A List of the Best Free Digital Storytelling Tools for Teachers

Posted by Ross Crockett on

“Digital storytelling is a fascinating pursuit in every grade level, and everybody likes to tell stories. It also develops essential skills in creativity, critical thinking, and communication. The older and more experienced students become with the platforms we have for expressing themselves, the more spectacular creations can be. I recently came across this list of digital storytelling tools featured on the Educational Technology and Mobile Learning blog, and compiled by Med Kharbach. There are some old standbys here, along with some new ones you may have not yet seen. Nevertheless, these are some great resources for helping both teachers and students explore this entertaining, challenging, and rewarding activity.”

 

via Educatorstechnology.com

Digital storytelling, the practice of combining narrative with digital content, is gaining more ground in the educational field. Many schools and educational centres all around the globe  are including learning method  in their curriculums and the results are really  promising: more of students’ engagement and a bigger degree of motivation.

Telling a story is a powerful way to communicate with others. Think about those moments when you would  share a story about yourself with your students and how everyone of them is dialed in waiting on the next word to come out of your mouth. And when this storytelling is combined with a set of powerful digital tools it becomes a truly authentic  learning experience that helps students develop a wide range of intellectual skills.

Here some of the pluses of digital storytelling in education :

  •  It develops creativity and critical thinking
  •  Students who are shy or afraid to talk in class get a chance to speak out their minds
  •  It empowers students voice to deliver rich, deep message that is capable of conveying a powerful message.
  •  It helps students explore  the meaning of their own experience, give value to it, and communicate that experience with others.
  • It promotes the notions of life long learning and independent learning
  •  It develops students communicative skills
  •  It is a reflective process that helps students reflect upon their learning and find deep connections with the subject matter of a course or with an out-of-class experience.
  •  It fosters students sense of individuality
  •  It also gives students an opportunity to experiment with self-representation and establish their identity
  • Students creating digital stories develop proficiency with multimedia applications

There are actually several tools to create a digital story online but for educational purposes I have meticulously selected some of the best ones available online and  for free. But before you start exploring the list make sure to check out these three tools to develop creativity in your Students Writing.

Here is the list of some of the best free digital storytelling tools for teachers

1- ZimmerTwins

digital storytelling tools

It is all about creative storytelling. ZimmerTwins is a web2.0 tool that allows students to give vent to their imaginative powers and exercise their storytelling skills from early stages to advances ones.

2- Digital Story Telling in The Classroom

digital storytelling tools

This section provides resources and materials for teachers to use with their students in storytelling. It helps students personalize their learning and  perfom better. Students can use these materails to create a movie or interactive slideshow to tell their stories.

3- Story Bird

digital storytelling tools

This is an awesome website that allows students and teachers to create short art inspired stories to read, share or print out.

4- Someries

digital storytelling tools

Someries is a fantastic  storytelling site . It has  a continuous flow of new stories, read aloud by kids . The stories are all made by kids and for kids,  learners of English can benefit a lot from this site too . Some of the videos in Someries are subtitled so that kids can both read and listen to what they read .

5- PicLits

digital storytelling tools

This is another awesome website where students can choose a picture and start drawing or writing a text on it to create a story.

6- Generator

digital storytelling tools

This is a creative studio space where students explore the moving image and create their own digital stories to share with others.

7- Capzles

digital storytelling tools

This is where you and your students can create rich multimedia stories with videos, photos, music, blogs and documents. It is really awesome.

8- Slidestory

digital storytelling tools

This is a free digital story telling tool that students can use to combine sharing pictures and narration to create awesome presentations and stories to share with others.

9- Domo Animate

digital storytelling tools

This is one of the best tools online for digital story telling. It allows students to create animated stories and provides them with a wide variety of background and characters to use.

10- Animoto

digital storytelling tools

This is also a very popular tool but its paid versions offer much more than its free basic plan that only allows for creating 30 second videos. These videos can combine images, songs, and text.

11- Smilebox

digital storytelling tools

This is a great website that provides hundreds of customizable designs for students and teachers to create their own stories that can comprise photos, videos, words and music.

12- Make Belief Comix

digital storytelling tools

As its name suggests, this tool allows users to create stories out of comic strips and share them with others The process is very easy to use and above all student friendly

13- Creaza

digital storytelling tools

Creaza has a nice tool called Cartoonist where students can create their own stories using cartoonic characters. Watch the video in there to learn how to use it.

14- Pixton

digital storytelling tools

This is a tool that lets users create stories out of cartoons and provided characters. It is so much fun and students will definitely love it.

15- Voice Thread

digital storytelling tools

This is a collaborative, multimedia slide show that holds images, documents, and videos and allows users to navigate slides and create their own stories.

16- Comic master

digital storytelling tools

This is a great website that allows users to create graphic novels and stories to share with others. It provides everything from templates to sharing tools, you just put in your ideas and creativity.

17- Picture Book Maker

digital storytelling tools

As its name suggests, this tools lets you create your very own children’s book using a set of beautiful templates and pages.

18- Bubblr

digital storytelling tools

This is a tool to help you create comic strips using photos from Flickr.com. Just search for the pictures you want and then add your bubbles.

19- Pinball

digital storytelling tools

This is another great website for students and teachers to create digital stories. It has a set of tools to fire out ideas, mix them, and make quick decisions.

20- Mapskip

digital storytelling tools

This website features several stories based on locations on  Google map. The purpose is to create a weave of stories about the places in our lives. Users can join in for free and start marking up places in Google Maps with their own stories and photos. They can also browse each others’ stories and can rate and discuss them.

21- ZooBurst

digital storytelling tools

This is another great digital storytelling tool that lets anyone easily create his or her own 3D pop-up books. It has two plans one is basic and free and the other is paid and has more advanced features.


Comments

  1. Katre Laan

    Insightful article with a great list of tools!

    Would also recommend checking out http://www.myhistro.com for digital storytelling. It’s a versatile timeline generator that combines storytelling with Google maps. Handy tool for individual and collaborative projects.

    • Ross Crockett

      Thanks, Katre! I have seen myhistro and it’s pretty cool. Thanks for your comments!

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  3. Javier

    Hello Ross,

    Interesting article, as a storytelling developer I understand the importance of these tools for education and the power it has for online communities.

    For the past four years a team of developers and I have been working on Talely, a digital storytelling ecosystem and tool that allows users with no programming skills to easily create, publish and share engaging and interactive digital stories.This tool fits perfectly with the purpose of this article. We are still ongoing with the last details of development, but here is a demo where you can play with it http://public.talely.com/demo_editor or visit our site for more information http://www.talely.com

    Regards,
    J.

    • Ross Crockett

      Sounds good, Javier … I will be sure to check it out. Thanks for your comment!

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  7. Tanner

    Every website I tried was extremely limited in some way. Smilebox had to be downloaded and was more about greeting cards. I just wanted a way to import photos and create text by typing, but every site came up short. Good list, but poor websites.

    • Dai

      Try photostory3. Old MS favourite but it is free and easy to use.

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