Strip designer does what you might expect. It allows children to create a comic book design for their work. At first sight this may seem pointless except for occasional formatting requirements but what we have found is that the range of layouts and possibilities allows children to present a huge range of genres in different an useful ways via the app. One comment a boy made to me last week was that their work looks professional, even if it is basically a list of facts. The ability to combine text and image together, whether to show understanding of a topic, to record the stages of a science experiment or to retell a story has proved very powerful when convincing children that what they are writing is important. Again it can be seen as an example of where children’s work has a clear focus on purpose and audience, imposed by the nature of the app.
The app also needs to be considered in the context of the different stages that a piece of work may go through before being published. For example, you may be teaching a unit of work around the Vikings. The children will maybe watch video clips, read books, web articles, listen to the teacher and so on. During that work they will be note taking, writing short pieces of text, maybe linking in literacy work on a certain genre (narrative of observing a Viking raid for example). Now if the device fulfils its role as a data hoover and those notes are contained on the device. They can then be revisited, embellished, edited , reviewed and so on to form the basis of an end of unit Strip Design that shows all the work. The strips can be as many pages as you like (I’ve never tested this theory but have seen 10 page strips before which should be plenty) so each page might show different aspects of the work covered over the course of the weeks. The fact that the children can copy and paste text from other apps, take photos of artwork or visits and put them all in one place makes this an ideal app to bring lots of different pieces of work together. It can show a complete learning journey.
Holly at Riverdale also showed me that she regularly saves her strips as pdfs so she can put them on her iBooks shelf to act as a library of her work.