Bitstrips

Common Sense Media says

Comics creator doesn't require art skills, just imagination.

Age(i)

2
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Quality(i)

 

Learning(i)

What parents need to know

Positive messages

Comments are generally positive. The teacher-based Bitstrips for Schools site also includes a section on values, which features anti-bullying and other activities.

Violence

Users have posted comics with cartoon corpses, vivid murders, and other gory images.

Sex

Kids may find comics that mention sex; some feature nude characters. It's also a little odd that users have the option of selecting a small or large chest size when creating their avatar. Google ads that link to sex-charged sites may also appear when you search for sex-related terms.

Language

Comics and posts with words like damn are allowed. Searches for f--k and s--t won't turn up any results, and words like f--k are replaced with symbols (@#) in comments, but some users have slipped past the site's filter using other variations.

Consumerism

Ads appear on some site pages; kids can also purchase shirts decorated with characters they create.

Drinking, drugs, & smoking

Some user-submitted comic strips include jokes about characters being drunk; some also glorify drug use.

Privacy & safety

Users are encouraged to find friends who are on Bitstrips by searching for the friend's email address. You can also easily friend users you don't know.

Parents Need to Know

Parents need to know that kids have to register and submit a username, password, and age to use Bitstrips. If kids say they're under 13, they're asked to submit a parent's email address. During the verification process, parents can check a box to let their child publish comics that anyone can see on the site or choose not to. Parents can also allow or prevent their kids from sending and receiving friend requests, chatting with other friends, sending and receiving messages from other users, or prevent their kids from viewing and posting comments.

What kids can learn

Subjects

Language & Reading

  • storytelling
  • discussion

Arts

  • script writing
  • drawing

Skills

Creativity

  • producing new content
  • imagination

Tech Skills

  • using and applying technology
  • digital creation

Engagement, Approach, Support

Engagement

This is a fun, simple way to create comic strips about basically anything. Because it doesn't require advanced drawing skills, kids who aren't too into art should still enjoy using it.

Learning Approach

Kids will pick up some self-expression, storytelling, and reading comprehension skills from using the site.

Support

Kids can also get feedback on what made sense and what didn't work from other users who view their creations.

What kids can learn

Subjects

Language & Reading

  • storytelling
  • discussion

Arts

  • script writing
  • drawing

Skills

Creativity

  • producing new content
  • imagination

Tech Skills

  • using and applying technology
  • digital creation

Kids can learn communication, reading, self-expression, and storytelling skills. Bitstrips makes it easy for budding Botticellis and kids who aren't artistically inclined to share their thoughts. The strongest lessons come from Bitstrips for Schools, which only educational institutions can access. Kids are empowered by the ability to create cool-looking cartoons and share their work with a community of peers. 

This Learning Rating review was written by Erin Brereton

Parents say

Kids say

What's it about?

Kids can choose from different features to customize characters, and then use them to make a comic strip on BITSTRIPS. They're guided through each step and can flex their creativity without feeling like they need to have advanced artistic abilities. A companion site, BITSTRIPS FOR SCHOOLS, lets teachers create a classroom portal and assign suggested activities that will help kids learn about various Common Core Standard topics, including specific subjects like geometric math principles and more general topics, like interpersonal skills.

Is it any good?

QUALITY
 

The BITSTRIPS community-based site gives kids a chance to create and share narrative comic strips. They can customize characters (including themselves), insert them into comics, add text, and post the result on the site. The comic creation tool, which includes drag-and-drop and click-to-select features, is easy to use. But it provides kids with an impressive amount of options and eliminates the need to draw things by hand, which makes the experience faster and less frustrating than some creative sites.

A spin-off website, BITSTRIPS FOR SCHOOLS, makes the tool a stronger learning resource by offering virtual classroom set-up and dozens of activities teachers can assign to kids, covering topics like math, history, and business.

Families can talk about...

  • Families can talk about what chronological order means and how it's used in writing. Can your child identify the beginning, middle, and end of a favorite story?

  • How does a story change when you tell it to someone, instead of writing it down? What things can be conveyed better in print than with your voice?

  • Creating a story is an entirely different experience that hearing or reading one. Discuss a recent event in your child's life that could be turned into a comic strip or story. What pictures would your child include? Is there any information that should be left out because it doesn't really relate to the main point?

Website details

Genre:Creating
Pricing structure:Free

This review of Bitstrips was written by

About our rating system

  • ON: Content is age-appropriate for kids this age.
  • PAUSE: Know your child; some content may not be right for some kids.
  • OFF: Not age-appropriate for kids this age.
  • NOT FOR KIDS: Not appropriate for kids of any age.

Find out more

Quality

Our star rating assesses the media's overall quality.

Find out more

Learning ratings

  • Best: Really engaging, great learning approach.
  • Very Good: Engaging, good learning approach.
  • Good: Pretty engaging, good learning approach.
  • Fair: Somewhat engaging, okay learning approach.
  • Not for Learning: Not recommended for learning.
  • Not for Kids: Not age-appropriate for kids; not recommended for learning.

Find out more

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What parents and kids say

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Kid, 11 years old November 5, 2013
AGE
11
QUALITY
 

Fun!

I did Bitstrips with my school. It's so fun and useful! I've never been on the Bitstrips social network, but the creating part is very amusing. But you have to decide what to put in your comics and you're responsible for any iffy content you put.
Adult Written byjordanc October 5, 2014
AGE
8
QUALITY
 
LEARNING

Bitstrips Review

Bitstrips Bitstrips is a free, easy to use comic website that can do the following: create your own virtual comics, create your own personalized characters, look at other peoples created comics and sort out by topic, share your comics for others to see and share to Facebook, and have your own profile with friends, favorites, and scenes. Bitstrips can also be used in education and has their own separate website for those purposes. The features on the educational website include: activities according to subject, featured activities and more. You can also create a profile as a teacher and have your students join your classroom and create their own avatars for your classroom. You can monitor their activities and teach them through virtual hands on games and projects. Signing up with Bitstrips is quick, easy, and convenient. You can sing up through Facebook or email. Accounts are free, but school accounts however cost money. Bitstrips is very similar to a social networking site and is all about interaction and sharing. Your comics can be shared to Facebook as well as your profile and the Bitstrips feed. Bitstrips can also be used as an app on iPhone or Android. The app is more complicated to figure out and navigate through and can even restrict your creativity with limited options. When looking through reviews, I Found both negative and positives. The app store reviews- has 85 ratings and was given 4 ½ out of 5 stars. Some of the comments I found on the app store for Apple says: there is a lack of updating- no new clothing, no fixed bugs, etc., the app is slow to opening and very slow in general, and it is a fun app to use with Facebook. Another review website I found said they liked the freedom the website offers. But, some complained that the website is ruining Facebook. They say that if they wanted to see comics on their feed they would read the comics in the newspaper and the comics should we kept off their Facebook feeds.

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