Bitstrips app lets users generate – and star in – their own comic strips. One mom found that the program helped her 9-year-old son get excited about writing.
Courtesy of Lisa Suhay
Parents who want to help boys who are reluctant writers may want to learn more about Bitstrips, the new free interactive comic strip app sweeping the Facebook landscape.
The app called Bitstrips launched its 1.1.7 version for iPhone, iPod, and iOS users this week as well as on Google Play for Android users. According to the International Business Times, it currently has more than 10 million users.
Bitstrips is a customizable avatar-creation tool on the Web that lets users create and share comics of themselves and others with personalized messages.
As a parent I saw two opportunities in this new app: 1. Connect with my teens in the cutting edge technosphere via adding them to my playlist of avatar/characters for the strips. 2. Connect our youngest son, Quinten, age 9, to writing.
Quin is mainly an A student with the exception of writing, which is a steady C.
I can tell you firsthand that difficulties in writing can be devastating to a child's education and self-esteem. Despite all his successes, what he sees as “epic failure in writing” and communicating his ideas on paper hurts Quin’s learning.
In a meeting before the start of the school year here in Norfolk, Va., I was lucky to find we had a new principal, Dennis Fifer, who has a keen understanding of boys and writing issues.
He listened to the teacher describe my son’s inability to put his thoughts onto paper and suggested to the teacher that Quin be allowed to make his own comic strips instead.
Mr. Fifer explained that most boys lag behind girls in both handwriting and story writing. It’s sometimes called “pencil anxiety” because the coordinative lag in handwiring in boys leads to reluctance to use that pencil to write. He suggested a keyboard in place of a pencil and a comic strip in place of an essay.
Quin loved the idea of drawing his own strip in place of his regular essay for school.