Group: Practicing Teachers (to be presented a professional development seminar)

Intended Learning Objectives:
-Students will be able to confidently navigate around the ToonDoo home page, and locate key features.
-Students will be able to create their own TraitR and relocate it at a later date.
-Students will be able to create a comic strip, using a variety of backgrounds, speech bubbles and characters.
-Students will be able to upload their own images from a personal library or the web.
-Students will become familiar with current applications and uses that ToonDoo provides in educational and classroom settings

Inroduction: Pre-made Toondoo (3mins)
The pre-made ToonDoo is displayed on the interactive whiteboard. Brief introduction into our web 2.0 program. What is displayed can be created using our program ToonDoo.
-What is ToonDoo? Brief overview of what the program is and what it is designed for.
-Explain that it is a user friendly program and that by the end of the 45 minute program, everyone will be producing cartoons of this level or beyond!

Part 1: Getting started (7mins)
-How to log into your personal account.
-How to create your own TraitR. As a class we upload a celebrity to try and recreate them using ToonDoo. With instruction and modelling, the class work together, by coming up to the interactive whiteboard and making adjustments to the TraitR.
To be covered;
  • Login in process.
  • Navigating to the create a new TraitR window.
  • Uploading a comparison photograph.
  • Navigating the TraitR tool bar. Customising our cartoon character.
  • Using DoodlR to add free hand additions to the character.
  • Saving process.

Part 2: Using my TraitR to make a comic strip (8mins)
-How to create a new comic strip and use pre made TraitR within that comic strip.
To be covered;
  • Navigating to the comic strip creation window.
  • Selecting frame layout.
  • Using personally made TraitR.
  • Inserting backgrounds and images.
  • Adding speech.
  • Saving process.

Part 3: ToonDoo within the classroom (7mins)
-How might Toondoo be used in a classroom setting?
To be covered;
  • Examples of previous projects within real schools (video)
  • How Toondoo has been used across the different curriculum areas and show examples of this
  • New, innovative ideas we have come up with.

Reflection: Advantages and disadvantages of the Web 2.0 application (21mins)
-Now its your turn… students are to reflect on and give feedback on the web 2.0 application in relation to the advantages and disadvantages of using it in an education/classroom setting. To be presented in a personalised comic strip, created with the help of roving teachers. As questions arise they are put to the class and solved through the use of the interactive whiteboard. At the completion of the workshop all students cartoons are to be printed. (Themed, cartoon music is to play softly in the background).

Assessment strategies: Students are to put their new found knowledge in practice by creating their very own ToonDoo cartoon. The cartoon is to outline both an advantage and disadvantage of using the web 2.0 application in a classroom setting, hence showing students personal understanding of what the program is and how it could be used.

Description of feedback strategies used and a summary of the nature of feedback and how you would modify your approach in light of feedback
The class will be able to provide meaningful feedback in an authentic way by completing a Toondoo themselves. In the ToonDoo, at least one positive and/or negative aspect of Toondoo, or the application of it in an educational setting, is to be represented. This is to be done creatively, using the newly acquired skills learnt in the P.D. This will also provide a great insight into how well, we as a group, presented and taught our web 2.0 application, with the end results working as evidence.

In light of the feedback, we as a group will look over the responses and consider the points of view of other class members. This will then further inform us for our reflection, and give us a broader outlook on the web 2.0 application.

References:Asprey, E. & Gardner, J. (2010). Sheffield learning journey. Retrieved March 17th, 2012, from

Bustamante, C. Hurlbut, S & Moeller, A. J. (2012). Web 2.0 and language learners: Moving from consumers to creators.University of Nebraska- Lincoln. Retrieved March 14, 2012, from [[\|\]]

ICT in the classroom. (2011). Storyboarding with Toondoo. Retrieved March 17th, 2012, from

KidsJig. (2011). Making Toondoos to show what we know about minibeasts lifecycles. Retrieved March 17th, 2012, from

Primaryschooltools. (2010, Nov 8). Toondoo in Literacy [video file]. Retrieved from

TheToondDudes. (2010, Mar 25). Toondoo by Kevin Hodgson.wmv [video file]. Retrieved from

Versaci, R. (2001). How comic books can change the way our students see literature: One teacher’s perspective. English Journal, 91(2), 61-67.

Waldrip, B. & Prain, V. & Carolan, J. (2006).Learning Junior Secondary Science through Multi-Modal Representations. Electronic Journal of Science Education Preview Publication for Vol. 11, No. 1

Wordpress. (Unknown). A teacher’s guide to Toondoo. Retrieved March 19th, 2012, from