“I know only one thing about technologies that awaits in the future: We will find ways to tell our stories with them.” By Jason Ohler

Digital Storytelling is an important 21st century skill we need to be teaching in our classrooms. What is digital storytelling? According to Leslie Rule from Digital Storytelling Association, “Digital Storytelling is the modern expression of the ancient art of storytelling. Digital stories derive their power by weaving images, music, narrative and voice together, thereby giving deep dimension and vivid color to characters, situations, experiences, and insights.”

Digital Storytelling can happen in any subject area and can be done using multiple technology resources. It is a great way to have students use all 4C’s for 21st century learning because the students are communication, critically thinking, collaborating (if done with partners) and creating. The most important piece about teaching Digital Storytelling for students is making sure the students are focused on the content, not the technology. To help with this, I suggest using the writing process of brainstorm, drafting etc. You can also use story maps, scripts and storyboards to guide this process as well. Below are FREE (I like free being a teacher) Apps and Web 2.0 tools I use in the classroom for Digital Storytelling.

Apps you can use for Digital Storytelling:

ScribblePress: Four of my favorite things about this free App is that it is user-friendly, has templates you can choose from for the younger students but you can also create from scratch for older students and you can use the art work given to you, draw in your own or use real pictures. The students can publish to iBooks too!

Voicethread: I like this App because it is also web-based too! Students can create digital stories but then others can comment on it as well bring in global learning.

Zooburst: I have been using Zooburst this year because a student introduced it too me. You can make 3-D pop-up books and they now have an app!! Yea!

PuppetPals: PuppetPals lets students create their own animated stories. It is very user-friendly. It is free but only lets you have a few backgrounds and characters but  for $2.99 you can get all of the. You can save the videos to your camera roll and then upload them to different places such as You Tube.

Sock Puppets: This apps is similar to PuppetPals but the characters as socks puppets. It is user-friendly as well and you can save to You Tube.

ShowMe: Is an interactive whiteboard that many teachers use but students can create stories with it too. The app records the drawing process along with audio to create videos that you can use for digital storytelling with authentic student drawings!

iMovie:  Students can create their own movie story and even make a movie trailer for their story!

Toontastic: Great app that students can use based on a story plot/map. Students record voiceovers telling their story.

Web 2.0 Sites you can use for Digital Storytelling: You can use these sites many different ways but one way is for students to create their own digital stories!



Go Animate





Another easy way you can incorporate Digital Storytelling without web 2.0 tools or an App is by having students create paper slides. All you need is a recording device and paper! The students can draw out their story and then tell it while taping themselves with an iPad, flip camera etc.

To Read More About Digital Storytelling Check Out These Resources:

Digital Storytelling in the Classroom: New Media Pathways to Literacy, Learning, and Creativity. By Jason Ohler

How to Use Digital Storytelling in Your Classroom By Jennifer New

Storytelling – It’s News

I would love to hear what others do in their classrooms or what you use for Digital Storytelling! Please share in the comments.

Comments on: "Tools for Using Digital Storytelling in the Classroom" (5)

  1. I think you should take a look at witness.usc.edu. It’s from the foundation Steven Spielberg started after Schindler’s List came out. IWitness allows students (13+) to explore an archive of video interviews from survivors and witnesses of the Holocaust and create digital storytelling projects right inside the site using a free streaming video editor. I worked on the project for a year, and I think My Story Matters is an IWitness activity that can fit into a huge variety of classes, lessons, subjects…

  2. […] Tools for Using Digital Storytelling in the Classroom (insidetheclassroomoutsidethebox.wordpress.com) […]

  3. n2teaching said:

    Stories are the basis of the true development of learning. I appreciate learning of a few web and mobile applications I haven’t used. I wanted to share this, and you’ve made that easier because you haven’t focused on ONE operating system. Thanks!

  4. […] a)    On other blogs On January 1st, 2013, I watched a great webinar on digital storytelling hosted by Discovery Education and Wilkes University, and moderated by Kathy Schrock. If you like having a great bunch of resources to pick from when delving into a topic, the following one, which can be found on Kathy Schrock’s blog, is definitely a GREAT RESOURCE, one of the best I would say. Also, you can find more COOL TOOLS for blogging on Jill Thomson’s blog. […]

  5. […] few years ago I wrote a blog post on Tools for Using Digital Storytelling in the Classroom and a lot has changed in digital learning so I wanted to do a sequel. Many of the tools in the […]

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