Megan & Karen

Digital Storytelling

For purposes of today….Our Definition of digital storytelling is:

  • Publishable in a digital format for global access (embeddable)
  • Can includes images, audio and text but not all are required
  • Must connect with core curriculum
  • Needs a plan
  • Fiction or nonfiction


Free online web tool for creating videos using imported images and voice in mp3 format


  • free education account using gmail account that will be available to all students
  • project is saved in established account and can be edited at any time
  • must have 25-40 images or text slide for 1 minute of voice recording
  • text slides can be added with 1 or 2 lines of text
  • images and text slides can be moved around
  • once finished copy coding and embed in a web site

How to document

Student Sample:


Free download used for recording of voice. Additional tracks can be recorded or added. the finished project can be exported in the mp3 format, which can be embedded into other projects.



  • Download software onto computers in advance of use
  • Projects can be edited so remember to save each project as students are working
  • Time shift the tracks so they play in the desired order
  • Add effects like 'fade in' or 'fade out'

How To

Student Sample

Please note: this "bar" can go under a power point, book image, used as a sound track for ANYTHING - great tool ! it is a podcast.

Vocaroo -

Free online tool to record voices, which is very simple to use. It can easily be embeded as a widget.

  • Create an account so all student recordings will be saved into one place and can be emailed to you directly
  • Remind each student to begin their recording with their first name (no last names) and the title of your project.
  • The final product is easy to embed and is very easy to easy (neon green)
  • You must listen to each recording to identify the student - have them say first name and subject in the first line of speech !

How to:

Student Sample:
2nd Grader - LION report - scripted on paper FIRST then read aloud into microphone.


Download from here PhotoStory 3
  • Final project is a WMV movie and can be uploaded
  • Need microphone to record student voice
  • Has music inside tool which can be added to movie
  • Save pictures as jpgs from online images or personal digital images
  • Software downloaded onto each computer to be used
  • Movie can be basic or elaborate depending upon student ability

How to:

Student Sample:

PhotoStory sample


Free online tool to create digital books - illustrations provided in a set - select what you like and create the story from there

Many choices of illustrators


  • Log on cards coming for fall –
  • DO NOT change passwords as they are not visible
  • Make teacher account and students underneath
  • Use assignment function – spell check on or off
  • PDF $2.99 if desired – print off like picture book publish privately no embed –must publish public to embed
  • Ability to print thumbnails for writing coming in fall – hack around via publish; preview, print preview for students to work on
  • Great to use as intervention tool - students create story and do all writing and then you edit with line below of correct spelling and language - becomes very clear what sight words need to be studied
  • Students must select illustrator and images choices and THEN create a story with those
  • Does NOT save or work well in Firefox - use Safari if you have a mac lab
  • Tech support very good about answering emails and helping

How to :

Student Sample:

2nd Grader ELL :

Super Chica Jocelyn by JocelynWettengal on Storybird

Here is a link to our interventionists use of storybird
Samples as intervention tool

Big Huge Labs

Free online tool with a big variety of projects.


  • Get an education account – you can import student names from spreadsheet
  • BigHugeLabs will create logon cards for each student.
  • Trading Cards – One page with image and students can dictate or type own short story
  • Magazine cover – one page – great for nonfiction – 5 sentences

How to

Student Sample



mixbook.jpgFree online tools to create scrapbook style books - very cool ~

Here is a "how to" handout from another educator:

Screen shots for MIXBOOKS are on pages 55-68 - too large to load
Digital Storytelling

Sample of 5th Grade Class Work:

Mixbook - Create Beautiful Photo Books and Scrapbooks! | View Sample Photo Books | Create your own Photo Book


  • No audio but lots of writing and layout
  • Great for class book of topic
  • Use edu page and stay away from the purchasing pages - not necessary !
  • Search for other samples in gallery



voicethread.jpgFree online tool that allows you to upload a series of images, include short captions and then record on each page

You may also comment on each page. Can be used as a tool for one report/story or one page per student.

How to for teachers:

  • Not intuitive - need to play a bit
  • Create account - educators are free for ONE account - subscription educator for $60 - 100 accounts - GREAT way to go
  • Upload photos - add an extra for the cover - I upload any image into Publisher - make it pretty, add text - save the whole thing as one jpeg THEN use it for the cover as the first photo - my comments are the introductions
  • Then upload students - use icons or individual pics - NO LAST NAMES or SCHOOL reference for safety
  • Set parameters - monitored etc.
  • Invite students to participate
  • NEED- headphones and mics
  • Class logs in and follows handout below
  • invite people to view or comment

Here is a great handout from another educator:

Screen shots for VOICETHREAD are on pages 69-88 - very detailed and helpful !
Digital Storytelling

My Student Handouts:

feel free to copy and edit

Commenting guidelines for students (older):
(to be posted when I can find them !)

Can use educator account and upload each student's photo- $60 per year for 100 accounts
OR can use one account - different identities
Not intuitive - be patient ! worth the time
Upload jpeg photos - one for each page - include one for a cover
Add captions - add title for cover page and record (comment) to explain project
Do not reference school name or student last names for safety concerns
Can use for one student project - HS projects or one page per student project
Allows for others to comment - can screen if desire
Can share via email invite
See "how to" screen shot sheet for assistance
Not intuitive for teachers - allow time to play with it a bit or have someone show you the first time
Can rerecord as many times as necessary
Search Gallery for other samples of how teachers use tool - search 3rd grade poetry etc.....great ideas !

Student Sample of 3rd Grade Book Review - 6 read alouds in class - upload covers
Each student selects one they would like to review and recorded their essays
Student Sample of 2nd Grade Poetry with Illustrations by kids - took digital pics of each illustrated WORD document on a tabletop and uploaded

Middle school student's Human Right's report -

Voicethread Sample

Other Options to explore:

SuperCollage - photographic collage - combine with recording
Microsoftresearch Auto collage 2008 at least 7 images
Iphoto - MAC version of photostory
Kerpoof (not embeddable but great drawing program for little ones)
Frames– Pay software specific for digital storytelling tech4learning
Blabberize - free online tool - one image you make speak
Glogster - poster with interactive links

Other Resources :

Digital Storytelling wiki

Digital Storytelling for Educators- a How to Guide -(pdf to large to upload)- download from this link:Screen shots for all tools !!


Digital Storytelling in the Classroom - Jason Ohler -- more concept oriented than application oriented
DigiTales the Art of Telling Digital Stories - Bernajean Porter - detailed alot of focus on storyboarding