My 9-yr-old came home from school yesterday excited about something that says it can teach him all this:

His teacher had introduced the class to Bitstrips, on online comic creation site that has a special school section.

The site has activities that challenge students to create comics expresssing different things – including using captions which builds their reading and writing skills. They build them using the site’s user-friendly interface that works much like the personalized player avatar creation tools on popular games like Wii.

There are existing activities uploaded by teachers or you can create your own. All activities show the number of classrooms using them. They include:

My Life as a Comic – By far the most popular, students use their avatar to depict an event or personal experience they want to share (used in nearly 18,000 classrooms)

Express Your Feelings – students use expressions to assign appropriate emotions to characters presented in different situations and add text to explain the reasons behind the emotions (used in nearly 6000 classrooms)

Body Language – challenges students to match their avatar’s posture to the emotion written below it (i.e. sad., bored, angry etc..; used in 2800 classrooms).

Campaign Promises – students too young to vote? No problem. During the recent election students could show what they would do for Canada if they were running as their party’s leader using this activity (this one, like the Canadian electorate, has a relatively low turnout, being used by just 717 classrooms).

There are 110 activities created by others and available for use by all.

Teachers can assign work and track student submissons online. Students complete and submit work online so it’s a great way to introduce them to working in the cloud.

Bitstrips isn’t free. For teachers it cost $9.95/month for the first classroom and $4.95/month for additional classroom. Schools pay $1.50 per student per year and it offers a 30-day trial to check it out.

Why not take your students on a trip to the clouds?