filmstrip.jpgDigital Storytelling

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?

Featured Ideas and Tools in the Smackdown

1. is a fantastic option when you are worried by young eyes looking at the gallery on Students need time to learn any new tool before they create a digital story. Here is an idea: Have the students find a funny joke and that becomes their first script. Yahoo kids jokes

2. has great potential to build storytelling skills. As a teacher collect images from a source like FlickrCC and insert them into a Prezi presentation. Decide if you want to create the path or let the students create their own path. Very quickly you have a digital story.

3. Google Search Stories are awesome! By typing in search terms you create a short story and no tech skills are necessary. This is a great way to get students started with digital storytelling. Teacher hint: Create one youtube account for the class and change the password after the class has made their search stories.

Presentation Slides

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
  • 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.
  • Ideas for using VoiceThread in the Classroom

  • 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.
  • Follow directions for Creating a Book Trailer with your high school students.
  • 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.


Using Storyboard Templates in Google Docs

Storyboard template in Google Docs from Daniel Rezac






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
    • Kindergarten example for choosing a research topic

  • 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!




Pinnacle Studio DV


  • 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

  • Comic Solutions
    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.
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  • 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.



First Created by: Wendy and Brenda and Shonda