This image is a promotional graphic for the "Tech Tools for Teachers Podcast." It features a smiling woman with shoulder-length brown hair, positioned on the right side of the image against a blue backdrop with abstract wave designs. The podcast's title is prominently displayed in bold white text at the top. Below the title, it reads "Episode #185 - Avatar Makers & Cartoon Creators" in a contrasting light blue box, highlighting the topic of the episode. The overall design is clean and professional, aimed at attracting educators interested in technology.

Avatar Makers & Cartoon Creators

Get ready for an imagination explosion in your classroom! This week on the Tech Tools for Teachers podcast, we’re diving into the whimsical worlds of avatar makers and cartoon creators. These tools are super fun while sneakily developing all sorts of useful skills.

Cartoonize

First up is Colorcinch’s Cartoonize tool – prep for hilarious profile pic swaps! Students can transform themselves into animated characters straight out of a comic book or anime series. The results are guaranteed to spark bursts of laughter and creativity. No need for fees – this one’s 100% free for endless amusement. Older elementary and middle school students can take it up a notch with character design games and stories starring their newly created avatars. The writing and storytelling possibilities are endless when they breathe life into their imaginary personas. They could even make a digital version of Guess Who if you add your avatars to Google Slides.

Pixton

If you are looking for a larger cartoon playground, look no further than Pixton. This edu-centric site has everything you need for comics, storyboards and more! Teachers can create a classroom to connect with their students and even make a class picture. Kids are free to design wacky characters and draft frame-by-frame narratives. From retelling ancient myths to dreaming up sci-fi adventures, Pixton makes it all possible.

The best part? Students stay really engaged while seeing their wildest ideas materialized through these engaging tools. This a a great tool to throw in for some engaging activites at the end of the school year.

So try them out and see how many characters you can create! We can’t wait to se them! Have a great week everyone! 👩‍🏫

TECH MENTIONED IN THIS EPISODE:

[00:00:00] Shanna Martin: Thanks for listening to the Tech Tools for Teachers podcast, where each week we talk about a free piece or two of technology that you can use in your classroom. I’m your host, Shanna Martin. I’m a middle school teacher, technology, and instructional coach for my district.

[00:00:31] Fuzz Martin: And I’m her producer and husband, Fuzz Martin, and without podcasting, I’d just be a caricature of myself.

[00:00:42] Shanna Martin: You

[00:00:45] Fuzz Martin: know, we’re talking cartoons and avatars.

[00:00:48] Shanna Martin: I was thinking about caricatures at, like, the fair.

[00:00:51] Fuzz Martin: Oh, yeah, yeah.

[00:00:52] Shanna Martin: Or at, like

[00:00:53] Fuzz Martin: There’s a guy in our area named Rex, and Rex draws people, and he’s been doing it for Since I moved to town to be on the radio back in Two Thousand, he’s been, he’s still, it’s Caricatures by Rex.

[00:01:06] Shanna Martin: That’s super fun.

[00:01:07] Fuzz Martin: He’s been doing it ever since and he’s, I don’t know, he must be like, only a few years older than I am. Nice. And he, yeah. Does it. Does it. I love it. I was going to go with a, an Avatar reference and say, I see you. I see you. I see you. But I don’t know if people would have And we’re also going to be doing a video on a couple of the characters we have, which are actually the characters we recognize or got that.

So. Nice. Which was, by the way, the first movie that we saw together as a couple when we were dating was Avatar.

[00:01:31] Shanna Martin: It is.

[00:01:31] Fuzz Martin: Back in 2010.

[00:01:32] Shanna Martin: It was our second date. So anywho, if you have not figured it out, episode 185 is about like cartoonizing things, things, avataring things, creating caricatures of yourself or caricatures of stories.

This came up because it was a question this week from one of my staff members was like, Hey, I need a cool avatar maker and I have all of these, but we’re looking specifically for a ballerina. And I was like, Oh, well, here’s all the tools I know. You know what? We never actually found a ballerina. We found a ballerina, but that was not a children’s appropriate type of avatar creator.

So. We wung it and instead we used a tank top and a skirt and it worked out just great. So we’re talking about two different sites that can create cartoon type characters. I know avatars have been around forever, but more or less, it’s a great way for students to kind of create an image of themselves, but not use real pictures.

is a lot of times we don’t want real images of kids in school, or if they’re creating a character, or a lot of our kids at this end of the year, they’re doing projects and they’re presenting research on real life people that they’ve, you know, done biographies for, or they’ve done like little wax museums, they do all kinds, like, research, You And so they need different pictures of people and cartoons and things like that.

So it’s a fun way for them to create at the end of the school year and we’ll keep them busy. So, our first one is called, the site is different than the name because the site has been around for a while. It’s cartoonize. net. So c a r t o o n i z e dot net. We’re looking specifically at the avatar maker.

But the website itself has changed its name. It’s ColorSinge now because they have a lot of cool AI stuff, which will be a whole nother episode. So we’re not going to talk about their AI because they have a lot of stuff. We’re talking specifically about their avatar maker today. So if you go to cartoonize.

net slash avatar maker, or if you go to the ColorSinge site, You click on tools and then you’re like, Oh, hey, they have 50 plus tech tools that can create cool stuff. Under social media, you will see the avatar maker. It’s very easy to use. Reach your own avatar with your little free avatar maker. It takes like five seconds and kids can play around with it.

Our youngest is entertained for the next 25 minutes with this. So, you can get started. You choose a profile and you pick and you get a little face. And then from there you can choose your face shape. So if you want to be you, you can, but if you want to be anybody you want to be, you can be anything and you choose your face shape.

You can choose your mouth shape, you can change all the colors, so today my person is going to have teal colored lips, I’m going to have an oval shaped face, I’m going to have a very pointy nose, my ears are also going to be pointy, and then you can choose eyes, so eye color, eye shape, all of those type things, and then you can choose your iris within your eye.

You can choose your eyebrows. You can choose glasses. I mean, I’m grading as we go today. You can have cool hair. You can have all different colors and shapes and sizes. You can choose clothing. It’s just like a shoulder up kind of view of like person, and then you can choose your cool background and then change all those colors as you want to.

And your face, you can also choose a variety of colors and shapes. So you have all of these different options. They also have a color wheel. So this is something to note while you’re looking at the site and the kids are clicking around. If they want to have green skin, they absolutely can. You just choose the circle and then it gives you the full color wheel.

So I just made myself have green skin. So that’s kind of cool. So they’re creating a story background if they want to create, a cool magic type character or mystery type character or a character in costume, or maybe there’s some sort of cool spy anyway. You get the idea. They can create and make all kinds of cool things.

So I have a green person with purple teal lips, glasses, and cool spiky hair and a turtleneck. Yay. So it’s a very fast avatar maker. You can, kids can play around with it. They can create all the things cause we know how they love these. And this one doesn’t have so many details that they’re going to get lost really quick.

They can really crank them out. Like you could probably crank out one every couple of minutes and they can make a whole collection. A little cartoon avatars. They can make a whole lineup for a story. They could create maybe a whole matching game. You can start creating your own version of guess who in your classroom.

The kids can create their own little avatars. They can do a digital version, mix these with Google slides, and they can have a guess who game going on. It would be really easy to use these and create, and then you just click download and you can choose what type of file, if you want SVG, PNG, you can choose your file.

Download. Boom. You can have it. If the downloads are confusing for your kids or you don’t want them downloading things, they can totally take a screenshot and have that image and then just put it on their Chromebooks. A lot of times I have kids doing that so they’re not downloading a bunch of their Chromebooks because it slows them down.

[00:06:48] Fuzz Martin: Don’t need that.

[00:06:49] Shanna Martin: So there you go. Have you cranked out a person? I have. I can see you busily over there making your avatar a person.

[00:06:55] Fuzz Martin: Yeah, I was, uh, I started making it to look like me and then I was like, uh

[00:07:00] Shanna Martin: But why? When you can do anything.

[00:07:02] Fuzz Martin: Yeah. And then I, then I was like, what if he was, uh, like,

[00:07:07] Shanna Martin: uh, Wow.

[00:07:09] Fuzz Martin: Yeah.

[00:07:10] Shanna Martin: Yeah. Nice. Kind

[00:07:11] Fuzz Martin: of looks like he sings songs.

[00:07:14] Shanna Martin: Yeah. So he looks like some sort of kind of indie singer, long hair, beard. Like

[00:07:18] Fuzz Martin: he sings, you know, like he’s like, you know, take it, Taking Back Sunday.

[00:07:23] Shanna Martin: Nice.

[00:07:24] Fuzz Martin: You never loved me, mom. Yeah. That kind of stuff.

[00:07:27] Shanna Martin: Perfect. There you go. Oh. So.

[00:07:30] Fuzz Martin: Not a, not a great song to sing on Mother’s Day as we record this.

Happy Mother’s Day, by the way.

[00:07:35] Shanna Martin: Thanks. You’re welcome. Appreciate it.

Great. So there’s that. But anywho, so it’s a quick avatar maker, clearly very easy. There’s not a bunch of extras or like teacher direction. You can just set them up and like, here you go. They’ll stay with on that site. Click through, make a picture and you’re good to go. I just changed the hair from like.

Little spunky, funky hair to like Carol Burnett hair. That’s where I’m at now. It doesn’t quite fit the green face, but it looks beautiful. So Cartoonize. net, a very fast avatar maker. Again, for students, they could use these little pictures for all kinds of things. They are gonna be only headshots. So that’s just something to note.

If you’re looking for whole bodies, this one doesn’t do whole bodies, but, again, fast and highly entertaining to click and change and click and change all that you want to.

[00:08:24] Fuzz Martin: Yeah.

[00:08:25] Shanna Martin: So Cartoonize. net avatar maker is one of the 8 billion tools that they have under the tools section. Quick highlight. We’ll talk all about the AI generators another day.

So there you go. That’s our first avatar maker. The second one. is created specifically for education, so I’ll set that up. It’s Pixton. It’s been around for a little while. What I like about Pixton is that there are so many options for a teacher, so you sign up as a teacher, Or a student can sign up and they can play around and they can either link to a teacher’s classroom.

So you do have that option. So appapp. pixton. com. Pixton, you’ll find it. So they have a, like an avatar creator, a comic maker. You can create a class photo of your kids, which is kind of fun. There’s different contact packs. There’s different characters. It will create your characters. Now, something to note, Pixing gives you everything for free to start for like two weeks, but then you don’t have everything free forever.

So that’s just something to note. But you do get a solid two weeks of everything, so you can decide what is worth

[00:09:43] Fuzz Martin: paying for. And you got like, like two weeks, maybe a few more than that, weeks of school left, so it might be good, you know?

[00:09:51] Shanna Martin: Sign yourself up. Yeah. And, you know, you can sign yourself up with every email, and then you have all kinds of weeks.

Um, so anyway, um, but Pixent is very cool. So this is clearly made for educators and for classrooms and students. They’re avatar maker. Again, you can choose your skin tone, you can choose all of your hair, this one you can choose all of your facial features, your body type, and you can choose your age, which I think is kind of cool, you can go from age two to adult, and they make the bodies differently, so this is a full body version, so adult bodies are more, you know, West Bend, Kewaskum, Slinger, Noelle Braun.

[00:10:29] Fuzz Martin: Yeah, I did notice, in the Cartoonize one that we just did that it was all twig

[00:10:39] Shanna Martin: Correct. Yes, this one there is more shapes and choices. , And it’s kinda cool because in the teacher version you can make a class photo like a picture of your students, you can have all the kids make themselves and then make a class photo based on that, which is kind of cool. Cool. But as noted too, they have put thought into it.

So there are, just different choices. Your person, Also has the, like, besides eye shape and color and skin color and hair type and all that kind of stuff, they also have like wheelchairs, they have, different like hearing devices. They have all of those pieces in as well, along with expressions and, um, outfit changes and height and the pose and the headwear.

Like there’s just way more options with Pexton to create your avatar. So it’s cool to play around on for sure. Along with that, having every option on the planet and creating yourself in many different ways, you can also add fun colors to things too. They also have a comic maker, so you can either start with an idea for your comics and create it, or just create now, and kids can tell stories with their comics.

There’s backgrounds, they have cool different scenes to choose from, they have like weather, so if I’m making a story and it starts raining, I can add rain to my story. They have a whole comic book creator. With characters and you can choose animals or you can choose all of these different things that you can build into there.

What’s also cool is you can choose to make your own avatar in your. So the things that you create can go into the comic that you create. One of the backgrounds is a farm, so I chose the farm background and there’s chickens in it, but then as a character, I added a cartoon cat. So then with the chickens running around, I had the cat saying, I feel like chicken for dinner, you know, because you can, and then you can add a horse and then you can add stories.

So they have then speech bubbles. They have, objects you can add in there. You can choose which handheld props your character can hold a prop, depending on what you want them to. And then it chooses, and all these options are like on the left hand side. You can go choose, add all the things, your words, your faces, your actions.

And on the right hand side, then you can see the blocks of your comic strip as you create it. So it’s really cool. It’s a fun way to create. It would definitely keep your kids busy but also for creative writing or putting out different pieces of writing instead of doing just a paragraph, this would be a fun and engaging way to get kids writing and practice different things.

For math, you could do story problems and have like visual story problems as they write them.

[00:13:24] Fuzz Martin: I see on their Instagram page, they’ve got a couple examples using it for social, emotional learning, like today I feel and flipping through some different of the facial expressions, and then also, exit passes.

So you can have an exit pass with the, you know, your student’s avatar, on there. So it’s kind of neat little.

[00:13:44] Shanna Martin: Different ways to build it into your classroom for sure. Awesome. And then they also have two where you can add your own classrooms. You can add your classroom of students into here as a teacher, and you can see what your kids are doing.

Again, these get into like the paid versions of stuff. But they also have like lesson ideas, intro to comics, and learn how and the process to make them. So they. As soon as we release it, I’ll, I’ll write a blog. I will, I will. So, um, yeah, I will be free to make a blog and share with you guys. Um, so there’s this, this, a bunch of different, different, different ways that you can go about developing your content, but really, if you’re just trying to create something that sort of like really runs on your account, then it’s, it’s, it’s just all about making your blog or blog It reaches all kids.

Like there’s a lot of different options in there. So there’s not like, they don’t all look the same.

[00:14:30] Fuzz Martin: Sure, yeah.

[00:14:30] Shanna Martin: Which I appreciate about them.

[00:14:33] Fuzz Martin: Absolutely.

[00:14:34] Shanna Martin: And you can pick and choose outfits to kind of make them look like a ballerina, but not really. So we tried.

[00:14:41] Fuzz Martin: Kind of solved the problem when needed.

[00:14:43] Shanna Martin: Correct. So yeah, there’s all kinds of cool, crafty, creating. Websites. You should help towards the end of the year. Cause we are hanging on by a thread.

[00:14:54] Fuzz Martin: Using all of the material,

[00:14:56] Shanna Martin: all the things. Oh, Hey, look at this cool thing. We can create some more because, anything in the keep the engaged the last few weeks of school.

I hear ya.

[00:15:03] Fuzz Martin: Yes.

[00:15:04] Shanna Martin: So there you go. Check them out. Go create an avatar of yourself and then make it an image and then share it. And we’ll put them,

[00:15:11] Fuzz Martin: we’ll put them all there. Pixton. com.

[00:15:13] Shanna Martin: Pixton. com. Awesomeness. Well, thanks for tuning in. This has been the Tech Tools for Teachers podcast. If you ever have any questions, you can find me on the app formerly known as Twitter.

X. at smartinwi or on Threads. And if you want to get more information on the links to the technology discussed in this episode, you can visit smartinwi. com or you can find me on Facebook too. If you’d like to support the show, please consider buying me a coffee or two. Visit buymeacoffee. com slash smartinwi or visit smartinwi.com.

com and click on that cute little purple coffee cup. Your donations help keep this show going. New episodes each week. Thanks for listening. We can do it! Go educate and innovate.

[00:16:00] Fuzz Martin: The ideas and opinions expressed on this podcast and the smartinwi website are those of the author, Shanna Martin, and not of her employer.

Prior to using any of the technologies discussed on this podcast, please consult with your employer regulations. This podcast offers no guarantee that these tools will work for you as described, but we sure hope they do, and we’ll talk to you next time, right here on the Tech Tools for Teachers podcast.

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