Saturday, October 2, 2010

ToonDoo and PicLit: Two tools for supporting UDL "Multiple Means of Expression"

Although I've known about ToonDoo for a while now, it was a blog post this morning at What Ed Said and a Tweet from @web20classroom about the site PicLits yesterday that got me thinking more about the great resources on the web for letting students explore and play with language and images in non-threatening and creative ways.

When we ask students to share what they understand about a particular concept or idea we usually expect  verbal answers via a class discussion or formally written responses. We rarely ask or allow students to combine their verbal and written responses with images or video to help clarify their understanding, or when we do we usually build too many expectations into the project (you know - design a poster that explains every aspect of James Joyce's Ulysses) that many students feel overwhelmed at the analogue of image and ideas.  

ToonDoo and PicLits are very inviting explorations of the way that images and text can communicate more effectively than either media alone. They work well as stand alone activities but can also be combined with larger multimedia activities like classroom blogs and sites like Glogster to help students express and reflect on their learning in fun and creative ways.

PicLit from

I imagine students exploring language and learning new vocabulary through PicLits' magnetic poetry styled site. Or using the freestyle text editor to address more specific written responses to questions posed by a lesson.  

ToodDoo would be a great resource for asking students to represent or summarize an important scene from a text or to describe a math or science concept to a fellow student.  

And both sites contain thousands of examples of student created work which could be curated and then presented to generate discussion about effective uses of language and images related to a specific classroom theme.

I know that providing more examples of how students would use these sites to share what they know would benefit anyone who reads this post.  Are you using either of these sites in your classroom?  How would you use these sites to support all learners in your classroom?

1 comment:

Meera said...

Hi Kit,

Thanks for blogging about ToonDoo and for recommending it as a classroom tool!

We would love it if you could check out the classroom-friendly version of ToonDoo at and tell us what you think of it.

ToonDooSpaces is better designed for use in the classroom with its many features such security, privacy and the ability to hide inappropriate clipart. Also you can easily monitor and give feedback on student work.

Do check it out and share your thoughts!

ToonDudette from