Digital storytelling creates greater access for students to narrate lived and fictionalized events and experiences.
Students can combine multiple media forms — including text, photos, drawings, animations, audio, and vieo — to create evocative, informative works of art.
When teachers assign digital storytelling projects, they position students as experts with the freedom and autonomy to make artistic decisions regarding plot, character development, and point-of-view. Students can also collaborate to co-create digital stories, mimicking real-world ways of thinking in the so-called ‘real world.’
We’ve updated our list of the best digital storytelling sites and apps for students of all ages, grade levels, and content areas. As a note, it is important that educators familiarize themselves with any tool they plan to introduce to students. Teachers may need to model how to perform certain editing tasks, trouble-shoot problems, and share files, for example, and should anticipate which questions or challenges students might encounter.
What apps do you use for creating and telling digital stories?
The 32 Best Digital Storytelling Sites and Apps
Animaker enables video making, FIF and short video making, and live video editing.
One of the most popular digital storytelling tools on this list, Book Creator provides exceptional features. Users can select from 50 unique fonts, add images, take photos, embed voice or music files, annotate, draw, insert emojis and other icons, and select from multiple layout templates.
Make movies on your laptop, desktop computer, smartphone, tablet, Chromebook…virtually any device! The app includes a stop motion animation movie creator, audio on unlimited tracks, titles, credits, and speech bubbles.
This online studio allows users to drag and drop text, images, shapes, and more. Users can edit images with filters, choose from hundreds of fonts and animations, add customizable Widgets, and initiate interactive sequences.
Record your voice and any screen display on a digital whiteboard. You can export a link of the video to post anywhere.
Students can create their own stories online using the Imagine Forest story creator. This app offers writing activities that help chunk the challenging tasks of writing into more accessible parts.
Kids record their voices to narrate premade picture books. It’s as easy as tapping ‘Create’ and swiping the screen to turn the page.
This isn’t just a basic comic strip generator! Make Beliefs Comix grants access to emojis, an audio recording icon, and helpful videos that demonstrate how to create cool comics!
My Story allows users to design and share ebooks and movies. Students can add drawings, photos, stickers, voice recordings, and more to their projects, which they can export as mp4 files or directly to YouTube.
OK Play prides itself on being a community where “all kids can create, play and share content that ignites creativity and spreads joy.”
A PicLit is a combination of words placed on a photograph that connect with the photo and add meaning by writing with either DRAG-N-DROP or FREESTYLE. They can be sentences, definitions, poems, captions, paragraphs, quotes, song lyrics, stories, questions, letters, raps, or assginments.
Students can build graphic novels, storyboards, or comic strips that they can print, download, or share online.
Plasq hosts COMIC LIFE and COMIC DRAW. With COMIC LIFE, students can turn pictures into comics, add them to templates, and create pane layouts on a Chromebook. COMIC DRAW allows users to create comics using their iPad devices. The app is equipped with brushes, fonts, and other customization tools.
With Plotagon, iPhone or Android users can easily turn text into film, create characters, and record voice and sound effects. It’s like being the director of your own movie!
We consider Powtoon to be one of the digital storytelling ‘titans’ on this list. Users can create animated videos for just about any purpose. What sets them apart from other apps? You can create your own animated character who you can adjust based on your audience or theme.
Design animated cartoons and presentations, select actors and backdrops, and more with this award-winning educational app.
Shadow Puppet Edu is another popular resource on our list. Students can present projects, search for images, develop digital storytelling skills, and improve speaking skills as they create videos in the classroom.
Do you have a special memory or experience to share? Slidestory lets users create slideshows that are 32 seconds in length.
SpeechJournal’s customizable audio recorder lets users combine recorded messages with imported photos.
Want students to visualize ideas for a narrative essay? Storyboard that hosts hundreds of scenes, characters, and other elements that students can use to create a storyboard for an idea, a narrative, or a vision.
Create lovely story books with images, video and audio recordings, and text.
Those with writer’s block may find inspiration from Story Dice, an app which uses images on dice to prompt users with cool ideas.
With Story Jumper, your students can become published authors! This site allows them to design characters, add voice recording, produce video books, collaborate on ebook projects with peers, and listen to student-generated books from all over the world.
Story Wheel is an educational game that helps students understand story composition, strengthens students’ imaginations, and improves their speaking skills. Students spin a wheel to receive an image, then record their voice alongside that image to develop a story. Players continue to build on the story with new images and interpretations.
This comic strip generator lets users sketch, draw, mask, add warped 3D lettering, balloons, and more. The app also houses stickers to help add dramatic effect to scenes.
Tell About This displays a single image on the screen, along with a brief, open-ended, and developmentally appropriate question or prompt. Younger students can record themselves narrating their responses alongside the image.
On ThingLink, users can create tutorials, trailers, interactive media experiences, simulations, interactive course modules, and explain complex concepts.
Turn your ideas into brilliant cartoons with Toontastic 3D — students can draw, animate, and narrate stories, news reports, and other ideas.
VoiceThread is a cloud app that lets users share and comment on interactive presentations — the app permits the use of over 50 different types of media.
Draw from Vyond’s template library to create professionally animated videos
This simple tool allows you to…you guessed it…write comics! Select from a library of characters and backgrounds and add dialogue to create hilarious comic strips.
Design storyboards, create video content, and organize your video production. This app includes animated stickers, a speed controller, and other features.