App Review: Comics Head

I’ve been looking for some time for a Comic creator app that has enough art to be flexible enough and yet, leave enough room for me to maneuver as a writer. It’s tricky. I found this one, Comics Head, and although I paid four bucks for it (there is a free lite version), I find I really like it for its fair amount of art and templates and variations. Plus, the homepage is nicely arranged, making it easy to find things. The use of touchscreen for writing and creating can be tricky, though.

Here are a few comics that I have made in the past few weeks using the app. If you have iPads in the classroom ( I don’t), the free version of this app might worth checking out.

I played around with one of the templates in the app, which is a “recipe” comic, and was thinking a bit of CLMOOC and other spaces.
How to build a networkThis comic was for my friend — Greg — who is raising awareness for his nephew, who has been diagnosed with a rare illness I had never heard of before, and he asked fellow social media folks to create content for the #BurpeeforBobby campaign so they could raise awareness and funds. I also donated some money to the campaign.

More Burpee comics

And I made a comic for my students, as summer came to an end.
Welcome to Sixth Grade comic

I had fun with the app.

Peace (in the frame),
Kevin

#CCourse Comic: Hemmed in by LMS

Hemmed in by LMS #ccourses
This comic is just an extension of thinking about how some universities require faculty to use a certain Learning Management System and how that requirement hems in both the teacher and the learners in many ways. When  we talk about open learning systems in space like Connected Courses, this may a roadblock for many faculty.

I like how Howard Rheingold responded to my post yesterday, noting that he often pushed and pushed against these institutional restraints and then did covert online learning systems outside of the university purview. Sort of a ‘Don’t Ask Don’t Tell’ approach to open learning. I don’t know if many faculty, with lesser name recognition and clout, are willing to take those chances, particularly if they are not tenured and need to be sure to follow rules, stay in line, keep the upper folks happy (or at least, not get them angry). We need more pirate instructors. Arrr.

And that may mean using the university system (Blackboard, Moodle, whatever) but thinking through the many ways to “hack the system” to make it work for you and your learners, even as you still technically fall within the sphere of your educational institution.

Maybe change is underway, where there is more freedom for faculty to set up their own online spaces beyond the university sphere. Maybe this comic is already obsolete. I hope so. I suspect it still might be a mixed bag, depending on where you teach and the ethos of the university itself. There may be folks in the Connected Courses who follow along and think … if only. Facilitators need to be aware of them, too. (I am sure they are)

Peace (in the frame),
Kevin

#CCourse Comics: Of Brudders and Domains

After listening to Jim and Howard and Alan talk about the infastructure for open learning as part of Connected Courses, I could not help putting together a few comics to poke fun.

First, the three called themselves “brudders” with the names of Embed, Click and Link (a play on Car Talk). I added a fourth brudder.

The #CCourse Brudders

Second, I support the idea of folks setting up their own domains when running a college/university course. I do wonder if universities allow that. I know, with our writing project, we’ve run into walls on this issue, of the universities requiring us to use their learning management system. Maybe that’s a question for another time (or one I might bomb into Twitter).

Anyway, I had this vision of all these URLs being created along lines of Jim’s point that our spaces are our digital identities (I agree) and how the naming of a URL and a blog space/community network is an important first step. Thus, the domain rainstorm idea.

#CCourses Domain Rainstorm

 

Peace (in the frames),
Kevin

 

Thanks to Fellow Facilitators, or All I Got Was a Comic

If you have been following me this summer, you probably figured out that I was a facilitator with the Making Learning Connected Massive Open Online Collaboration. It was a blast, and I was part of an amazing team of people who worked tirelessly to engaged participants and Make Cycle teams from late May right through, well, today (the official end of the CLMOOC).

As part of my work around making comics for CLMOOC, I made a few as thank you notes to my fellow facilitators:

For Karen, whose work at organizing Twitter chats and whose push for the CLMOOC Make Bank has been inspiring …

The Make Bank

For Joe, whose role as a coach for teams of folks leading the Make Cycles this year made all the difference in the world, so much so that you probably didn’t even realize how many moving parts there were …

Clmooc comics

For Anna, whose research lens has us all reflecting and hopefully, documenting our learning for ourselves and for others …

Clmooc comics

For Christina and Mallory, who really were the threads behind the scenes on the CLMOOC, making sure everything was organized and on time and in some thematic order ….

My Imaginary Friends

For Jordan, who worked all of last year and at the start of this year to make the launch of the CLMOOC smooth and seamless …

Friend Wanted

For Paul and Chad, who were busy with other things this summer but whose work last year and earlier this year informed the way we made the CLMOOC what it was this year …

Invisible Forces at Work

For Terry, my pirate-in-arms across many media divides this summer …

Pirates Make Adventure

And most of all, for Terry, Michael, Sheri and Rosie — who were all part the Support Team that I had the pleasure of facilitating this summer as we worked to support each and every person on their journeys.

Support Crew

Did I forget anyone? I hope not.

Thank you to all of you (and to everyone who dipped their toes into the CLMOOC waters and who might still do so in the days to come). I had a blast and I learned so much.

Peace (in the framing of the learning),
Kevin

Capturing the CLMOOC in Comics

Since before the start of the Making Learning Connected MOOC, I have been creating and publishing comics each Make Cycle, partly as reflection points and partly to make fun of myself. The main character become a sort of alter-ego. The comics were created in an app called Rosie Comics, although Rosie herself barely appears.

Before the CLMOOC actually started, I was already making comics:
Clmooc comic 1
Clmooc comic 2
Magic Box of Stuff
Then, the first Make Cycle was launched, with folks sharing their expertise during a How To project…
Make Cool Stuff
In the next Make Cycle, there were memes everywhere ..
So you wanna make a meme
You are so meme
… which led into games for the next Make Cycle …
Make a game with me
… and Hacking your Writing as a Make …
Hacking writing
Hack the Notebook
… which led to considering “light” as a theme for stories …
In the light
Light Rock
… and then, it was all about images as narrative …
Five Frame Story
… which has brought us to reflection ..
The Reluctant Reflecter
… and nearly the end of the CLMOOC (for now) …
Bye Bye
Tomorrow, I will share out my “thank you” comics for all my fellow facilitators in the CLMOOC.
Peace (in the frame),
Kevin

 

Community Hacking: Variations on an Empty Comic

Inspired by all the remixing of Garfield comics, and the back page Caption Contest of the New Yorker magazine, I decided yesterday to remove the dialogue from one of my own webcomics for our Make Cycle around hacking writing for the Making Learning Connected MOOC, and open it up to people to add their own. Call it community hacking.

First, I used this comic, which is part of a series I am doing for the CLMOOC:
Hacking writing

Then, I edited a version in Flickr with the Aviary tool, removing all of the dialogue except for the last line, where the father thinks, “Hack writing?” It made sense to keep this as a sort of “punchline” that everyone could build the comic around.
Hacking writing remix opportunity

I then went into Google Forms (part of Google Drive) and created a very simple form that people could fill out, and added the blank comic as the image. I sent out the links to the form through our CLMOOC network, inviting people to hack my comic, and they did. As dialogue got submitted, I used Aviary again to layer in text and publish the comics, which I then shared out during the day.

Here is what I got (if text is small, you might need to click on image to get the comic larger):
Hacking writing remix 1

Hacking writing remix2

Hacking writing remix3

Hacking writing remix4

Hacking writing remix5

Hacking writing remix6

I’d be remiss not to mention that my friend, Terry, went a step further and created this very fun Dance Party remix with the comic. Love it.

How about you? You can add your own lines to my comic, and then I will publish it.

Peace (in the hack frame),
Kevin

 

Take One Comic. Hack It.

All summer, as part of the Making Learning Connected MOOC, I’ve been dabbling with an comic maker on my app called Rosie (although she has only appeared a few times … I’ve been using other minor characters). This week’s Make Cycle is all about hacking your writing, so I created this comic:
Hacking writing

But I wanted to hack the comic, too, to do something to make it different by laying meaning on top of it. It’s a bit too difficult (although not impossible) to hack the actual comic — I could have emptied out the dialogue boxes, I suppose (which is now sparking an idea for CLMOOC … sort of like that Garfield Minus Garfield site where they remove Garfield, leaving Jon, the man, looking like he is losing his mind. And it turns out there are other variations of the Garfield remix. And then there is the random Garfield generator. And look at this — Square Root Garfield, where people send in ideas to be created. What is with the Garfield remix focus?)

Anyway, I took my original comic and moved it into another comic maker, and added some snarky commenting from another set of comic characters (well, me, as in my avatar), giving it a sort of meta-comic look.

Hacking_Hacking_Writing_Comic

Does it work as a comic? I suppose. As a writing hack? Yeah, it does. I think.

Peace (in the frames),
Kevin