This warms my (former) educator’s heart.
As someone who started reading illustrated books as a young child and who graduated to a steady and voracious diet of comic books as a pre-teen and early teenager, I can say my own literacy was in part furthered by comics.
But tools like Bitstrips are not comics. The cartoon aesthetics tells young people “this is for you” while Bitstrips’ design templates provide students an easy way to combine different elements into a look that pleases them. By lowering the difficulty of producing aesthetically pleasing designs in the context of comics, Bitstrips invites students to engage in a further acts of creation, most notably the creation of narrative.
I can imagine this software combined with a unit developed from Vladimir Propp’s Morphology of the Folk Tale or Joseph Cambell’s The Power of Myth, two texts which explain that narrative can be generated by combining familiar and well-established motifs in a manner similar to the generation of a visual aesthetic by combining coordinated and complementary graphical elements.
Plus, the looks on those kids’ faces justify practically any teaching technique.