Friday, September 13, 2013

Create Photo Comics with Story Me

Utilizing comics in interventions has many applications, from social instruction (Comic Strip Conversation or Social Thinking®-style), to sentence and narrative formulation, to modifying curriculum topics into an engaging form. I have often covered these techniques in workshops and lamented that there wasn't a good free app allowing people to get their feet wet with comic-making. Until now.

Story Me (free for iPad) was named one of the best new apps by App Advice recently, and for good reason. Like many other comic-creators, Story Me allows you to snap photos or import those saved to the camera roll, add comic effects and most importantly: language in the form of word balloons and captions. While the text features in Story Me are not as customizable as paid apps, they offer a good start and are wrapped in a very easy-to-use interface. For more features including font choice, additional photo effects and stickers, and sharing options, take a look at the powerful apps Strip Designer and Comic Life.

Story Me uses "face detection" to help you add word balloons, but you can add a "face" anyplace you want a word balloon to appear. Unfortunately, the app does not allow addition of thought balloons important for perspective; for these you would need one of the apps mentioned above or to use captions creatively. Once created, comics can be shared via email as a JPEG or saved to the camera roll.

Try Story Me and make comics of:
-Characters from stories
-Science and Social Studies curriculum
-Activity or Play sequences
-Social scripts

How would you use photo comics with your students? Let us know in the comments.

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