Tag Archives: comic life

Top Ten Blog Posts 2018

This year I have written only 17 blog posts, in 2017 it was 21 blog posts, in 2016 it was 43 blog posts, in 2015 I wrote 24 blog posts. In 2014 I wrote 11 and in 2013 I wrote 64 blog posts and over a hundred in 2012. In 2011 I thought 150 was a quiet year!

Do signs work?

The tenth most popular blog post in 2018 was asking So do signs work? This article from 2013 described some of the challenges and issues with using signage to change behaviours. So do signs work? Well yes they do, but often they don’t.

The post at number nine was my podcast workflow, published in 2011, this article outlines how and what equipment I use to record the e-Learning Stuff Podcast. This is only one way in which to record a remote panel based podcast, and I am sure there are numerous other ways in which to do this. I have also changed how I have recorded over the two years I have been publishing the podcast due to changes in equipment and software. It’s probably time to update it, though I am not doing as much podcasting as I use to.

Dropping three places to eighth was 100 ways to use a VLE – #89 Embedding a Comic Strip. This was a post from July 2011, that looked at the different comic tools out there on the web, which can be used to create comic strips that can then be embedded into the VLE. It included information on the many free online services such as Strip Creator and Toonlet out there. It is quite a long post and goes into some detail about the tools you can use and how comics can be used within the VLE.

The post at number seven, climbing one place, was Comic Life – iPad App of the Week. Though I have been using Comic Life on the Mac for a few years now I realised I hadn’t written much about the iPad app that I had bought back when the iPad was released. It’s a great app for creating comics and works really well with the touch interface and iPad camera.

Sixth most popular was a post from 2018, called “I don’t know how to use the VLE!” This blog post described a model of VLE embedding and development. This post was an update to the model I had published in 2010.

In at number five, is also a post from 2018, Why does no one care about my digital strategy? This post described some of the background to the leadership briefing I wrote with Lawrie Phipps on the digital lens.

digital lens

Holding at fourth, is Can I legally download a movie trailer? One of the many copyright articles that I posted some years back, this one was in 2008, I am still a little behind in much of what is happening within copyright and education, one of things I do need to update myself on, as things have changed.

Dropping one place back to third, was Frame Magic – iPhone App of the Week, still don’t know why this one is so popular!

FrameMagic - iPhone App of the Week

Back in 2015 I asked I can do that… What does “embrace technology” mean? in relation to the Area Review process and this post was the second most popular post in 2018, last year it was in sixth place, so it’s getting more popular.

Once again, for the sixth year running, the number one post for 2018 was the The iPad Pedagogy Wheel.

The Padagogy Wheel

I re-posted the iPad Pedagogy Wheel as I was getting asked a fair bit, “how can I use this nice shiny iPad that you have given me to support teaching and learning?”. It’s a really simple nice graphic that explores the different apps available and where they fit within Bloom’s Taxonomy. What I like about it is that you can start where you like, if you have an iPad app you like you can see how it fits into the pedagogy. Or you can work out which iPads apps fit into a pedagogical problem.

So there we have it, the top ten posts 2018.

Top Ten Blog Posts 2015

Sand Bay

Over the last 12 months I have written 24 blog posts which is two a month. In 2014 I wrote 11 and in 2013 I wrote 64 blog posts and over a hundred in 2012. In 2011 I thought 150 was a quiet year!

The tenth most popular post on the blog in 2015, dropping one place from 2014, was written back in 2009 when Twitter was (at the time) looked like the height of the Twitter’s popularity. In the post Ten reasons why Twitter will eventually wither and die… I talked about how Twitter would, like so many other earlier social networks such as Friendster, Bebo, MySpace, would eventually wither and die… well I got that one right didn’t I? Still there are aspects in the post that may, at some point in the future ring true!

My opinion piece on Area Based Reviews for FE was a new entry and the ninth most popular post, I can do that… What does “embrace technology” mean? This was written in 2015 and looked at what we mean when we ask FE Colleges to “embrace technology” and how they could in fact do that. Embracing technology is easy to say, easy to write down. Ensuring that you actually holistically embrace technology across the whole organisation, as part of a wider review is challenging and difficult. We haven’t really done this before, so I don’t think we can assume it will just happen now.

Area Based Review

One of my many posts on Moodle was a re-entry at number eight Is the Scroll of Death Inevitable? This post was the ninth most popular post in 2013. One of the common themes that comes out when people discuss how to use Moodle, is the inevitable scroll of death. My response was that due to a lack of planning (even forward planning) that the end result more often than not would be a long scroll of death in a Moodle course.

Another new entry at number seven in 2015 was written and posted in December 2015 and was about time and why I don’t have a dog. I don’t have a dog #altc was a discussion piece was written for the ALT Winter Conference and looks at the over used excuse for not doing something, which is not having the time to do it. The real reason though, more often then not, is that the person concerned does not see it as a priority.

On The Streets of Vilnius
CC BY 2.0 FaceMePLS https://flic.kr/p/a7RLz7
The sixth post was from the App of the Week series and was called VideoScribe HD – iPad App of the Week I talked about this app in July 2013 and was impressed with the power and versatility of the app for creating animated presentations. This has dropped four places, but one problem, is that the app isn’t available any more for the iPad.

The fifth post, dropping two places, of 2015 was another one from that series. Comic Life – iPad App of the Week. Though I have been using Comic Life on the Mac for a few years now I realised I hadn’t written much about the iPad app that I had bought back when the iPad was released. It’s a great app for creating comics and works really well with the touch interface and iPad camera.

Climbing one place, the fourth most popular post was from my other series on 100 ways to use a VLE. This one was #89 Embedding a Comic Strip. This was a post from July 2011, that looked at the different comic tools out there on the web, which can be used to create comic strips that can then be embedded into the VLE. It included information on the many free online services such as Strip Creator and Toonlet out there. It is quite a long post and goes into some detail about the tools you can use and how comics can be used within the VLE.

Climbing four places, at number three was a copyright post entitled, Can I legally download a movie trailer? One of the many copyright articles that I posted some years back, this one was in 2008, I am a little behind in much of what is happening within copyright and education, one of things I do need to update myself on, as things have changed.

The second most popular post in 2015 was Frame Magic – iPhone App of the Week. This has risen two places and even I am not sure why this one is so popular!

Once again, for the third year running, the number one post for 2015 was the The iPad Pedagogy Wheel. I re-posted the iPad Pedagogy Wheel as I was getting asked a fair bit, “how can I use this nice shiny iPad that you have given me to support teaching and learning?”.

It’s a really simple nice graphic that explores the different apps available and where they fit within Bloom’s Taxonomy. What I like about it is that you can start where you like, if you have an iPad app you like you can see how it fits into the pedagogy. Or you can work out which iPads apps fit into a pedagogical problem.

So there we have it, the top ten posts of 2015, of which two were from 2015!

Here’s to 2016.

e-Learning Stuff – Top Ten Blog Posts of 2013

Oxford

A little later than planned. Well 2013 was an eventful year for me, moving jobs after seven years at Gloucestershire College. I have continued with writing blog posts. There was a lot less writing on the blog this year with just 64 posts, which averages about one a week. Here are the top ten blog posts of 2013. Interestingly this year eight of the posts are from 2013. Half of the posts are app reviews from my series “App of the Week”.

10. Frame Magic – iPhone App of the Week

I wrote about Frame Magic in June and it is one of the many photographic and image apps I have used and reviewed.

9. Is the Scroll of Death Inevitable?

This article from May looked at how the default setup of a Moodle installation, the way in which we do training will inevitably result in the Moodle “scroll of death”.

8. Comic Life – iPad App of the Week

Though I have been using Comic Life on the Mac for a few years now I realised I hadn’t written much about the iPad app that I had bought back when the iPad was released. It’s a great app for creating comics and works really well with the touch interface and iPad camera.

7. 100 ways to use a VLE – #89 Embedding a Comic Strip

This is an older post from July 2011, that looked at the different comic tools out there on the web, which can be used to create comic strips that can then be embedded into the VLE.

It is from my ongoing series of ways in which to use a VLE. This particular posting was about embedding a comic strip into the VLE using free online services such as Strip Creator and Toonlet.

It is quite a lengthy post and goes into some detail about the tools you can use and how comics can be used within the VLE.

The series itself is quite popular and I am glad to see one of my favourite in the series and one of the more in-depth pieces has maintained itself in the top ten, dropping two places from last year.

6. Show what you know [Infographic] – Updated

I liked Tony Vincent’s excellent Infographic on apps that can be used for different activities. This post was showing off his updated version.

5. Keynote – iPad App of the Week

Probably one of my longest blog posts that explores the iPad presentation app from Apple. I used the post to help me to understand the app better and what it is capable of.

4. VideoScribe HD – iPad App of the Week

I talked about VideoScribe HD in July and was impressed with the power and versatility of the app for creating animated presentations.

3. Educreations – iPad App of the Week

I was introduced to this app by a colleague at Gloucestershire College in 2012 and used it and demonstrated it a lot to staff. It was great to see how they and their students used it to support their learning over the year. 2

2. Thinking about iTunes U

Maintaing its position at number two, is this blog post on iTunes U, which followed posts on iBooks 2 and iBooks Author. I discussed the merits and challenges that using iTunes U would bring to an institution. Back then I wrote, if every learner in your institution has an iPad, then iTunes U is a great way of delivering content to your learners, if every learner doesn’t… well I wouldn’t bother with iTunes U. I still stand by that, I like the concept and execution of iTunes U, but in the diverse device ecosystem most colleges and universities find themselves in, iTunes U wouldn’t be a solution, it would create more challenges than problems it would solve.

1. The iPad Pedagogy Wheel

This was my most popular blog post of the year (and if the stats are to be believed of all time on my blog). I re-posted the iPad Pedagogy Wheel as I was getting asked a fair bit, “how can I use this nice shiny iPad that you have given me to support teaching and learning?”.

It’s a really simple nice graphic that explores the different apps available and where they fit within Bloom’s Taxonomy. What I like about it is that you can start where you like, if you have an iPad app you like you can see how it fits into the pedagogy. Or you can work out which iPads apps fit into a pedagogical problem.

Allan Carrington who drew up the diagram has published a revised version, what I like about the original is the simplicity. The revised version is more complex, but as an introduction to what the iPad can do, I much prefer the simpler diagram.

Comic Life – iPad App of the Week




Comic Life Icon

This is a regular feature of the blog looking at various Apps available. Some of the apps will be useful for those involved in learning technologies, others will be useful in improving the way in which you work, whilst a few will be just plain fun! Some will be free, others will cost a little and one or two will be what some will think is quite expensive.

Photo 02-04-2013 14 36 42

This week’s App is Comic Life.

Comic Life, the award winning photo comic creation software, has been redesigned for iOS. It’s the funnest, easiest and fastest way ever to create photo comics on a mobile device. Your comics come to life with our integrated reader on brilliant iOS displays. Easily go from taking photos to creating full comics all on one device with full page templates and panel layouts. Bring in photos from Photobooth or your library, and use our powerful editing and design tools to get exactly the look you want.

Comic Life 2.0 for iOS has everything you need for creating and sharing comics, including fun and quirky templates, stylized image filters, and an easy-to-use drag and drop placement. You have full control over the design of your comics with a huge selection design options – colors, fonts, gradients, balloons, captions, panels and more.

The Comic Life app is designed to parallel that of Apple’s iWork suite of apps, making it easy for you to transition your skills from Pages and Keynote to Comic Life. With similar tap functions and commands, it is simple to hit the ground running.

When your comic is complete, use the integrated reader to flip though the pages. You can also easily share your comic with other options: print, e-mail, or upload to Facebook and Twitter. Use the innovative In Tray option to share comics with nearby iOS devices. Comic collections provide a simple way to keep things tidy as the number of comics created on your iPad increases.

£2.99

I have been a fan of Comic Life for many years and when it came out for the iPad, I did buy a copy. I think this kind of app shows what a tablet, such as the iPad, can be used for, and certainly shows how it can be used as a creative tool. It was a good app with the first iPad, however it really came into its own with the release of the iPad 2 with the built-in cameras.

With the in-built cameras, it actually improves and speeds up workflow, compared to using a “normal” camera, iPhoto and an app like Comic Life on the Mac (or the Windows PC).

Comic Life is very much designed for working with photographs, though you can of course use drawings, but you would need to scan them in first. With a lot of scanners this means you also need a computer, however some of the HP all-in-ones use an in-built web server allowing you to scan and save the image direct to the iPad using Safari. This means you can use printed photographs or drawings too.

Continue reading Comic Life – iPad App of the Week

A few of my favourite things…

Over the last two years of owning the iPad, I have downloaded lots of different apps, some of which were free and a fair few that cost hard cash!

At the recent JISC RSC SW TurboTEL event in Taunton I delivered a ten minute presentation on my favourite iPad apps.

Here are the links to all the apps in the iTunes App Store as well as a brief description of what the app is about and why I like it. Continue reading A few of my favourite things…

ComicBook! – iPhone App of the Week

ComicBook! – iPhone App of the Week

This is a regular feature of the blog looking at various Apps available. Some of the apps will be useful for those involved in learning technologies, others will be useful in improving the way in which you work, whilst a few will be just plain fun! Some will be free, others will cost a little and one or two will be what some will think is quite expensive.

This week’s App is ComicBook!

ComicBook! is the FULL featured comic book creation app!

In only seconds, turn yourself and your friends into comic heroes or villains. Be the star in your own comic book adventures.

Realistic comic styling with a wide selection of: image filters, comic fonts, customizable captions, a library of classic comic graphics and dozens of multi-panel page layouts.

£1.49

If you downloaded Halftone recently following my review of it a few weeks ago and are now looking to do something more than just the single image in Halftone then you might want to have a look at one of the more dedicated comic creation app.

If you have an iPhone or iPod touch then I would suggest you have a look at ComicBook!

It allows you to quickly create a comic strip using existing photographs or you can take some with your built in camera. You can, after choosing a layout add those images, either from the library or take them with the camera.

Continue reading ComicBook! – iPhone App of the Week

100 ways to use a VLE – #89 Embedding a Comic Strip

Often many VLE courses look very “boring”, a list of resources and activities. Often many VLE courses look very “boring”, a list of resources and activities. This is partly down to the fact that a VLE is often seen by practitioners as a repository of content, with links to resources and activities. One way to break up the list is to use embedded graphics to enhance the visual appeal of the course on the VLE.

One use of graphic that can enhance the look of a VLE course or as a mechanism to engage learners is to embed a comic strip into the VLE course.

Comic strips can be serious as well as humourous. They can be used as the starting point for a discussion, to emphasise the key topics in an assignment, to engage learners in a particular subject or just to break up a list of other resources.

You can either use an existing comic strip or using a tool create your own.

Continue reading 100 ways to use a VLE – #89 Embedding a Comic Strip

Comic Life 2 for Mac

I am a great fan of the Comic Life application and have used it quite a few times at work to create comics for handouts, flyers and pages in our staff newsletter.

Comic Life 2 for Mac has been out for a while but the special introduction price of £13.99 ends on the 1st August. So if you like the idea of creating comics and have a Mac then Comic Life 2 is a great piece of software that makes it easy and fun.

Turn your photos into comic layouts (even entire books!) with Comic Life. Speech balloons, fonts and filters give you all the tools you need to make the perfect photo comic.

Check it out in the Mac App Store. For Windows users version 1 is available.

Cheap Comic Life for iPad

Plasq have a special offer on at the moment, until 00.01  on Sunday, Comic Life for iPad is half price.

I really like Comic Life for Mac (also on special until 1st August) and was well impressed when it was released for the iPad. I have been meaning to write a review for my App of the Week, but as it is currently on special offer for a couple of days I thought I would blog about it. It’s already great value for money, so for only £2.49 it’s worth getting it at this price.

Comic Life, the award winning photo comic creation software, has been redesigned for the iPad. It’s the funnest, easiest and fastest way ever to create photo comics on a mobile device. Your comics come to life with our integrated reader on the brilliant iPad display. It’s simple to get started with full page templates and panel layouts. Bring in photos from Photobooth or your library and use our powerful editing and design tools to get exactly the look you want.

Comic Life for iPad has everything you need for creating and sharing comics, including fun and quirky templates, stylized image filters, and an easy-to-use drag and drop placement. You have full control over the design of your comics with a huge selection design options – colors, fonts, gradients, balloons, captions, panels and more.

The Comic Life app is designed to parallel that of Apple’s iWork suite of apps, making it easy for you to transition your skills from Pages and Keynote to Comic Life. With similar tap functions and commands, it is simple to hit the ground running with Comic Life for iPad.

The app makes it easy to design your comic exactly the way you want. Create radial and linear color gradients for perfect the lettering effect, precisely place balloon tails with advanced controls, reshape image panels, build titles and captions with all of your favorite font and style choices.

When your comic is complete, use the integrated reader to flip though the pages on your iPad. You can also easily share your comic with other options: print, e-mail, or upload to Facebook. New to Comic Life for iPad is our innovative In Tray option which allows you to share your comics with other iPads nearby. Comic collections provide a simple way to keep things tidy as the number of comics created on your iPad increases.

It’s a great app and works very well on the iPad, if you are ever going to make comics for handouts, flyers or newsletters then Comic Life is ideal and the iPad version is great for quick and easy comics and comic strips.

Check it out in the iTunes Store.

ToonPAINT – iPhone App of the Week

ToonPAINT – iPhone App of the Week

This is a regular feature of the blog looking at various Apps available. Some of the apps will be useful for those involved in learning technologies, others will be useful in improving the way in which you work, whilst a few will be just plain fun! Some will be free, others will cost a little and one or two will be what some will think is quite expensive.

This week’s App is ToonPAINT – Toon-FX.

ToonPAINT allows you to easily create awesome looking cartoon-paintings with your own photos.

Even if you have never drawn or painted before, ToonPAINT sets you up for quick success by providing a “MagiSketch” that you can simply color-in. It’s as easy as “paint-by-numbers”, but using your own personal images. Unlike other photography apps, ToonPAINT is not just an image filter — it’s a smart-painting application that enables you to express your creativity and obtain compelling results without requiring you to take Art classes.

Simply import a photo, create an “automagic” sketch of the photo, color-in at your leisure, and you’re done!

£1.19

I have said a few times in the past that I sometimes think the best Apps for the iPhone are the simple ones, the ones that do one thing well.

I was reminded of ToonPAINT recently by a photograph on Instagram, it had been “converted” in ToonPAINT before been uploaded to Instagram. I was impressed with the end result I checked out ToonPAINT, only to find I already had it! If I remember rightly I had bought it in the past, thought it was okay, but not what I wanted and forgot about it. As it is now on version 2.1, they have certainly improved it and it does exactly what you think it does, convert photographs (from the camera or the library) and convert it into a comic format. The key is that it does it very well and the end results do look like hand drawn comics.

So if you are using an application like Comic Life (on the Mac, Windows or the iPad now) you can create a series of comic images from photographs using ToonPAINT and then use them in the Comic Life application. Now it should be said that Comic Life does indeed have filters that do a similar trick, but I much prefer the results from ToonPAINT then the included ones in Comic Life.

The process in ToonPAINT is very simple, take a photograph, either with the camera or from your image library, the app converts it into a comic format, you then save it!

Simple!

If needed you can go in and edit the comicfying settings, changing the levels, thickness of lines, etc… This can help especially if the default settings don’t work just right, which from my experience was rare.

You can also colourise the resulting comic using a built in palette to create coloured comics. There are two extra in-app purchase tools, ToonColor and Photo Brush both are 59p each. I think ToonColor is worth buying, didn’t find Photo Brush as useful.

There are plenty of export options and this makes it easy to show off your pics.

Would like to have seen a Dropbox option so that I could then use the images on my Mac more quickly.

Overall I like ToonPAINT, it does what it does well and as a one trick pony, it does what I want it to do.

Get ToonPAINT in the App Store.