Tokartoons is a partnership dedicated to creating animation for education and presentations. A few years ago, in response to a decided lack of engaging educational videos, we started planning our first animated short; a three-minute video called "The Ice Cream Man: A Run-In with the Law of Diminishing Marginal Utility."
We debuted this video at the Annual Teaching Economics Conference at Robert Morris University to a packed room and the response was overwhelmingly positive, to say nothing of gratifying.
With the our second project, a ten-minute video called "The Martians Invade the Shoe-niverse: A Tale of the Six-Legged Race and the Long Run," we were honored with the Ray L. Taylor Award for Faculty Development from Holy Family University and again debuted the animation at the Annual Teaching Economics Conference.
If you'd like to learn more about any of our Tokartoons, check out the Projects section of our site.
Tokartoons' scripts and catchy scenarios come directly from the classroom of Dr. Bette Tokar, who has been developing innovative and interesting approaches to teaching difficult subjects for over 30 years.
We are currently seeking sponsorship, distribution and anything else that can help us brighten up the study of "the Dismal Science" of Economics. Let us know if you have any insights!
Always seeking new ways to gain and retain her students' interest, Dr. Bette Tokar spent years searching fruitlessly for Economics educational videos and teaching aids that are short, interesting, fun, and engaging.
Rob Tokar spent years honing his visual storytelling skills as an editor for Marvel Comics and a storyboard artist for several films and shorts. Shocked to discover firsthand that reading comics can actually be educational, Rob developed a keen interest in finding ways to make learning less of a chore. After hearing his mother complain about the lack of educational materials that actually appeal to her students, he offered to put his experience to work and create animated videos based on her ideas.
With all of the talk about the importance of using Active Learning in the classroom, we kept looking for videos that went beyond the usual fare. Instead, all we found were the same old programs featuring talking heads or someone lecturing at a blackboard (how original!).
To make matters worse, many videos run for 60 minutes -- ten minutes longer than the typical class period. Even if the video ran "only" 30 minutes, that's still using over 50% of the class time and utterly failing to fulfill one of the most basic requirements of active learning: variety. Besides, we didn't want a video that would teach the class for us; we wanted a video that would engage students' interest in learning more.
As a Professor of Business Administration at Holy Family College in Philadelphia, Dr. Tokar always sought new ways to make her classes more exciting and her students more successful. Throughout the incredibly long time that she taught Economics (at the Principles level), she tried to find methods that would improve student learning and retention. Her methods have included the radically new as well as the tried-and-true. Because of her emphasis on making a traditionally dry subject more accessible for today's college students, some of Dr. Tokar's colleagues have dubbed her "The Queen of Economics." Royalty or not, her favorite quotations are: "No one is ever bored into learning about something" and "First, you have to get their attention."
An artist, animator and editor, Rob's credits include a seven-year tenure with Marvel Comics and freelance clients that include Disney, Warner Bros, USA Films, and more. Producing graphics and animation for print, the web and video, Rob is always working on new ways to make his work more exciting and more efficient. Rob's experience in writing, illustration and performing arts -- as well as his many skills outside the realm of traditional animation -- enable him to be actively involved in almost all aspects of production from start to finish.