Hello iD Nation!
We’re ramping up for the camp season so my blogging time has been sidelined a bit. But, here’s the second posting for the day. Here is a cool new press release that is going out next week. Yeah, you have the inside scoop so you get to see it early.
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9-year-old Comic Book Creator Goes to College
Imagine you are 9 years old. You visit your local neighborhood comic book store at least twice a week and end up spending your hard earned $5 allowance all on Comic Books. Your favorite films and TV shows are all based upon Comic Books and Action Heros. You spend all of your free time dreaming up the next crazy Comic adventure that your character will be getting into—and out of.
What if you were able to actually immerse yourself in this super fantasy world? What if you were the author and the designer that made the comic book creations come to life? Better yet, what if this was incorporated into a boring history assignment from school? History, fun? According to the George Lucas Educational Foundation, with the introduction to project-based learning in the classroom, there is a decline in absenteeism, an increase in cooperative learning skills, and improvement in student achievement. These benefits are heightened even further when technology is integrated into projects.
With hands-on learning becoming such a prominent feature in schools, teachers across the nation are looking for new interactive teaching tools and methods to get students more excited about school. “Teachers increasingly have to compete with the iPod Generation,” says Pete Ingram-Cauchi, CEO of iD Tech Camps. The flashy, open canvas of an LCD monitor and creative software that is out on the market are making it harder and harder for teachers to teach with the traditional pen and pencil mentality. “There is room for both trains of thought in the classroom,” said Ingram-Cauchi. “But there has to be room for creativity on both sides. We can’t expect our kids to adopt homework assignments the same way they used to—especially if the second they leave school they are living in a digital world—text messaging on their cell phones, listening to MP3’s, and jumping on the computer right before dinner.”
With the digital age upon us, iD Tech Camps, the nation’s largest operator of summer technology camps, has pioneered a new course dubbed Adventures in Comic Creation, a hot software program developed by Planetwide Media. It will allow young students, ages 7 to 10, to take images and morph, distort, and render them, ultimately producing a colorful comic strip.
Karen Thurm Safran, iD Tech Camps V.P. of Marketing, commented, “iD Tech Camps has been teaching students programming, robotics, web design, 2D and 3D video game design and movie-making for 9 seasons now. This season, we’ve expanded the scope to include comic book design. We’re teaching useful skills that our students can take back to the classroom in the fall…Oh, and it’s tons of fun!”
The programs offered at iD Tech Camps is held at 50 top universities throughout the country, from Stanford to M.I.T. The program helps to bridge the gap between creativity and education by using a method known as project-based learning, which promotes fun, energetic and lifelong investigative learning. Project-based learning shifts away from traditional classroom lectures and actively engages students by promoting understanding, empowering kids, and motivating them through exploration.
“This course is perfect for active and imaginative younger students wanting to explore digital art and introductory graphic design,” said Ms. Safran.
The Comic Book Creator software that the students at iD Tech Camps will be using features a simple drag and drop format that allows students to import digital images into the program, add caption boxes, word bubbles and clip art, and output the final creation into a PDF file for easy printing.
Unlike other software programs, which are loaded with interfaces and are difficult to learn, the Comic Book Creator program is user-friendly and can be learned within moments of installing.
When the software is used in the classroom, students can create fun and educational comic strips from whatever discipline being taught – math, science, reading, history, English, political science, art, ESL, or even special education – to help them with the learning process.
Recently, a local physical education teacher used the software to help a student create a refreshing new yearbook format for the hockey team.
While the course offered at iD Tech Camps is just one week long, the skills can be transferred into the classroom year-round, offering students the opportunity to express themselves creatively in the subject of choice. “It’s hands-on learning at its finest. And it’s the wave of the future,” said Safran.
So the next time your kid heads to the comic store and forks over $5 of his allowance, you might want to think if it is truly a waste of money are an investment in the future.
About iD Tech Camps
iD Tech Camps provides weeklong, day and overnight summer compute camps for beginner to advanced students, ages 7 to 17, at 50 prestigious universities in 22 states. Students create video games, digital movies, programs, websites, robots and more. For more information, please visit www.iDTech.com or call 1-888-709-TECH (8324).
About Comic Book Creator™
Comic Book Creator self-publishing software delivers fully-licensed artwork, speech bubbles, animations, and sound effects. Users can drag and drop images, icons, tag line symbols, clip art, audio clips and artwork into a selection of over 100 different layout and design templates, then combine their creations with a personalized storyline to make their own comics. The completed creations can then be posted to blogs and emailed to friends, printed in a comic book form or published to Planetwide’s comic fans online social network at http://www.hypercomics.com. For more information, please visit http://www.mycomicbookcreator.com.