Much credit due to the ITSE smackdown wiki.

Digital Storytelling Resources

Digital storytelling provides students with the opportunity to showcase their creative talents --- and it allows you to teach information literacy skills, reading, writing, and a whole host of subject-related skills in the process. Want to get started?

Ways to Use Digital Storytelling in the Library and the Classroom:
  • At the elementary level, digital storytelling can also be a great tool for reading. Here's an example: Truman the Dog
  • Create an "Internet Reading Corner" using your own digital stories via VoiceThread | Digital Library of Ideas
  • Share a digital story during storytime. Here's an example: Mrs. Wishy Washy
  • Promote your library by creating a short video using Animoto. Here's The CML Experience video.
  • Connect with distant schools to create a Progressive Story.
  • At the middle and high school level, create interest in books by developing a Book Trailer using one of the Web 2.0 programs. Here's an example of How to Create a Book Trailer done by Naomi Bates of Northwest ISD in Texas. Naomi's blog also provides some great ideas and links to her fantastic booktrailers.
  • Use comic book conventions to retell or expand upon other texts. Image tools like FotoFlexer allow students to use effects to manipulate digital photographs for a range of storytelling effects.
  • Students can use digital storytelling tools to showcase an "exquisite corpse" of images or "found documentaries" with video elements.
  • Students can create surprisingly subtle animations using presentation software, like this example from Kathy Schrock .
  • Scholastic and Microsoft have partnered together for an amazing digital storytelling resource for teachers.
  • Voki is a great way to get kids to share stories online. They can use it to create their own customized talking avatar, upload their own backgrounds or use the ones on the site, and either type, record, phone in or upload their audio. For longer narrations it is best to use the record option or have them mix their audio in GarageBand or Audacity first and upload it. If they are 13 or over they can create an account at Voki and create a collection of different Voki avatars. If they are under 13 they can use the create Voki option without creating an account. The talking avatars can then be embedded in wikis, blogs etc. We have used them for short pieces of work in our school, in History lessons to discuss topics, as introductions to digital portfolios, for brief reflections(these were typed in so they are very brief) and also for assigning homework online. Here is a link to the lesson we use with our new 6th grade students.
  • Toondoo is great for creating cartoon strips online. Students can upload their own pictures and backgrounds as wall as draw from the extensive ToonDoo Galleries.
  • We do a a lot of work with animations, videos, screen cast tutorials and podcasts. Much of this is done with GarageBand and iMovie, Once the work is all done I like to park them all in one place, to which I can then link back or embed from. Our school uses YouTube, fliqz and for online storage of student video work.
  • Gabcast is another great site, in this case for uploading audio files/podcasts. You can create many channels so that organizing the work by class is easier and podcast episodes can also be telephoned in as well as uploaded.
  • Jing is great for screencasting. Finished videos can then be downloaded to the computer or uploaded to accounts to which are linked to Jing and linked to from wikis, blogs etc. If a pro account is purchased videos can also be saved as MPEG-4 files and imported to iMovie for editing.
  • Movie Trailers are a great way to get kids to reflect and apply what they understand in creative ways. Work, with angles, shots and camera motion can be a fun way to understand movie making techniques, followed by story boarding the video. Flip cameras as well as small digital cameras, tripods and a rolling chair (to be used as a dolly) are essential pieces of equipment and the videos can be edited using applications such as Movie Maker or iMovie.
  • Claymation is a fantastic way to get kids enthused about telling their stories digitally. Again story boarding is essential, as are small digital cameras, tripods and a good video editor like iMovie. Our kids also use the iMacs and photobooth to take their shots and frame using a . Some examples of claymation work.
  • In Plain English Videos are a great way to get kids to tell a story in a quick, to the point manner using digital video and narration.

Using Storyboard Templates in Google Docs

Storyboard template in Google Docs from Daniel Rezac


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What is machinima?

Machinima can be produced in a couple of ways. It can be script-driven, whereas the cameras, characters, effects etc. are scripted for playback in real-time. While similar to animation, the scripting is driven by events rather than keyframes. It can also be recorded in real-time within the virtual environment, much like filmmaking (the majority of game-specific Machinima pieces are produced in this fashion). (from Machinima FAQ)

  • ANIMOTO for EDUCATION - music video type product that allows users to upload still and moving images to create a story, music is provided at the site
  • GOANIMATE- create fun animated cartoon
  • PREZI - a zooming presentation tool that can be used to create a nonlinear type of story
  • VOICETHREAD - a tool that allows stills, video and collaborative conversation
  • XTRANORMAL - create an animated movie by typing text
  • -- save stories, photos, and videos on a collaborative timeline
  • FLIXTIME - create movies with images, video, and text. This site does not require an email address to sign up for an account.
  • STUPEFLIX - create movies with images, video, and text. Similiar to Animoto, but you have move control over the position of the images.
  • JAYCUT - similiar to Windows Movie Maker, but online. Bonus: It accepts quicktime video!
  • VOKIi - Create speaking avatars and embed in your site. Create and publish without accounts for kids under 13. Create and publish with accounts for kids 13 and older. Voki for Classrooms will be available in time for the new school year.
  • AVIARY Photo-editing, screen capture, music creator, audio editor.
  • TOONDOO- online cartoon strip creator. For ages 13 or older without parental consent.
  • BITSTRIPS -online cartoon strip creator. For ages 14 or older.
  • MAKEBELEIFCOMIX nice and easy comic creation for younger students.
  • ZIMMERTWINS easy comic strip creation using premade characters great for elementary on up.
  • PIXTON Easy drag and drop comic strip creation. Free to individuals (but requires and email address) OR pay for class management, unlimited comics, and project templates (without requiring student emails.)

  • Zooburtst is an easy pop-up style "book" creator suitable for use with elementary children on up with free individual or for charge classroom management account types, can include sound, downloaded images, and video.





  • Animoto
    Upload your own images. Add music or voice. Animoto now has a text option. Animoto has limited controls for a student who wants to tell his story but it is a lot of fun to use with photos/text/music. There are educational terms available. Here's an example of an animated Animoto with limited text

  • ToonDoo
    In ToonDoo, for example, you can upload your own images and enhance those with various graphics that are provided. You can create a library of Toons that can be turned into a Toonbook. No audio. Fun.

  • Mixbook
    Mixbook.comallows you to create photo books. Mixbooks can be shared online or as printed books. New – add your own stickers for a scrapbook effect. It costs to print a book.

  • CAST UDL Book Builder
    Create digital books that support needs of diverse learners. Upload images and audio files to create the digital stories. The site has a build in text reader. There are "coaches" that can be set to help guide the students through the readings and comprehension. This site also has a collection of digital books.

  • Storyjumper>
    Create digital children's books. In the classroom edition you can create class usernames and passwords. For those students that have a hard time getting started there are book starters available.



National Education Technology Standards (NETS) for Students --- just what should students know? Here are the standards!
NETS Implimentation Wiki -- lots of great ideas for implimenting technology into the curriculum.
NCTE: 21st Century Literacies --- new literacy standards from the National Council for Teachers of English

  • It's Elementary! Integrating Technology in the Primary Grades by Boni Hamilton. Eugene, Oregon: International Society for Technology in Education, 2007.
  • E-Teaching: Creating Web Sites and Student Web Portfolios Using Microsoft PowerPoint by Jay D'Ambrosio. Worthington, Ohio: Linworth Publishing, 2003.
  • Digital Cameras in the Classroom by Mary Ploski Seamon and Eric J. Levitte. Worthington, Ohio: Linworth Publishing, 2003.
  • Digital Storytelling: Creating an eStory by Dusti D. and Deanne K. Howell. Worthington, Ohio: Linworth Publishing, 2003.
  • Technology Projects for Library Media Specialists and Teachers by Patricia Ross Conover. Worthington, Ohio, Linworth Publishing, 2007.
  • A Teacher's Guide to Using Technology in the Classroom, Second Edition by Karen S. Ivers. Westport, Connecticut: Libraries Unlimited, 2009.
  • Teaching with Digital Images by Glen Bull and Lynn Bell. Eugene, Oregon: International Society for Technology in Education, 2005.
  • Tech-Savvy Booktalker: A Guide for 21st-Century Educators by Nancy J. Keane and Terence W. Cavanaugh. Westport, Connecticut: Libraries Unlimited, 2009.
  • DigitTales: The Art of Telling Digital Stories by Bernajean Porter. Sedalia, CO: Storykeepers. 2004.
  • Digital Storytelling in Practice by Kelly Czarnecki. ALA TechSource. 2009

  • Mullen, R., & Wedwick, L. (2008). Avoiding the Digital Abyss: Getting Started in the Classroom with YouTube, Digital Stories, and Blogs. Clearing House, 82(2), 66-69.
  • Brisco, Shonda. (2008). Using Photo Story. Library Sparks.
  • Karre, M., & Mandell, P. (2005). BrainGlow: Ideas and Tools for Digital Storytelling. School Library Journal, 51(8), 70.
  • More, C. (2008). Digital Stories Targeting Social Skills for Children With Disabilities: Multidimensional Learning. Intervention in School & Clinic, 43 (3), 168-177.
  • Banaszewski, T. (2002). Digital Storytelling Finds Its Place in the Classroom. Multimedia Schools, 9 (1), 32.
  • Adamson, P., Adamson, B., Clausen-Grace, N., Eames, A., Einarson, C., Goff, J., et al. (2008). Digital Storytelling in the Classroom: New Media Pathways to Literacy, Learning, and Creativity. School Library Journal, 5478.
  • Iacchia, F. (2005). Digital Storytelling. Teaching Pre K-8, 35 (6), 52-53.
  • Joseph, L. (2006). Digital Storytelling. MultiMedia & Internet@Schools, 13 (4), 13-16.
  • Sadik, A. (2008). Digital storytelling: a meaningful technology-integrated approach for engaged student learning. Educational Technology Research & Development, 56 (4), 487-506.
  • Robin, B. (2008). Digital Storytelling: A Powerful Technology Tool for the 21st Century Classroom. Theory into Practice, 47 (3), 220-228. (2007).
  • Educational Uses of Digital Storytelling. School Library Journal, 53, 81.
  • Loertscher, D. (2007). Hear ye! Leaders of the 21st century. Teacher Librarian, 35 (2), 44.
  • Demski, J. (2009). Mastering Digital Media. T H E Journal, 36 (4), 19.
  • Bolch, M. (2008). Show and Tell. T H E Journal, 35 (5), 28-30.
  • Maier, R., & Fisher, M. (2006). Strategies for Digital Storytelling VIA Tabletop Video: Building Decision Making Skills in Middle School Students in Marginalized Communities. Journal of Educational Technology Systems, 35 (2), 175-192.
  • Ohler, J. (2005). The World of Digital Storytelling. Educational Leadership, 63 (4), 44-47.
  • Howell, D., & Howell, D. (2003). What's Your Digital Story?. Library Media Connection, 22 (2), 40.


  • Scratch Imagine Program Share
  • ScratchEd-Resources, stories, discussion
  • Bookr can be used to create a photo flip book using Flickr images.
  • Jing for creating screen casts and its annotation tool is a real plus!
  • Claymation is a fun way to get kids to tell their stories.
  • Video Trailers can be based on books, adventures, events or anywhere there is a story to be told.
  • In Plain English style videos are easy to create and to the point.