Comics in the Classroom

Jesse Brown, a BoingBoing guest blogger, is the host of TVO's Search Engine podcast.

When I was a kid I was often reprimanded and sometimes even kicked out of class for drawing comics in school. Now, research has shown that comics are a great way to turbo-charge literacy in reluctant readers (especially in boys), and comics are suddenly being welcomed into classrooms all over the world.

With this in mind, my partners at Bitstrips and I have developed Bitstrips for Schools, an educational comic-making service. We piloted it last spring in a handful of Ontario classrooms, and the kids went crazy for it, creating almost 3000 comic strips in six weeks time (see video). Their creativity has astounded me, as have the incredibly cool and dedicated teachers I've had the chance to work with (link).

Bitstrips for Schools has since been licensed by the Ontario Ministry of Education, which means that 2 million kids now have at their fingertips the tools to make their own comics.

We also just introduced a "self-serve" option that lets teachers outside of Ontario buy cheap one-classroom licenses.

So yes, in interests of full disclosure, this is a plug for a website I have an interest in. But it's also a website I'm super proud to be a part of!

Bitstrips for Schools.