In this post, I highlight the best tools to inspire the love of storytelling and writing in your students. Some of them are apps, others are websites, still others work on any device. Many are free, others are relatively inexpensive one-time purchase downloads. For each, I will indicate the type of service (app, website or both) and highlight the cost (if any). Make your next school year fun and engaging for your students by trying out some of the tools listed below:
Storybird.com (Website; free). You can use it to create stories, complete with illustrations and artwork. The app builds an understanding of how a book works. It can be used starting in kindergarten. It is an instant favorite with the kids, many of whom come home and ask their parents to create an account on Storybird, and parents can create stories with kids at home.
Kidblog.org (Website and app; free). This is a blogging tool that you can use starting in 1st grade. You can control the privacy settings of the blog. Each child has his/her own blog on the platform. They can embed stories and pictures that they created on Pixie or Educreations. The blog posts are read by the teacher and by parents.
Educreations.com (Website and app; free). Kids can use it to create and publish stories, complete with pictures, drawings, and recordings of their own voices. The stories can then be saved and shared with parents. You can create one account for the class and sign in as a teacher, or an account for each child, it’s up to you.
VoiceThread.com (Website; $79/year or $15/month). This is a great app for oral language – to share their thinking out load, record and share conversations. Kids can contribute to the conversation by commenting. You can use it to connect with other classrooms. You can even ask people from other countries to share stories and images of their favorite foods or activities.
Littlebirdtales.com (Website is free, app is $2.99). This is an app that lets kids create and record stories. They can draw, type, or record their voice. They can use the pictures that they took or choose images from the gallery or the library. Once the story is created, it can be saved and shared.
SoundCloud (Website and app; Free). This is a sound recording app that you can use to record poetry, songs or stories. SoundCloud is popular for streaming music, but its services are used in the educational field as well. Teachers can use SoundCloud to record anything they chose, and their students can access these recordings for free.
- Matt Gomez, from Dallas, Texas (@mattBgomez)
- Cathy Mere, from Hilliard, Ohio (@CathyMere)
- Lori Elliott, from Missouri (@drlorielliott)
- Laureen Reynolds, from Boston, Massachusetts (@LaureenReynolds)
For additional recommendations of digital storytelling tools, check out http://bit.ly/1r6dIyh
We hope you find these websites and apps useful for your classroom!