Tools for Digital Storytelling in the Secondary Classroom

When most teachers hear the phrase, “digital storytelling”, they probably think of telling a story as it would be in a book. For that reason, many teachers struggle with understanding what this is or should be. Stories that are similar to those that students would read in books are only one type and may not apply in every content area or lesson. There are other types as well.

Digital storytelling in my classroom was rarely the “storybook” kind. They were almost always a collection of details that allowed students to bring content together and into focus from their point of view. It was about their curation of things that they created which included how, why, what if and what now. Storytelling enabled students to look at math from the perspective of their world and formulate their ideas about it.

Student stories could be anything from video to slideshows, posters, audio recordings, screencast or even physical printed stories. Below are a few tools that you may already be familiar with including my insight on each one which I have embedded in the descriptions of each card…a cool feature of

1. (image, text, audio, video, websites) <
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Tackk – Content Creation + Sharing

Students can log in with their google accounts. Students can connect instagram to pull images and video. Includes free image search from 500px. Simple to set up and use

2. (image, text, video, audio with link, websites)
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Paper for the web | Padlet

Padlet is awesome for bringing content together. I love that it too integrates nicely with instagram. Students can connect with their google accounts and also create custom urls to make their content searchable.

3. Storehouse (Ipad Only) (images, text, video…import from instagram)

Ipad ONLY: Storehouse: visual storytelling

I love the interface of storehouse. I do not like that it is ipad only. I also do not like that accounts can only be create via facebook connect or email. With that said, high school students with email accounts will love being able to pull from almost every sharing site and also add text.

4. (image, text, audio, video, websites)
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ThingLink – Make Your Images Interactive

Create a custom image first. Students can then add their images, video and text to bring their ideas together. Honestly, as much as I love thinglink, it really is a more effective tool if students are linking their own content.

5. Tapestry (image and text)

Tapestry: Beautiful Storytelling

Remember, it doesn’t have to be a “storybook” story but tapestry works now on any device and allows users to build beautiful slideshows. LOVE this for poetry/creative writing.

6. Haiku Deck (images and text)

Presentation Software that Inspires | Haiku Deck

Web and mobile creation. Make slides but add more using notes!

7. ExamTime (mindmaps and notes with images, video and links)
I really do wish that the name of this product was not “examtime” because it truly is an amazing tool that goes well beyond use for exams. I like that students can build their own mindmaps and take notes which include images, video and links. I also like that students can create their own quizzes to share along with sharing their interactive mindmaps. I do not like that email or facebook is required to login.
ExamTime – Changing the way you learn

8. Google Apps

Google Apps for Education

What better way than using the tools of google to build a collection of learning? Using docs, spreadsheets, slides…etc…can only be more powerful by allowing others to add content as well.

9. Movenote


I can’t stress how much I love movenote enough because it’s use is too simple NOT to love. It’s simple. Make something that is not a video. Upload it through the app or web and record a video to talk about it.

10. Blogging with any blog site of choice
I can’t stress enough how powerful it is for kids to simply blog. To have a place that is their own where they can share as they choose as well as reflect on life, learning and everything in between is a great thing. How they do that could be any site. Below is kidblog which is what our students use if they aren’t using blogger.

Kidblog | Safe and simple blogs for your students.

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