Digital Storytelling

“Digital storytelling comes in many forms. Digital storytelling could refer to creating podcasts, creating videos, or creating multimedia ebooks to name of few of its forms. If you’re considering developing your first digital storytelling project for your class, here some resources that can help you get started.”

Ebooks and web references for digital storytelling. 
One of the best people I know for advice about digital storytelling is Silvia Tolisano. Silvia Tolisano, the author of the excellent Langwitches blog, offers an awesome free ebook about digital storytelling.Digital Storytelling Tools for Educators is a 120 page guide to using digital storytelling tools in your classroom. The guide offers clear directions for using tools like Audacity, Google Maps, Photo Story, VoiceThread, and other digital media creation tools. Silvia’s directions are aided by clearly annotated screenshots of each digital storytelling tool. Digital Storytelling Tools for Educators also provides a good explanation of digital storytelling in general and the benefits of using digital storytelling in your classroom. You can download the ebook for free on Lulu. You can also purchase a paperback copy of the book.

The Digital Storytelling Teacher Guide is a free twenty-eight page ebook produced by Microsoft. The guide outlines the basics of digital storytelling, offers ideas for digital storytelling projects for all grade levels, and provides examples of digital storytelling projects. Microsoft’s Digital Storytelling Teacher Guide also offers instruction for using Windows Movie Maker and Photo Story in the classroom.

Digital storytelling guru Kevin Hodgson runs a website all about stopmotion movie creation. Kevin developed Making Stopmotion Movies as a how-to resource for teachers who are interested in having students create stopmotion movies. On Making Stopmotion Movies teachers will find downloadable storyboard and character development guides. Kevin provides an excellent outline of the whole movie making process. Visitors to Making Stopmotion Movies will also find video examples of real student productions.

The Digital Directors Guild is a project designed to help teachers develop digital storytelling projects for their classrooms. The Digital Directors Guild offers sample projects and teaching resources for all grade levels. The resources page of the Digital Directors Guild contains information regarding all stages of digital storytelling project development.Tools for Creating Digital Stories.

Myna is a free web-based audio track mixer created by Aviary. Using Myna you can mix together up to ten tracks to create your own audio files. The sounds you mix can come from the Myna library, your vocal recordings made with Myna’s recorder, or audio tracks that you upload to your Myna account. Using Myna you can record and save podcasts. You can then publish them to a free host like Blubrry.

Little Bird Tales is a nice site intended for younger students to use to create digital stories. Little Bird Tales walks users through each step of creating a multimedia story. Users can upload images, draw images, or record from their webcams. Stories can be written with text or narrated by students using microphones connected to their computers.

In the spring of 2010 JayCut relaunched its free, online, video editing service. JayCut has elements of iMovie and Movie Maker in a free online application. JayCut is free to use and your final product can be downloaded to your local computer. Here are some of the highlights of the JayCut editor:

  • Every element of your video can be added through simple drag and drop motions. The play length of each element in your video can be shortened or lengthened by simply dragging the ruler tools.
  • JayCut has options for adding slow motion effects, direct recording from your webcam, a green screen, and color editing.

Animoto: For a quick and easy way to create simple videos from pictures, sound, text, and existing video clips try Animoto.  Animoto makes it possible to quickly create a video using still images, music, and text. In the last year Animoto has added the option to include video clips in your videos too. If you can make a slideshow presentation, you can make a video using AnimotoAnimoto’s free service limits you to 30 second videos. You can create longer videos if you apply for an education account. I like to use Animoto early in the school year to introduce my new students to some of the basic skills that will be carried across to more complex video creation later in the year.

ZooBurst is an exciting free service for creating digital stories. ZooBurst allows users to create 3D pop-up books using nothing more than public domain clip art and ZooBurst’s web-based editing tools. Users can view ZooBurst 3D books in augmented reality by enabling their webcams (click webcam mode) then clicking the ZB button present on each story.

Simple Booklet is a free service offering online multimedia booklet creation and publishing. To create a book using Simple Booklet just sign-up for a free account and click create. Select the layout template that suits your needs. To add content click anywhere on the blank canvas and a menu of options will appear. You can add text, images, audio files, videos, and links to each page of your booklet. Each page of your Simple Booklet can have multiple elements on it. To include videos you can upload your own files or select from a variety of provides including SchoolTube, TeacherTube, YouTube, and others. To add audio to your pages you can upload your own files or again select from the online hosts, Sound Cloud, or Mix Cloud. When you’re done building pages in your Simple Booklet you can share it online by embedding it into a webpage or you can share the unique link generated for your booklet.



Great Source iWrite from the Houghton Mifflin Harcourt company features an awesome animated and narrated glossary of grammar terms. In this glossary you will find animated, narrated videos explaining the use of punctuation. You can also find the same type of video explaining the parts of speech and mechanics of writing.

Grammar Bytes is a great website for Language Arts teachers. Grammar Bytes offers teachers and students a glossary of terms, handouts, interactive exercises, and slide show presentations. There are eighteen slide show presentations available for free download from Grammar Bytes. Each slide show is accompanied by a handout for students to complete as they view each presentation.

Daily Writing Tips has recently announced the release of an ebook about English grammar. The ebook is 34 pages long and is free to anyone that subscribes to their email newsletter. Visit Daily Writing Tips for all of the details about the ebook.

The Houghton Mifflin Company produces Grammar BlastGrammar Blast offers 35 interactive grammar activities for students in grades two through five.

The Grammar Practice Park produced by Harcourt School Publishers provides 12 games for students in grades three, four, and five.

Scholastic Inc. has a page for elementary age students called Maggie’s Learning Adventures. On Maggie’s Learning Adventures visitors will find five grammar activities as well as activities for learning Spanish, Math, and Science.

Source: FreeTech4Teachers


iPad as Whiteboard

Explain Everything: ($2.99) Explain Everything is an easy-to-use design tool that lets you annotate, animate, and narrate explanations and presentations. You can create dynamic interactive lessons, activities, assessments, and tutorials using Explain Everything’s flexible and integrated design. Use Explain Everything as an interactive whiteboard using the iPad2 video display.

ShowMe: ShowMe has a publicly accessible website where anyone can freely show and view their creations. This allows anyone to browse through recordings made by anyone, which is a good way to find interesting or useful recordings. If you want to keep a recording private, you can choose to do so.

Educreations: Educreations transforms your iPad into a recordable whiteboard that captures your voice and handwriting to produce amazing video lessons that you can share online. It’s as simple as touching, tapping and talking. The  handwriting technology renders beautiful digital ink that looks even better than the real thing. You can always undo and redo any of your actions.

ScreenChomp provides 9 colors but just one pen size. You can import pictures to use as your background. Most importantly, you can record your whiteboard session for play back, and the recording will include audio. Recordings can be saved to the ScreenChomps app, and can be shared via email, Facebook, Twitter, and accessed through a URL.

ZigZag Board has the ability to select and resize things you draw (as well as move or delete them). It is similar to some of the other apps in that it has a small selection of pen colors and the ability to adjust the thickness of the pen (but no ability to pull a pic to draw on). ZigZag also allows users to have a ”meeting” with the app. Start a meeting from the iPad app and then join on a laptop, but you can only view the whiteboard session there, you cannot actually participate in it.  Zig Zag requires the user to create an account.

SyncSpace allows for a choice of 9 colors, 4 pen thicknesses, and 2 pen styles (solid or dashed), which was more than the other apps provided. Two unique features the app has are its ability to scale the screen to any size (it seems that you can shrink or expand your whiteboard indefinitely), and its synchronize capability, which allows for true collaboration. You can also export files as PDFs, post them to Facebook, Twitter, or Campfire (a collaboration app), or email a link to other iPad users. It does not work in landscape (horizontal) mode, making it a little less ideal for projecting.

The Free version of Jot has a pretty nice set of functionality including: 4 colors and 4 pen sizes, the ability to move a drawing and to add a background, and to add text. You share your drawings via email or save them as a photo. There’s a premium app available for $4.99 that provides more colors, more line widths, 5 fonts to select from, and live sharing.

Airsketch: (9.99) Turn your iPad into a wireless whiteboard! Annotate PDF documents and images live. You can now project PDF documents to a computer on the same local network, then annotate them in real time, all from your iPad. Connect your laptop to a projector to present and draw from your iPad as you walk around the room. You can also easily pass your iPad around to allow others to contribute.Note: Air Sketch is designed to work optimally with landscape documents and with a single computer connected to the same local network as your iPad.
5 drawing tools: Pencil, pen, marker, brush, and highlighter.
A fully customizable color palette (tap on the selected color to edit it).
Undo and redo.

Splashtop: ($19.99)Splashtop Whiteboard allows teachers and students to turn their iPad into an interactive whiteboard. Once connected to their computer over Wifi, they can watch Flash media with fully synchronized video and audio, control favorite applications then annotate over lesson content all from an iPad. Now interact with students at their desk or from all four corners of the classroom! May need to install additional software on classroom PC, which would need approval from IT.

Board Cam ($9.99) is not only a whiteboard app… it’s a document camera app also . With Board Cam you can user pointers, labels, or draw over the iPad 2 live video camera image, over a image stored in your device or use it as a whiteboard. All in one app!

Doceri Remote: Requires the installation of an additional $50 application in order to use it.




iPad Apps


Preface: Using the iPad for Art


Dropbox: If you’ve used Dropbox on your computer, you already know this is a must-have tool on your iPad. If not, it’s a file storage application that allows you to say goodbye to flash drives and portable hard disks for good. Just sign up to store your files online and then access them from any other computer, your iPad or your smartphone. Ideal for files you use at school and at home.  

The Best Apps for 2011





Fill Your New Kindle, iPad, iPhone with Free eBooks, Movies, Audio Books, Courses & More:  Did you get  a new Kindle, iPad or other media player recently. Here’s how to fill those devices with free intelligent media — great books, movies, courses, and all of the rest. And if you didn’t get a new gadget, fear not. You can access all of these materials on the good old fashioned computer as well. 

10 Apps That Make Magic on your iPad



Teaching Resources:  Lesson plans and ideas utilizing iPads in the classroom.

Overdrive:  Let’s you check out books, ebooks, audiobooks from just about any public library.  Also available as a desktop app.

Evernote: There’s no need to carry around a notebook or diary in which to jot down your lesson plans or reminders – just use Evernote to enter your notes in text or voice format.

Templates for Elementary:  ($0.99)  15 templates to make homework and school work a little better. Each template structures work to allow pupils to quickly gather clear thoughts and present them with a little style. 

QuickVoice Recorder: This is the perfect recording tool to record your classes and get feedback on your performance; you can see what you’re doing right and what you’re going about wrong and learn how you can improve your lectures.

 Discover: There’s no need for encyclopedias today with Wikipedia and other instant sources of information. Discover joins this list as the go-to app for the iPad when you need information on just about anything in the world.

 Pages for iPad: Use this nifty app to type out all your documents and include any kind of formatting you may need.

 Numbers for iPad: For all your spreadsheet needs on your iPad, turn to Numbers. It’s easy to use, easy to access, and easy to import all your information from your Excel worksheets.

 Goodreader for iPad: Use this app to access all your documents, PDF files, video and audio files, spreadsheets and many other kinds of files over a wireless network or via USB cable – it makes it dead easy to retrieve files from other systems.

 WritePad: If you prefer to write rather than type, then this app converts your handwriting on the iPad into readable text – use your finger or a stylus to get your point across.

Notability:  Audio recording, advanced word processing, full-featured handwriting, PDF annotation, and auto syncing flow together seamlessly, allowing you to create comprehensive, beautiful notes, quickly and simply. Even customize the look and feel to fit you.

Sundry Notes:  Type text, draw, record audio, create tables, and moreReal-time collaboration via WiFiSync your notes to the cloud between devicesFull photoshop-style undo historyExport your notes in PDF format or print them via AirPrint 

iPad Apps for Administrators 


MathBoard – MathBoard is a stunning app for teaching addition, subtraction, multiplication and division problems

Free Graphic Calculator – With the highest number of available mathematical functions, you will be able to solve almost every mathematical problem you can imagine

Ruler – Use your finger to drag the marker across the screen. Actual dimensions will be instantly displayed.

Math Quizzer – Math Quizzer is an interactive and fun way to, not only learn, but also to boost your skills in; Addition, Subtraction, Multiplication, and Division

Ace Kids Math Games – Easily teaches kids how to Count, Add, and Subtract VISUALLY using fun animations with a prize reward system for completing each level.

Math Bingo – The object of Math BINGO is to get a pattern of five BINGO Bugs in a row by correctly answering math problems.

Math Flash Cards – Math Flash Cards is a fun to use math drill application that looks and works just like the old paper flash cards.

Numerate: Count, Add and Subtract – Learn how to recognize numbers (1-20) and explore simple addition and subtraction with interactive calculations.

MakeChange – Practice counting change and doing addition problems.

Park Math – Park Math introduces early math concepts to children in Preschool and Kindergarten (ages 1-6).

MotionMath – By playing Motion Math, learners improve their ability to perceive and estimate fractions in multiple forms.

Math Ninja Lite – Teaches basic concepts of addition, subtraction, multiplication and division, to more advanced and complicated problem solving such as mixed operator usage.

Math Ninja – Use your math skills to defend your tree house against a hungry tomato and his robotic army in this fun action packed game!

Motion Math Zoom – They’ll have a blast zooming through the number line as they master place value.

Pizza Fractions – In chef’s pizzeria your child masters the concept of naming simple fractions using pizza picture examples

iFactor Quadratics – This is a simple application that will factor quadratic equations, if possible

eSolver HD – eSolver HD enables you to solve quadratic equations in a very simple way.

Equation – EQUATION is a very fast and easy tool to solve Quadratic Equations.


Language Arts:

Toontastic – Create your own stories on line using the story arch and our animated artwork.

Book Creator – Create your own iBooks right on the iPad. (Allows everything except video)

Popplet – Popplet is a platform for your ideas. Popplet’s super simple interface allows you to move at the speed of your thoughts

Reading Trainer – This app teaches you how to train your eyes and brain to read and comprehend text faster. Think of it as exercise for your reading skills.

SpellBoard – Monday, we get our weekly words. Wednesday, we have our pre-quiz and Friday is the spelling test.

Story Wheel – Story Wheel” is an educational game that improves your child’s cognitive abilities.

Super Why – Help your child achieve the Power to Read with this collection of four SUPER WHY interactive games

ABC Phonics Word Sight – Learn Dolch sight words the fun and easy way.

Dr. Suess‘s ABC – The beloved classic “Dr. Seuss’s ABC” is now available for your iPad, iPhone or iPod Touch.

Word Magic – Teaches young children how to read and recognize letters.

StarFall – The “ABCs” section of’s well-loved website


Social Studies:


GeoMaster – In GeoMaster – US State Game, your goal is to place as fast and as accurately as possible all US states on a map.

Stack the States – Stack the States makes learning about the 50 states fun!

Early Jamestown – Victory Productions presents an interactive textbook exploration of the early days of the Jamestown settlement and the state of Virginia.



Professional Development:

Apps for PD  :   a list of the Apps that one teacher uses on a regular basis to help him learn and develop as an educator.


Source: Emerging EdTech

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