Digital storytelling is an excellent way to foster student creativity and give them authentic experiences with reading, writing, listening, and speaking. Today I’m sharing my favorite digital storytelling apps that I’ve used in my classroom.
Toontastic (free) allows students to animate their own stories while practicing key story elements. The app guides them through choosing their setting, conflict, challenge, climax, and resolution. Once students are ready to record, they can move the characters around on the screen and it will record both their animations and voices as a cartoon video.
Storykit (free) lets students create a digital storybook with text, audio, and photos/illustrations. Students can either upload photos from their camera roll or draw their own illustrations using the app’s drawing feature. This app has been a favorite choice during Daily 5 writing, and we’ve also used it to publish various nonfiction research projects.
Book Creator ($4.99) is hands-down my favorite app for creating any kind of eBook. Students can add videos, music, and even record their voices. Book Creator has lots of color and font options as well as a pen tool to draw and annotate. We’ve used this versatile app to publish nonfiction research projects, fairy tales, how-to books, collaborative stories, and even math explanations. In the picture below, you can see how my student has embedded a YouTube video to demonstrate how wild dogs hunt.
Telestory (free) allows students to create, direct, and star in their own TV shows. There are a variety of fun themes, costumes, and special effects to choose from and you can really let students run wild with their imaginations. The picture below shows one of my students recording a news broadcast for her classmates.
Chatterpix (free) can make any photo talk. After uploading a photo, you simply draw a line to make a mouth and then record your voice. With this app, the possibilities are endless and can range from silly to informative. We used this last year to make characters from fairy tales talk and explain their point of view on what happened in the story. Below you can see how one of my students embedded a Chatterpix into his eBook on penguins. (I really wish I would have saved a recording of this video!)
Storybird (free) is an iPad-friendly website that allows students to create stories using beautiful and intriguing artwork. Students can search by themes (or “tags”) to find and drag in pictures. Then they begin sequencing and typing their story to go along with the pictures. Even my most reluctant writers love this site because they are so fascinated by the artwork. My favorite thing about Storybird is that students can publish their books to our class account and comment on one another’s stories.
Are there any digital storytelling apps you love that are not on this list? I’d love to hear about them in the comments below!:)