Toonlet allows students to create their own comic strips populated by their own characters. They can choose how many frames they want for their cartoon, and the simple editor makes it easy to drop their characters into a story.
Once the characters have been created, the strip editor lets them tell their story by simply typing into the speech bubbles.
The finished strip can then be shared via direct link to the comic, or embedded into a blog/wiki. You can also save the strip as a png file.
Registration is needed to use the site to create comics, but it’s free to do so.
There are lots of different ways to use this in class. You could write simple dialogue between several characters to tell a story – in language lessons create conversations in that language. Use for revision to explain processes or topics. Create interviews with famous people from history or characters from books that the students are studying. Recreate scenes from classic tales in their own words. And many more. Here’s a nice guide to using Toonlet to create strips.
Toonlet would also be good for creating avatars, even if you don’t want to make a whole comic. Create characters in the character creator and right-click/save as a jpg.
For more digital storytelling resources, take a look at my delicious list: http://www.delicious.com/dannynic/digitalstorytelling