My Top 20 Comic Book Apps and how you can use them in the Classroom

top20apps

The wait is over, here are my Top 20 Apps for making Comics in the Classroom. While a large list all of these apps work great by themselves or together from PK-college. I will put my Top 5 first and then go from there. Enjoy.

stripdesigner1. Strip Designer ($2.99): The best App I have found that works great as a classic comic book design app. Strip Designer allows you to drop in any picture from your camera roll to almost any photo app seamlessly. The App allows you position, add word balloons, sound FX and more with just a tap of the panel. What’s great is your final comic pages can be sent to your camera roll or shared between almost any app and be compile into a great comic book.

explaineverything2. Explain Everything ($2.99): Something I love about Explain Everything is how many options is has for creating a screencast. You can import almost anything from PDFs to creating your own drawings and sketches and bringing them to life. In this day and age of motion and digital comics, Explain Everything is one of my top picks for creating Comics in the Classroom. You can make a story come to life, add in sounds and actions with just a few gestures of your fingers or a stylist. Check out this great one I made using S’more from Small Hope.

stickaround3. Stick Around ($2.99): My favorite app on the iPad, Stick Around has some of the best ways to create comics in the classroom for education. Using templates like Sequence of Six or Nine or the timeline template. Students and Teachers can create story board structure comics teaching orders of events that create stories. With the ability to import images from your device or cloud drives, Stick Around also has drawing and shape tools that can make your puzzle become a comic that does more than creates a story it also teaches and can be reshaped by the user.

toontastic4: Toontastic (Free): Toontastic has been a favorite of mine for a few years now, having a cartoon studio literally at your finger tips. Since starting Genius Hour this year I have had a plethora of students create fantastic stories using the characters of Toontastic. A favorite of mine was a student who created a cartoon of her favorite character from The Adventures on Babysitting books creating a fun and amazing comic about the character. What’s also great that if you are familiar with Puppet Pals they work very similar. I prefer Toontastic more since the app is completely free and offers a ton of add-ons.

popplet5. Popplet/Popplet Lite ($4.99, FREE): I love mind mapping but I also love story boards and Popplet does just that. You can create an endless set of bubbles that can do both character breakdowns and create a fantastic comic. Depending on which version you use either the free or paid version, Popplet is a must have App for story creation and education in the classroom.

comicmakerHD6. Comic Maker HD (Free): This was a favorite of mine for a while, much like Strip Designer, Comic Maker HD is a free app that plugs in the best features for creating comics. Ease of use and following features of Comic Maker HD will help you create your own comic easily. Layering function lets you compile images, text, backgrounds items into one storyline easily. You just drag-and-drop item to specific position, change order of each item as you need.You can alter word balloons, panel sizes and add in a few color effects. Its a great alternative to Strip Designer if you want a great free comic book app.

comicbook!7. Comic Book! ($2.99): Strip Designer’s little brother, this app is great for creating comics with just a few taps of the screen. Another great feature is that is allows you to alter images to make them look more genuine in the comic strips. From classic comics to noir. Comic Book! is a great App on all platforms.

googleslides8. Google Slides (Free): Many ask me why I put Google Slides ahead of Keynote or PowerPoint. The main reason is its one of the best slide presentation Apps around. The app not only can save automatically and works great with Google Classroom, Edmodo or Schoology but you can change the transitions so it it can create an animated story. Here is the best example.

googledraw9. Google Drawing (Free): Don’t want to take photos of everything to make your comic? Prefer to draw and make your own? Google Drawing is the App for you, while not available on iPad as of this post, Google Drawing has the best features of Google Drive. Able to share with others and save automatically but its the shape and drawing tools that I love the most. My banner was created using a combination between Bistrips and Google Drawing. I was able to shape and resize my cube templates perfectly and then use the alignment tools to make my images look completely professional. I can then download the images as a PNG or JPG and also put them in Google Slides or Google Docs and Forms to create an online comic book for education.

bitstrips10. Bitstrips (Free): While free it does require having a Facebook account to unleash the full power of Bitstrips. One of my favorites for creating real life looking comics of people and situations. Bitstrips can be tailored automatically or directly with a few taps on your mobile or desktop device. The images can also be saved and put in other Apps like Slides, Strip Designer, Stick Around, Explain Everything and more.

chatterpix11. Chatterpix (Free): A favorite of all my students is when they can take any picture with their iPad and then decorate and make it talk with Chatterpix. While the app only allows 30 seconds of recording you can take a movie app like iMovie, Movie Maker and more and string them together to make a live action comic book story and then share on any network.

paperby5312. Paper by 53 (Free): If you prefer drawing your stories or putting Sketch notes together to create your comic, Paper by 53 is the App to choose. Having the ability to be a digital professional canvas. Paper allows plenty of tools and angles to create your drawings and sketches and then share and save on any platform. One of the best ways is to create your story panels in Paper and then export the images into Strip Designer or related Apps and make a professional comic book as a result.

picplaypost13. PicPlayPost ($2.99): PicPlayPost has been an app I love to use to string both images and videos together in a comic book layout. What makes this one different from all the others I’ve seen is that it can incorporate not only stills, but also videos and putting everything from music and more in the mix. Some of my early works was creating App Smashes using Chatterpix, Explain Everything and then bringing them all together in PicPlayPost for many of my Appy and the App Dice Pirate adventure stories.

adobeslate14. Adobe Slate (Free): I love Adobe Slate, this creates awesome and simple webpage designs that can be read on any platform. Play with a variety of layouts. Just add text, use your own photos or pick from thousands on the web. Simply tap on one of the professional themes and beautiful fonts, magazine-style design and motion transform your story. I have used them for most of my teaser hooks for my presentations and sessions. Take a look.

vidra15. Vidra (Free): Vidra has become a great must have simple movie creator app for teachers and students. Share your story with the world in just a few minutes. Make slides, rearrange them, choose background and animation for each one. Much like Adobe Voice, Vidra doesn’t require an Adobe Account and has a treasure trove of free images and icons to use with your videos. Take a look how it works.

adobevoice16. Adobe Voice (Free): While Vidra is great, Adobe Voice is still a great app to create active stories with. Pick from thousands of beautiful, iconic images to show your ideas. Then choose the perfect look. I have loved creating simple instruction and stories using Adobe Voice and not worrying about having a water mark on your videos like Vidra and having simpler editing features makes Voice a great App.

tellagami17. Tellagami (Free/$4.99): One of my favorite avatar story apps for a while, Tellagami is not used by me as much unlike my students. My students have created wonderful stories using Tellagami. While the paid version will unlock tons of add-ons to use. The free version can still create incredible digital comics for education. Here is one of my favorites using Green Screen, Adobe Voice and Explain Everything.You can also fine more examples over at Ed Tech Teacher by Greg Kulowiec.

doink18. Green Screen by Doink ($2.99): My favorite green screen app and perfect for app smashes as shown above with Tellagami. Green Screen can put a person or an animated character in a lush world full of endless possibilities. There is also a sister App called Animation & Drawing that allows you to create animation gifs that can be exported to Green Screen or the Camera Roll.

piccollage19. Pic Collage (Free): Pic Collage can import both images, videos and animated gifs from both your device and around the world wide web. Use photos, stickers, frames, and text to create collages. Pic Collage is one of the best free photo collage making apps that lets you create quick collages using beautiful backgrounds and stickers and filters. You can also share your photos on your Facebook account.While limited to 30 images, Pic Collage is a must have for creating comics in the classroom.

aurasma20. Aurasma (Free): What’s create about augmented reality is that you can create an interactive story with it. Using Aurasma you can make stories where the viewer interacts as the story unfolds. Have them create a scavenger where they must seek out the next part of the story. Being interactive with your lessons where characters pop out of equations and lessons to teach. With Aurasma you can’t go wrong.

Honorable mentions: Puppet Pals, Puppet Pals 2, Phoster, Thinglink, Book Creator, Scribble Press, Over, Mextures, Geoboard, Number Pieces, Number Frames, Flipagram, Post-it Plus, Fonta, Frontback, Phonto, 3D Avatar Creator, Shadowpuppet, 30Hands, Keynote, PowerPoint, UpDown Videos, Retrica and Skitch.

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