What you SEE is what you learn!


Visual texts and increasingly audio-visual texts are something we meet with all the time. Visual texts are ones where images or graphics of some kind play a major part in “getting the message across”. This doesn’t mean they are necessarily “word free”. Many visual texts combine words and images to strengthen their message. Audio-visual texts combine voice or other sounds with images to achieve their objectives.

“Good” visual texts

To be able to “write” good visual texts you need to know about some of the features that can be used to create effects as well as about the factors such as audience that will affect the content. We talked about some of these in virtual class. If you need to revisit them login to the course website and checkout the recordings for “Week 2 Day 1 – morning” and “Week 2 Day 2 – morning”. Or take a look at the slideshare

View more PowerPoint from Jo Hart
where you will also find information on signing up to ToonDoo. This is the medium we are going to use to make visual texts on online safety.

Making a visual text using ToonDoo

Those students and lecturers for our first pilot ELFADA course who were online during the virtual class session on visual texts made a Toon together. We did this through desktop sharing with each person taking turns to control my desktop and add their own choice of character and text.
This was great fun to do. Toons are a great way to express your personality online whilst staying safe! Making visual texts is a good learning activity for any subject you are studying. You can use them as we are doing to learn about and share your own ideas about online safety.
The wonderful thing about posting to blogs is that you can update posts when something changes. I am doing exactly that here by adding the joint ELFADA toon from the second group of ELFADA students. As with the previous one this was great fun to make!

Our second group joint ELFADA toon

However there are lots of other ways to use them to make learning more fun.
For example to help you remember the different meanings of two words that sound the same but have different spellings and meanings, as in this simple text above.

Saving Toons

Something we did not really cover in the session was saving your Toon and capturing the link so here is a screencast to help you if you get stuck on this.

You can add your Toons to your blog posts in two ways. We have already look at adding a link – you can do this with your Toon by saving the link and inserting it in the post. Next week we will be looking a adjusting images to a suitable size and inserting them in posts.


Visual texts are a great learning tool as well as being fun to make. We hope you will carry on making Toons and other visual texts for learning. Remember to leave a comment on this post. The more practise you get at commenting effectively the better. Was the post useful for you? In what way was it useful? Was there anything about it that you thought worked very well and why was this?

Edublogs webinar overview – using ToonDoo


If you access the link to the recording it would be great if you could either tweet me (@JoHart) or leave a short comment on this post to let me know. I would really like to know if it is useful to people when I post the overviews & recording links


The purpose of this session was to take a look at one of my favourite online tools, the cartoon making site ToonDoo. I use this a lot both for learning resources and to engage my students in developing texts.

The Session

As usual the webinar was recorded and we began with a look at what people would like to gain from the session and finding out who was familar with Toondoo. This led smoothly into an opportunity to share links for other cartooning websites.

We moved on to look at a couple of the ways I use ToonDoo both for learning resources and for students to create their own visual texts. Then came the really fun bit, using Application Share to share the Toondoo website and to jointly make a cartoon. I asked for volunteers to build a cartoon and gave control to several people in turn. The resulting cartoon is here:

WebinarToonResizeFollowing the successful use of “homework” last week when we went away to make Vokis. I thought maybe a similar homework this week would be fun. So we invite anyone who was at the session (or in fact anyone who reads this post/watches the recording) to make a ToonDoo and either Tweet the link or put it in a comment to this post. Then we can all enjoy. 🙂 We already have one person @jofrei who has completed the homework with her ‘toon entitled Webinar Toon



I was rather hoping I would not be expected to do any homework this week but decided that it is always fun to make cartoons so here is mine. I have cheated a bit in that this is one is one I needed to make for the Induction disc I am developing for my online literacy students. I’m trying to underscore the information on digital safety and digital identity with cartoons.



I enjoyed presenting this session very much. Partly because it felt very interactive with lots of particiption and partly because I like “playing” with ToonDoo. I also think that these sort of combined “techie how to” and “teaching strategy” webinars are a good combination. This is because sometimes learning about a great tool is not enough in itself – ideas on how it can be used/applied in a learning context are really helpful.

Next Webinar

SerendipitybsmallOur next session is an Edublogs “Serendipity” session on Thursday March 17th at 23:00 GMT/UTC (6pm USA EST, Midnight BST) or Friday March 18th at 1am CEST, 7am West Aus, 10am NSW, depending on your timezone (check yours here) – in the usual Elluminate room. This is one of our fortnightly unconference sessions where we invite you to bring along your “hot topics” and “burning issues” for our poll on the topic of the day. If you want to propose a topic in advance then visit the Serendipity Wallwisher and add your topic.

In the Future

If you are a regular visitor to our webinars you will know that we alternate “Fine Focus” sessions on specific topics with “Serendipity” the unconference sessions where we choose a topic by poll at the start of the session. Sometimes the very fact of being asked for “hot topics” or other ideas for discussion or learning tends to make our minds blank. This has prompted me to start a Serendipity Wallwisher for topic suggestions. Please visit the wall and add your ideas for Serendipity topics so that we have more choices to consider. Some of these ideas might also form the basis for future “Fine Focus” sessions.