Toontastic was fun and easy to use but perhaps more appropriate for K-3, than for higher ed. This is an iOS app, so I downloaded it to my ipad and started playing. My 6 year old took over and had a blast figuring it out. The learning curve was minimal and the guided step-by-step was very good. He had no trouble making his first movie and we were able to create right away with no frustration factor. There is also a pretty nice little parent/teacher guide.
Toontastic is a little different than the other cartoon creation tools I reviewed in that the tool lets you create an actual animated movie. You are assisted in choosing a background, characters and props. Then you record a voice over while dragging these elements around the touch pad. When you play it back, you not only hear your voice but the character movement was is recorded, creating a fun and engaging little cartoon movie.
I don’t see this as being as useful with older audiences. For the younger set, they do coach you through creating a story with a beginning a middle and an end. That being said, if you had a specific project in mind that wanted to combine animation with voice, this would be a good choice.
Unless, everyone that you wanted to particpate didn’t have iPads. I don’t know what this is going to look like in the future. The creators of Toontastic, Launchpad Toys, was just acquired by Google.
I was not able to export my silly movie to give you a demo without granting the app permission I did not want to grant it but you can watch the official demo movie on the Launchpad Toys webpage
Learning curve: Minimal
Ease of use: Easy
Time required to create a product: 10 minutes +
Key features: Easy to create animated characters with voiceover
Problems you encountered: Export restrictions
Barriers that might prevent effective use: iOs specific
Possible educational uses: Teaching storytelling to k-3
3 thoughts on “Review of Toontastic”
Can there be an advantage to asking students to express their understanding with very simple tools? If you really lower the cognitive load with regard to the tool, could you allow students to focus on content in a care-free way? Crayons and paper, for instance, almost never lose their attractiveness as a potential medium of expression.
Would this tool fall into that category or would the juvenile style present too much of a barrier?
“I was not able to export my silly movie to give you a demo without granting the app permission I did not want to grant it”
This is something that is becoming increasingly more and more frustrating with these apps. There are quite literally thousands of teaching tools out there available for tablets and phones. Let’s just say, being REALLY generous, that a couple hundred or so are excellent. That’s still not a lot of tools, really, and it’s an even smaller number when you start to cut out things that want access to your contacts, email, phone, or camera. I’m not comfortable giving apps those permissions myself sometimes, and I’m certainly not comfortable asking my students to download apps that might ask for that. It’s troubling and I don’t see it going away any time soon, unfortunately.
Glad to hear your son had fun using Toontastic; my daughter caught on quick as well. For us, one of the best outcomes was the understanding of the story spine. Because the app guides the user through scene creation -setup, problem, rising action, climax, falling action, resolution, it has led to more organized and detailed storytelling with my young one. Within this was the teaching moment that most stories have a bad guy. The bad guy is necessary for the problem, climax and eventual resolution. For young or sensitive viewers, I think this understanding is developmentally imperative.
One other thing I liked about Toontastic is that movies are saved to the internal camera roll. From here it’s easy to share with family, friends, etc. Similar programs I’ve used require a separate app or email address to share.