This time of year, I always start thinking about all of the amazing apps and websites that will be honored by AASL at the ALA annual conference coming up in June.
I have been part of the AASL Best Websites for Teaching and Learning Committee for several year and this year serve on the AASL Best Apps for Teaching and Learning Committee. We look at dozens of websites and apps throughout the year to come to a list of the 25 best. It is such an exciting, enlightening and fun process.
This year being part of the AASL Best App Committee and getting down to our new list to announce in a few months, I have spent lots of time looking back at the list from last year. The list of 25 is split into six categories including Books; STEM; Organization and Management; Humanities and Arts; Content Creation; and Off the Beaten Apps.
A category that always interests me a lot is Content Creation and in 2017 there were 5 included in this one. I have spent lots of time with Flipgrid, Bloxels and a little with CoSpaces and Touchcast Studio.
One that I spent time with when it first came out, but not this newly updated version of the app, is Toontastic 3D!
As the AASL Best Website states,
Toontastic 3D allows you to create animated and narrated cartoons. You can choose from a collection of existing characters and settings or draw your own. There is also a varied collection of background music to set the mood. Finished creations can be exported as video to your mobile device.
This is a free app in the Apple App Store and Google Play.
You will find lots of helpful tips on the Toontastic site including...
Before I even started my Toontastic, I had a lot of little ideas in my head for creating something very special and unique.
School Reports, Meme's and several more. When you click on these icons, it will take you to example Toontastic's that students have actually created. This is very helpful as you and your students start to brainstorm and plan.
Let me show you how fun it is to create and how Toontastic walks you though each step.
When you first start, you can choose from Short Story, Classic Story and Science Report. They have 3 or 5 part stories. I would suggest starting out with the Short Story, which has 3 parts....especially with your youngest students.
I selected a background and characters from several that were available. The different characters matched up with the various backgrounds but this is storytelling so they do not have to select the ones that appear like they go together. Any combination can be selected and used....that is part of the fun!
You will also notice a little button on the left hand side that says Draw Your Own which allows you to create your very own background and characters. Remember from the first tip, this is something that really makes Toontastic connect to the individual students and their unique voice.
Toontastic is a wonderful activity for an individual student and a small group of students too. They can be edited throughout and even after it is complete, so a nice way to include peer editing along the way.
I would say this is perfect for students in kindergarten through 6th grade, but also higher grades would enjoy it too.
I loved creating with Toontastic. I hope you do too!
On June 23 at the ALA Annual Conference, we will be announcing the 2018 Best Apps and Best Websites for Teaching and Learning. We can't wait to share these lists with all of you!