Digital Storytelling


Digital Storytelling

For educators interested in the theory and use of digital stills and video in the classroom.

Members: 252
Latest Activity: Nov 15, 2020

Discussion Forum

K-2 resources

Started by Karen Zietlow. Last reply by A E Matthew May 24, 2014. 2 Replies

What Digital Storytelling Software Do Others Use?

Started by Michelle Birch. Last reply by A E Matthew May 24, 2014. 3 Replies

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Comment by Jillian Willey on June 17, 2014 at 6:25am


It is so true that school is completely different than it used to be! It has changed immensely even from when I was in school, and I'm only 22. I'm glad you enjoyed wideo. It is really neat!


I agree that it is really frustrating when sites do not work from school computers. I have had this issue quite a few times. The upside, however, is that there are so many resources and websites out there, that hopefully another one will work! Have you tried Educreations? It is not exactly the same as creating a video like wideo or goanimate, but it is still a handy, fun resource and students would love it I am sure! I have not used it yet with my students but I would love to.   

Comment by A E Matthew on June 7, 2014 at 12:18pm


Did you try Adobe Voice as you planned to? I'm curious to hear about your experience with Adobe Voice. Here's the official Adobe video I stumbled upon on YouTube which features students who use the app to "quickly collaborate and create engaging stories on the iPad that explains, report information or express their personalities". It also features an educator who demonstrates how the app helps in not just teaching storytelling but also bringing fun into the classroom


I just visited the Wideo site like you did after Jillian referred to it earlier and must say that I'm intrigued as well. At first glance I see shades of Powtoon in it although it might be totally unique features. Nevertheless, it looks promising at the outset.  

Comment by Deb Unruh Miller on June 4, 2014 at 7:45pm

AAAh!  So frustrating!  I tried all of the programs that you all suggested and I can't use any of them at school!  Our browser is so old and outdated that nothing runs on it.  I looked at them at home and they are all so cool, but it stinks when you can't use any of them at school.  I do have the iPad, which gives more flexibility for choosing the apps I want, so I may check out the Adobe Voice that AE Matthew suggested.  I have time this summer to do more research, and I am determined to find something that will work!  Right now the only thing that seems to work is Voice Thread which the students love.  I am hoping that maybe we will get a system upgrade this summer.  If we do, I will be ready!  I do have to say that the resources that are out there are amazing.  Who would have ever thought we'd be able to do some of what we can do now?

Comment by Alvonia Smith on June 4, 2014 at 3:52pm


I just visited the wideo site and was thoroughly fascinated. I made a video, just for fun and my mind filled with possibilities for using this application. It was fairly easy to create a polished looking product. A friend of mine said that a question was posed to her in the 70s of what would school look like forty years into the future. With products, software, applications and devices, the classroom of today is vastly different from the classroom of forty years ago. We have progressed light years away from chalk and chalkboards, mimeographed worksheets and overhead projectors. Thanks for sharing!

Comment by Ashlynn Maloy on June 4, 2014 at 3:36pm

Alvonia, I have heard and used goanimate before. I often use it with my kindergarteners and they love it. I have incorporated it into my lessons multiple ways. The first way I have incorporated it into my lessons is by making the videos myself on the topic we are learning about. I often do this when I am not able to find a good video to use. I also have used goanimate with my students. For example, there have been a few times where we have created definitions for words. Therefore, I have also used goanimate with the students when creating definitions. The students will tell me the word and definition and I will type it in. This activity may sound boring but the students love it and become very engaged. I have never heard of powtoon but I will have to look into it. Is it just like goanimate? Thank you for the great ideas!

Christina, I have never heard of photo story before, but I will have to look into. It sounds very interesting. This would be a great idea for journals for the students. Are you able to upload photos to the program? It would be a great idea to have the students draw a picture, then I could upload it and have the students record a story they have written about their picture. I could create a class book. This would be a great way to encourage the students to write as well as finish their work so they can publish it! I am excited about this new program!

Deb- Goanimate is a great program. The only downfall is that with the free version you are limited to some of the options. For example, there are limited scenes as well as characters that you can use. Also, with the free version you are limited to how many lines you are able to create. But it really is a fun program. I normally use it when teaching phonics or social studies to “spice” up the material.

Carly, sometimes to encourage some of my students in writing I will let them publish their writing using my ipad. Therefore, they will draw their picture and write their sentences on paper. Then when they are finished I will pull up educreations app or show me app on the ipad. Here the students will draw their picture again and read their writing as the app records them. This really encourages the students who do not like to write. I then will play the recording to the class and the students LOVE it. I highly recommend downloading those apps. I have also used those apps for “proof” for some of my struggling students in math because it records everything and shows their work as they are trying to solve the problem.

Jillian, I looked into wideo for the PSA project but I was so overwhelmed and had a difficult time operating the website. I wanted to go back to it and search it again because it did look neat. Little Bird tales sounds interesting I will definitely have to keep that in mind for next year. I love when students are able to record themselves because I feel like they try harder and show their best work. Thanks for the great idea!


Comment by Jillian Willey on June 3, 2014 at 6:35pm


You have awesome ideas of ways to record digital stories! I used goanimate to create my PSA for EDT6035 and it is truly wonderful. It is a great way to make stories come to life! It is a little overwhelming at first, because there are so many options between backgrounds, characters, props, actions and effects. Then again, playing around with it is half the fun. This site also allows users to choose how to add voice to the video. You can record your own voice or use a type to text option and then select the voice you want (male or female, plus you can choose the country). Another site you could use is wideo. This site is very similar to goanimate, however, there are less options to choose from. This could be more beneficial for students who are just learning to use this type of technology because it is less overwhelming.

I did an activity a few weeks ago where my students recorded a writing piece they had recently written and then illustrated images to go with it. I used a site called Little Bird Tales ( It has easy navigation and is simple to use. You can record voice and use tools, similar to paint, to create accompanying illustrations. My students enjoyed this project. They also enjoyed showing their families at home! Since their recordings are saved to the cloud, they can access their work from anywhere with internet access.

I hope I was able to give you some beneficial tips!

Comment by A E Matthew on June 3, 2014 at 3:00am


If you have already tried Powtoon then I suggest you try Sparkol too. Check out this sample video created using Sparkol trial version. Note that the possibilities are more if you are using a premium version. Also, since you mentioned iPad, the recent Adobe storytelling tool - Adobe Voice - could also prove to be useful since you get to turn around some cool videos pretty quickly. The best part is that, one of their launch videos that came out last month was about a teacher using the app much to the delight of his students. This is reinforcing the fact that the school teacher is a primary customer for the Adobe app. You can do a search on YouTube for Adobe Voice or simply check this link for a firsthand review. 

Hope that helps!


Comment by Carly Shields on June 2, 2014 at 6:54pm


I am a first grade teacher, so my students have a little bit more independence than K students, but they are by no means "independent." I want to incorporate digital storytelling into my classroom, but I haven't found a developmentally appropriate editing program for my little ones.  I think we're in the same boat. I think to begin with, I might need to meet with the little ones one on one to develop skills in editing video.  Maybe during Computer Special or small group project time.  

I wonder about the use of iPads as well! I just recently found out that my school might be getting some for the classrooms! This would definitely make capturing video easier! I might even be able to find an app to support my needs! If I find one I'll post here!

Alvonia suggested! I haven't tried this with my kids yet, but I just used it myself to create a Public Service Announcement for one of my graduate courses.  I could definitely see young children being able to navigate the tools for creating video.  It also has a lot of images, animations, shapes, text options etc. to make the videos creative and interesting! I didn't even think to use it with my kids, but I'm definitely going to give it a try!! 

Comment by Deb Unruh Miller on May 23, 2014 at 6:42pm

I also teach kindergarten and have always had a personal interest in digital storytelling.  Like Ashlynn, I'd love to incorporate it into my classroom and have my students do it, but I wonder if it is too involved for them.  I'm wondering if some of the links that Alvonia posted would be useful with iPads.  IPads and iPods make it fairly simple for students to capture the video, I'm wondering what apps make it easy to edit and join video together.  I've used iMovie, but I think it might be hard for the typical kindergartener.  I will definitely check out GoAnimate, that sounds very promising.  I would love to have the students document special field trips and events in the classroom, and then create videos to share about their learning and educational adventures.  It would be better still if they could incorporate these videos into a blog for writing practice to go along with their digital story.  

Comment by Alvonia Smith on May 20, 2014 at 7:22pm


 You might want to try:

 GoAnimate, the world's #1 “do-it-yourself” animated video site.Everyone can make videos quickly and easily, without having to draw or download anything. Click, Drag, Action!

I tried this with my granddaughters, aged 4 and 6 and they loved it. I found it quick, easy and fun. My son made a video for his sixth grade science class (explaining the diversity of life) and stated that it reinforced the concepts in an enjoyable format.


PowToon generates excitement and motivation in any classroom - no matter the age of the student.

I explored this site, made a presentation in a few minutes and when finished, buttons appeared with the option to share on YouTube, Twitter and Facebook among others. 


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