10 Tools for Digital Storytelling in Class

Digital storytelling is simply using computer-based tools to tell stories. There are many different ways to do this – from making movies, recording voices, creating animations or electronic books. In schools they can help to take a task that might be seen as mundane – write a report, write a story, explain a process, describe an experiment – and turn it into something a whole lot more interesting.

There are a great many tools out there that could be used for digital storytelling. I am going to give you just a few:

1. Storybird – http://www.storybird.com
Storybirds are short, art-inspired stories that are curiously fun to make, share, and read. Choose from hundreds of fabulous drawings and images and then write a story to go with them. Free to sign up and class accounts possible. Finished story books can be embedded into blogs/VLE or read via the website – a great way to share with parents. A really cute site, do take a look!

Storybird

2. Lego Comic Builder : http://city.lego.com/en-us/comicbuilder/intro.aspx
Create a comic using lego characters to tell your story.

3. Storyjumper – http://www.storyjumper.com
StoryJumper teaches children to write a story in just 7 steps using their StoryStarter process. Finished books can be read on-screen or bought as a hardback. Free signup, class setup available.

Storyjumper

4. Make Beliefs Comix : http://www.makebeliefscomix.com/
This is a very simple tool for making 3 frame comic strips. Free.

5. My Story Maker : http://www.carnegielibrary.org/kids/storymaker/embed.cfm
Suitable for younger writers, this lets you create a story using a selection of characters and props. Free.

6. Tikatok: http://www.tikatok.com/classroom
Tikatok allows teachers to set up a space for their class to create their own storybooks. Books can be shared online for free as clickable books. Or they can be downloaded or printed as proper hardback books for a fee. Interesting idea. (Printing aimed at US market. They will ship overseas, but it’s expensive – check out Lulu as an alternative to making printed class books)

7. ToonDoo : http://www.toondo.com
Toondo is another simple comic strip creation tool with a wealth of different options available. Sign up needed, but it’s free.

8. Kerpoof : http://www.kerpoof.com/
Now owned by Disney, Kerpoof lets students create stories or animations to tell their story. The site is mostly free with a few premium features.

9. Go Animate 4 Schools : http://goanimate4schools.com/public_index
GoAnimate, is a free tool to let students make their own animations. They can make their own animated characters, direct their own cartoons, and watch others’ creations. They can customize their animations with a large number of tools and features. Free for 100 accounts (a non-school version also available: http://goanimate.com)

10. Zooburst : http://www.zooburst.com/
ZooBurst is a digital storytelling tool that lets anyone easily create his or her own 3D pop-up books using augmented reality technology. Once constructed, books can be inspected from any angle from within a 3D space, and rotating around a book is as easy as dragging and dropping a mouse. In addition, authors can choose to make items “clickable,” allowing readers to learn more about individual characters within a story. Each character can have its own “chat bubble” that pops up when that character is clicked. In addition, authors can also record their own voices using the ZooBurst audio recorder to have their characters really “speak” when clicked! Basic version free, some premium features and educational licence coming soon.

Zooburst

For more help and information on Digital Storytelling, take a look at this site from the University of Houston and for more tools you really need to take a look at Alan Levine (CogDogRoo) 50 web2.0 Ways to tell a Story wiki.

Got any favourites? Add them to the comments below!

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Author: Danny Nicholson

Danny is an author, Science teacher, ICT Consultant, PGCE lecturer and computing / interactive whiteboard trainer. He has delivered training courses across the UK, in Europe, and in Canada. Please get in touch with your training requests.

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2 Comments

  1. Little Bird Tales is ideal for digital storytelling in class. Allows even non readers to participate with audio recording. Students can draw their own pictures on art pad, or use photos and other imported images. FREE has teacher accounts and an App! Email, embed, create MP4s and PDFs. It’s super easy, cute and fun! KIDS AND TEACHERS LOVE IT.

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