5 New Resources for Digital Storytelling

Digital Storytelling allows students to use tools and resources to create multidimensional and multimodal projects to demonstrate their understanding. No longer are students limited to sharing their thinking or telling their story just one way. In addition to text on paper, students can write a blog post, create an interactive ebook, record a video or podcast, and share their end product with an audience outside of the traditional classroom.

The possibilities of form, function, and tool of student creation is unlimited. This summer I have been introduced to 5 new tools that would be an excellent addition to any teachers’ and students’ toolbox. While these resources may span across disciplines, age-appropriateness and alignment to the district’s Acceptable Use Policy should be made on an individual basis before using any resource with students.

5 New Resources for Digital Storytelling:

1. Gabsee - Create a 3D animated avatar and personalize it. Customize face, clothing and action and record a video that is easily sharable. Think of this app like bitmoji, but it can move and is part of the scene you are recording! This app is available on both the Google Play Store and for Apple devices.
*** Disclaimer, because this is not just for educational purposes, I would not use this app with young learners as some of the actions are not appropriate.

2. Book Creator (now for Chromebooks) - Create beautiful ebooks with Book Creator. This edtech tool has been available for the iPad for a long time and has most recently came out with a version for Chromebooks. It is simple to use, allows kids to create beautiful, polished products and is versatile across disciplines and platforms. There is a paid version, but why not try out the free version to see all that Book Creator can offer!

3. Toony Tool - Create cartoons, comics, and memes in the cloud with Toony Tool. This free resource has so many option for backgrounds and characters, plus the ability to upload your own. When completed, students can share their creations. This is one to definitely check out.

4. Adobe Spark - Create beautiful images, videos and websites with Adobe Spark. A free edtech resource that gives everyone tools to be a designer. Adobe Spark allows students to create, save, and share images for their projects, can support video creation, and with all of the options available, create a website to share their work. Adobe Spark is another tool that works across platforms which is a bonus if you are creating in the cloud.

5. Soundtrap- Create and collaborate audio tool that lives in the cloud. Soundtrap has a free and premium version which allows students the ability to share and mix music and audio individually or collaboratively. Soundtrap is perfect for those inspired to try their hand at Podcasting, can reinforce fluency, or turn any text into an audio version with sound effects. Great for interviews or an audio journal.

Storytelling plays an integral part in the development of reading, writing, speaking and listening.  It also allows students to share themselves in dynamic modes unimagined before now. While there is no shortage in tools and resources to use, the important thing to remember as a teacher is the gift of choice that each child deserves. You do not have to be an expert in all areas or on all tools, you do have to help the student understand what is their intended function of the communication or story and which form or platform would be best to share it on! I love the 5 new resources listed above and can see multiple uses for them in any classroom!

Shaelynn Farnsworth, Education Service Consultant, Iowa
Twitter: @shfarnsworth Blog: Shaelynnfarnsworth.com