ToonTastic – Design Boost Team Profile

[ 0 ] March 3, 2010 |

ToonTastic is a storytelling and animation tool that empowers 5-10 year-old children to create their own cartoons and share stories with other kids around the world. Using a multitouch screen, kids can draw characters, objects, and settings and then animate their creations through simple gestures and real-time audio recording. The system is designed to not only scaffold the storytelling process, but to seamlessly capture the visual and narrative nature of play – thereby enabling even the youngest computer users to share ideas, art, and stories with friends and family worldwide on our “Global Storytelling Network – for Kids, by Kids”.

ToonTastic was initially designed and prototyped by a team of graduate students in the Learning, Design, and Technology program at Stanford’s School of Education. The software was created as a museum exhibit in conjunction with a custom-built large-screen multi-pen display table.  For the Design Boost, the ToonTastic team is looking to redesign the user interface to make it more accessible to younger children using smaller handheld devices.

The ToonTastic team is comprised of Andy Russel and Thushan Amarasiriwardena.  Andy and Thushan are longtime friends, co-conspirators in ice-cream making, and share a healthy love of geekdom.

Andy is an educational media producer with a special interest in toys and tools that empower kids to express themselves creatively through play. He is a recent graduate of the Learning, Design, and Technology program at Stanford’s Graduate School of Education and has worked for companies like Hasbro and Sony PlayStation to design playful learning experiences for kids.
Thushan holds a BS in Computer Science from N.C. State and has had a lifelong passion for telling stories in all mediums.   As a senior multimedia developer/journalist at The Boston Globe, he pushed the publication’s storytelling into new formats, helping launch its video unit and developed interactive infographics.

We’re excited to have the ToonTastic team in NYC for our inaugural Design Boost.  Who knows, maybe they can share a few ice cream recipes with us as well?

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  5. Toontastic, a Creative Learning tool for the iPad from Launchpad Toys

Category: Boost and Accelerator Teams, Design Boost, K-12, Mobile

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