Digital storytelling tools – extremely useful & FREE

  1. ACMI Generator
    ACMI Generator is a creative studio space where you can explore the moving image, be inspired, create your own moving image works, and share your creations with the Generator community. Gain a deeper understanding of the context of these inspiring stories through their education themes section. Try the Storyboard Generator and either choose a script or build your own storyboard and share it.
  2. Bubblr
    Bubblr is a tool to create comic strips using photos from flickr, just taking a sequence of pictures where you can add bubbles and create a story.
  3. Capzles
    All of your media and stories together like never before. Create rich multimedia experiences with videos, photos, music, blogs, and documents.
  4. Comic Master
    Comic Master allows you to create your own short graphic novel! With Comic Master you can decide how you want the page or your graphic novel to look, add backgrounds, choose characters and props to appear in your scenes, add dialogue and captions, and much more.
  5. MakeBeliefsComix
    At MakeBeliefsComix you can create your own comic strip with an easy and fun way. Choose a character and emotion, add talk or thought balloons, and start your character communicating. You can add other characters, colored backgrounds, objects, and panel prompts to keep your viewers interested. When you are done, you can print or email your comic.
  6. MapSkip
    The purpose of MapSkip is to create a weave of stories about the places in our lives. Create a free account and mark up places in Google Maps with your own stories and photos. You can also browse other users’ stories, rate them, and discuss them. The best part? MapSkip is free of ads!
  7. PicLits
    PicLits is a creative writing site that matches beautiful images with carefully selected keywords in order to inspire you. The object is to put the right words in the right place and the right order to capture the essence, story, and meaning of the picture.
  8. Slidestory
    Slidestory allows you to combine picture slideshows with voice narration. Each picture in a slideshow has an accompanying voice narrated mp3 audio file, optional tags, and text caption. Isn’t this a very exciting way to make presentations and share them?
  9. Smilebox
    Smilebox lets you quickly and easily create slideshows, invitations, greetings, collages, scrapbooks, and photo albums right on your computer. To get started, download and install the Smilebox application. Then simply select the photos you want to use, choose a template, add comments and music, and voila, you’ve made a Smilebox! With more than 1000 customizable templates to choose from, you’ll find inspiration around every corner.
  10. Storybird
    Storybird lets anyone make visual stories in seconds. They curate artwork from illustrators and animators around the world and inspire writers of any age to turn those images into fresh stories. Note that while making, sharing, and reading stories on Storybird is free, printing them or downloading them have various fees that are clearly explained with each option.
  11. ZooBurst
    ZooBurst is a digital storytelling tool that lets anyone easily create his or her own 3D popup books. ZooBurst books “live” online and can be experienced on your desktop or laptop computer, or on your iPad via the free ZooBurst mobile app. Authors can arrange characters and props within a 3D world that can be customized using uploaded artwork or items found in a built-in database of over 10,000 free images and materials. The basic, free, account allows you to create 10 books of 10 pages each.

7 Free Apps For Digital Storytelling

  1. Adobe Slate
    Named App Store Editors’ Choice, Adobe Slate lets you turn your next newsletter, report, invitation, or travel adventure into a gorgeous visual story that delights readers on any device. Simply tap to select a unique look; beautiful fonts, color, and magazine-style design are automatically incorporated. Fluid movement and elegant motion are applied instantly. Create your Slate story and share the link anywhere.
  2. Puppet Pals
    Create your own unique shows with animation and audio in real time! Simply pick out your actors and backdrops, drag them on to the stage, and tap record. Your movements and audio will be recorded in real time for playback later. This app is as fun as your own creativity!
  3. ShowMe Interactive Whiteboard
    Turn your iPad into your personal interactive whiteboard: ShowMe allows you to record voice over whiteboard tutorials and share them online. It’s an amazingly simple app that anyone can use; no matter how young or old.
  4. Sock Puppets
    Sock Puppets lets you create your own lip-synched videos and share them on Facebook and YouTube. Add puppets, props, scenery, and backgrounds and start creating. Hit the record button and the puppets automatically lip-synch to your voice.
  5. Toontastic
    Toontastic is a storytelling and creative learning tool that enables kids to draw, animate, and share their own cartoons with friends and family around the world through simple and fun imaginative play! With over 2 million cartoons created in over 150 countries, parents and teachers rave about the app and kids can’t stop creating!
  6. WeVideo
    Make and share videos using WeVideo’s online video editing software, available on Android, iPhone, iPad, Mac, PC, and Chromebook. In this cloud-based collaborative video creation platform, you can save your work to your hard drive, upload to the cloud, and pick up where you left off on another computer. Note that free accounts are limited to 5 minutes of published video time and 2GB of cloud storage.
  7. 30hands Starter
    A very easy and exciting way to tell a story, explain a concept, or flip a classroom. Create a multimedia presentation in minutes and publish it as a video to share. This tool was designed to be simple and fast, so it takes backseat to learning and expression. In a single class period, students can complete a video activity. Mapping these activities to a longer project helps students make PBL projects authentic and fun. Whether you are in Kindergarten or College, 30hands Storyteller helps you learn better by following UDL principles and getting you to think and create iteratively.

Center for Digital Storytelling

Creative Educator– 4 articles on digital storytelling

Digital Directors Guild– assists educators with their digital storytelling projects

Digital Storytelling in the Classroom– from Microsoft Education

Digital Storytelling in Language Arts

Digital Storytelling in the Science and Math Classroom

Digital Storytelling Tools for Educators– 120 page pamphlet (download) written by Silvia Rosenthal Tolisano (Creative Commons Attribution 2.5)

The Elements in Digital Storytelling

The Educational Uses of Digital Storytelling

Integrating Digital Storytelling in Your Class Resources

Making Stopmotion Movies– information on how to create stopmotion and claymation movies

Tech4Learning Blog– lots of wonderful posts regarding ways to tell stories, including claymation

100+ Digital Storytelling Tools for Your Digital Selves part I

100+ Digital Storytelling Tools…part II

Aniboom– animation studio

Animoto– create video slide shows

Big Universe– for younger children Blurb– prices start at $10.95 (small book) discounts on quantity orders


BookemonBoomWriter– students write a book together; class gets one free copy (free shipping)

Chogger– create comics

ClassikTV– create a movie by adding subtitles to old movie scenes

Creaza– suite of creative tools, including cartoonist, movie editor, audio editor and mindmaps


Digital Storytelling with the iPad

DigiTales– create 3-5 minute stories from these types: living memories, beyond words, itza wrap

Do Ink– create Flash-style animations using a “simple and friendly vector editor

Domo Animate– free animation website offers characters with dialogue, backdrops and special effects

Glogster– drag and drop text, images, audio, video drawings and more; premium edition has no ads

Google Search Stories– uses YouTube, so if your school blocks it you’re out of luck

JellyCam Stop Motion Maker

Juxio– interactive posters for the classroom

Kerpoof– make movies, cards, drawings,pictures, tell stories; for grades K-8; site also has lesson plans and teacher tools.

Lightning Bug -assists students in writing a story from finding an idea to finishing the story

Little Bird Tales– for very young children


Microsoft’s Digital Storytelling in the Classroom


Museum Box

My eBook– create novels, comics, magazines, brochures

My Story Maker– for younger kids; interactive digital story creator

Myths and Legends– online digital storytelling site

Our Story– create a collaborative timeline

PicLits– students are given a picture with a list of keywords to inspire them to write a story about that picture

Picture Book Maker– create an online children’s book

Pinball– helps students get started with ideas which are bounced around

Projeqt– visual storytelling

Shiddoni– create an imaginary world with animals

Simplebooklet– create online newsletters, presentations (education version)

Smilebox– mix photos, videos and music into a multimedia presentation

Stage’d– create animated comics

Story Tools

Storybird– “short, art-inspired stories you make to share, read and print

Storyboard Template-choice of different templates

Student Publishing– “Publish individual student stories or have them each contribute to a classbook.”; resources for librarians, teachers and parents; many FREE projects.

ThumbScribes– online collaboration of poems, short stories, fiction, novellas

Tikatok– for younger children

Voice Thread– group conversations around images, documents, videos; Voice Thread in the Classroom.

What-if Questions Genie 

Widbook– create, collaborate and share books

Xtranormal-create online movies using their characters who speak what you write for them; $$

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