Sunday, October 6, 2013

App Category: Digital Storytelling

Digital Storytelling is a wide and diverse category. Many apps that we've placed in the Presentation, Screen Recording or Photo Project categories could also be considered Digital Storytelling apps. For our purposes here, I'm included apps that allow the student to create animated movies or cartoons that tell a story... any story. It could be a documentary or a fictional story to explain a topic or an actual story to show their knowledge of literary elements. Some examples in the classroom might be:
  • Math- Explain the steps used to solve a problem or explain a concept such as rounding or estimating
  • Science- Create a story explaining the 3 forms of matter or telling the hypothesis and result of a lab experiment; create lab safety videos
  • SS- Create a story using characters to represent two or more historical figures and have them discuss or debate an historical topic relevant to their era.
  • ELA- Create stories to present various grammatical topics in a conversation or to demonstrate sentence types; Retell a story; book reviews
  • Foreign Language- Students can create a story with a two way conversation to practice asking/answering questions in a new language.
  • Other- Create PSAs on bullying, Red Ribbon Week or Internet Safety
My Favorite Digital Storytelling App
Tellagami - http://gcisdtraining.wikispaces.com/App-Tellagami

Tellagami is a free app for creating 30 second talking avatars.  It's like Voki for the iPad!  First pick your character and customize it.  Backgrounds can be added from several presets, the camera or photo library.  Then record up to 30 seconds of audio or type up to 440 characters.   The completed "Gami" can be saved to the camera roll and emailed as a movie.  Tellagami is a great app for layering or "smashing" into iMovie. Create multiple 30 seconds Gamis and then combine them into a single movie in iMovie.

Other Options:

Toontastic is great for creating longer animated cartoons.  Cartoons are created using the built in "Story Arc" with a story setup, conflict, challenge, climax and resolution.  Additional scenes can be added as well.  For each scene, students add a background and characters.  Then students animate the scene and record narration. Finally students pick music based on the mood of the scene.  Repeat the process for each scene in the cartoon. Completed movies are uploaded to the Toon-Tube website.  Pre-planning is super important for creating Toontastic movies.  Have the students create a storyboard before beginning.  Also, be sure to have the sound turned on... there's a built in tutorial to guide you through the steps in creating your very own cartoon!


Sock Puppets is a super simple app for creating 30 second puppet movies. Kids love it because it disguises their voice.  It's great for short explanations.  Simply choose the characters, the scene and the props and then record your narration.  While recording, tap a puppet and that puppet will lip-synch.  Tap a different puppet to switch auto lip-synching to it. Final products can be uploaded to YouTube.

Puppet Pals HD or Puppet Pals 2 - http://gcisdtraining.wikispaces.com/App-Puppet+Pals


Puppet Pals HD and Puppet Pals 2 are a cross between Sock Puppets and Toontastic.  You have more options than Sock Puppets but they're not quite as complex as Toontastic. Choose your characters and scenery and then animate/narrate all in one scene. One thing I love is that the final product can be saved to the camera roll!  The free versions are limited in the choices of scenery and characters.


What's your favorite digital storytelling app?  Leave us a comment!

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