Students often doodle in class when they’re bored, but a new Web site has some teachers assigning such work. With Bitstrips for Schools, students can create and share comic books using online art and multimedia tools. Teachers must first register at the site, and then each student can sign on using a classroom account. The subscription-based site offers a 14-day free trial, which allows teachers to test the program and its features. A basic online account for an entire class costs about $10 a month, or $87 for a year. The comic-book creations are teacher-moderated and pass through Internet filters to prevent inappropriate material from being shared.
Bitstrips’ representatives say they’ve added more than 40,000 users to the site since they launched it last year. So far, they say, the response from educators has been strong. Teachers are buying in to the site mainly because it teaches valuable Web skills, as well as reading, writing, and storytelling techniques, the company says.