Friday, September 12, 2008

Comic Strip as an Educational Tool


This post is written by Anamika Biswas.

Google launched its new browser with a bang. By now there must have millions and billions downloads of the same. Before I could really start with browser I got hooked to its engaging comic- Google Chrome Comic. During our childhood, we all were charmed by comics and their characters. We have admired those fictional characters and their colorful backgrounds. Comics remained as our good companions and entertainers.

Even though, the use of comic strips/comic characters for advertisement has received good response. But Google Chrome Comic made a mark on my psyche as Comic strips can be used as an effective educational/tutorial tool. I have read it more than four to five times. Every time I had a different reason to read it: of course, first reading was to understand what this new browser has on offer? Rest of the re-readings was to appreciate the brilliant usage this medium known as Comic.

Scott McCloud the artist behind this Non-Fictional comic has made it into an engaging tutorial by:

  • Converting life cycle of the product into an illustrative narration. (We all like to read stories, so do we like this one as well)
    Narrative product life cycle


  • Introducing names of the team members to make narration authentic

  • Presenting visual of various actions/reactions of technical ingredients/elements of the chrome

  • Employing animated facial expressions and body language of the team members to inspire the reader to feel emotion of the narrative

    Animated Facial Expressions and Body Language


  • Using symbols/icons to expand the linguistic aspects of the narrative.

  • Utilizing limited and essential technical terms used with ease

  • Creating easy to relate illustrations from day to day life to narrate technical concepts

  • There is a desired attempt to make user familiar with the features and feel of the chrome through various indirect method as:

    layout panel

    Reinforcement through repetition



    • It carries the theme of the chrome i.e. simplicity at its best. So the back drops of the comic strips are quite simple

    • Scott McCloud has used similar blue color with combination of white, as the Chrome has

    • Comic is divided into five parts. Every time a new part starts the layout of the strip carries the New Tab Frame of the chrome




Hope to see more such unusual mediums to be part of educational/learning tools.



(Images from googlebooks/chrome)

2 comments:

Meera on January 8, 2010 at 12:50 PM said...

Submitted on 2008/09/12 at 1:47pm

Hi,

Interesting post! Comic strips can and are being creatively used in education. Even before the Google used a comic strip for the chrome tutorial, educators from all over the world were already using comics with learners.

ToonDoo is an online comic strip creation tool for anyone to be able to create comics without having to draw. It’s a a great medium being effectively exploited by educators. Do check it out at http://www.toondoo.com.

Anamika Biswas on January 8, 2010 at 12:50 PM said...

Submitted on 2008/09/12 at 2:23pm

Thanks for your response,Meera! Highlight of the Chrome Comic is not only the direct information/knowledge transfer through comics, Soctt has utilized each and every element of comic to turn into an effective educational tool. As the objective of the comic was to familiarize the reader with the new browser-Chrome so the color combination is restricted to blue and white. Similarly comic strip panel layout is straight from the chrome tabs.

In short, by the time a reader completes reading of the comic, he is quite familiar with the interface of the browser.

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