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Free Tools Challenge #9: Fast and Easy ToonDoo

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This is the 9th post in the “30 days to using the best of the web’s free tools for educators” series. Be sure to subscribe to the Teacher Challenge blog by RSS, like us on facebook, and follow us on twitter to keep up with future challenge posts as they are published.

ToonDoo! It seems I have a new favorite Web 2.0 app about every week or so. This week, it’s ToonDoo. What is ToonDoo? It’s a free, fast, and facile comic strip creator. Here is a Toon Book I made on ToonDoo. It illustrates for my students our Internet Etiquette, or “Netiquette”.

This past few months, my teaching and my time online have been revolutionized. I never before realized all the wonderful Web 2.0 applications that were available, so when I heard about the latest Edublogs Teacher Challenge, “The Best Free Web Tools For Education!” I jumped in with both feet to share one of the new tools I’ve come to enjoy. ToonDoo is not only fast and easy, it also has many more advanced features. For this Challenge, I’ve kept it simple. You can pick and choose from the following objectives. If you are an advanced user, please join in with comments about how you use ToonDoo.

Objectives

  1. Sign up for a free Toon Doo account.
  2. Create a Toon Doo cartoon.
  3. Publish your cartoon on your blog or elsewhere.
  4. Add a Toon Doo widget to your blog.
  5. Create a ToonDoo book of cartoons.

Overview

ToonDoo claims to be the “World’s fastest way to create cartoons.” I’m not sure, but ToonDoo is free, fast and easy. (And, should you find something that is not easy, the help desk is awesome.)

Challenge Task

Step 1. If you don’t already have one, create an account.

Sign in

You have the option to register for a paid and private service called ToonDooSpaces, for school and educational institutions. This would be a good idea if your students will be creating cartoons. For my purposes, I have just created my own individual account, which is free.

Choose ToonDooSpaces or Individual Account

Step 2. Once you have an account, create a toon. I suggest just playing with the program. You will be surprised how quickly you can make a toon you like. As they say, “Some people are born with a natural ability to draw cartoons, for everyone else, there’s ToonDoo!” I’ve also included a Screencast showing myself making a quick cartoon. In addition, here are a few written steps to follow:

  • Log in and click on Toons: Create Toon.
  • Select your layout.
  • The first time you get started it may take a few extra moments to get all the cool features uploaded. Be patient. It’s worth it.
  • Main Menu

  • You have menus across the top, full of free clipart and backgrounds, and a toolbar across the bottom. Have fun and explore. There are many features on ToonDoo.
  • When you are happy with your creation go to the Main Menu in the upper left hand corner and save the file.
  • You will need to make some choices here. You can make it public or private. You can also choose the Redoo feature. Redoo allows others to copy your toon and edit it in their own creator window. It’s a good feature for collaboration with others.
  • If you allow your toon to be available for purchase, others can purchase a high resolution copy for their use. If anyone does buy your toon, you will get credited toonkens in your account, which allow you to purchase other people’s toons. (Note about toonkens: I actually purchased some toonkens so I can buy high-resolution prints, but I have yet to need them.)

Step 3. Publish your cartoon on your blog.

  • You will find your own library of toons under the “My ToonDoos” tab.My ToonDoos
  • Hover over the toon you wish to use and you’ll be given choices to Preview, Edit, including delete, or Go to Page.
  • Choose Go to Page and you will have a complete tool bar to explore.

Tool Bar on ToonDoo "Go to Page"

  • Choose the < >, indicating the embed code. Copy the code and insert it into a blog post. (Remember to be sure to use the HTML editor when you insert code into your blog.) You can also email the link to a friend, save a copy, or purchase a high-resolution copy.

Step 4. After you make a few toons, you may want to get a ToonDoo widget for the sidebar on your blog. You’ll find the easy-to-use tab under Tools: Widget Toons.

ToonDoo Widget for your blog

  • Follow the three-step process. Choose a background color, type a name, grab the code. Simple. Then take the code and add it as you would Widget text. Here is a post from Sue Waters to get you started on Widgets if you don’t know how.

Three-step process for getting embed code.

Step 5. Another thing you can do after you’ve created a few toons is to gather them into a book, like the Netiquette book in the introduction above. Go to Books: Create Book. Then just drag and drop your toons into the book. No need to turn the page; just keep dropping them in where indicated.

Create Book

Help & Tips

  • ToonDoo has created a very helpful ToonDoo Wiki.
  • In addition, if you can’t find what you are looking for on the wiki, I have found the help line to be very responsive to questions. You can email ToonDude or ToonDudette @toondoo.com.
  • I’ve also included below a ToonBook that explains features on the toolbar, created by Toon Dudette.

Extend & Discuss

Please leave a comment below sharing one or more of the following regarding ToonDoo.

  1. Leave a link to your ToonDoo, ToonBook, or blog post where you embedded a Toon or widget.
  2. In addition, how have you used ToonDoo? What do you do with your creations? Who is your audience? Do your students create toons?
  3. What additional features of ToonDoo have you used? Do you have any hints to help us learn more?
  4. Add a link to your ToonDoo profile so others can FellowFollow you.
  5. Fellow Follow Button

About the Author

Denise Krebs, username mrsdkrebs, teaches junior high in a small rural school in Iowa, United States. Although she had blogged for the whole year of 2010, it wasn’t until January 2011, during Edublogs’ Kick Start Your Blogging Challenge that she felt she joined a Professional Learning Network. She has learned so much thanks to her new friends in the educational blogging world. Her first ToonDoo was made in January and posted on her blog during the challenge. Since then she has had fun creating and learning more about this multi-faceted Web 2.0 application. Here are some ways you can get in touch with her:

Screen shot 2011-03-20 at 10.12.36 PM

6 comments for “Free Tools Challenge #9: Fast and Easy ToonDoo

  1. May 10, 2011 at 11:36 am

    I love ToonDoo. I have always loved using comics in the classroom. I can’t draw at all and that makes me appreciate ToonDoo even more.
    Here is my post on ToonDoo: http://lunas994.blogspot.com/2011/05/free-tools-challenge-9-toondoo.html

  2. April 1, 2011 at 2:09 pm

    Great post! My students would love to try this site out. Thanks Denise!

  3. April 1, 2011 at 1:55 pm

    I know what it takes to make such a wonderful, colorful, informative, picture-enhanced blog post.

    Unless you truly love ToonDoo and want to share the joy, you wouldn’t have embarked on this tough job!

    Thanks a lot for the goodwill and love.

    ToonDoo will live on, and get better every single day!

    We’re happier still, as we received this appreciation on the fourth anniversary of this great free tool. We were born – Mar 29 2007!

    Rajendran.
    ToonDude from http://www.toondoo.com

    (By the way, clever antispam captcha!)

    • April 2, 2011 at 3:43 am

      Rajendran,
      I do love ToonDoo! Thanks for help when I get stuck!
      Denise

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