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Barb's Bits and Bytes

Web 2.0 for learning and teaching - the continuing online adventures of a not-so-techie teacher

December 06, 2011

Five Fantastic Apps for Storytelling (guest post by Shelly Sanchez Terrell)

Recently, at the JALT conference in Tokyo Shelly shared how mobile learning motivates language learners. I thought many of the apps she demonstrated would be of interest to this column's readers, to use with both their students and their own children, and asked Shelly to share them in a guest post. Barb

My mobile device is one of the best learning tools I have used with my language learners. Not only do mobile devices help improve my students' English and motivate them to speak English outside the classroom, but they carry so much knowledge in their pockets. I encourage my students, young and old, to use their mobile devices to share stories. Most cell phones have the ability to take pictures, create videos, and/or record audio, which is why they are perfect for storytelling. However, if you have access to a mobile device with apps, you may want to try these amazing free apps that encourage your students to create digital stories and have fun!

Posterous- With this app, learners can include a mix of text, photos, audio, and videos as well as tags and location information in a blog post. You can share your post immediately on Facebook and Twitter! You can even allow others to add to your posts (set this up through the web app vs. the mobile app). A free version is available online as well as on various mobile devices including the iPhone, iPod, Android, and Blackberry.

StoryRobe- It’s incredibly easy for children and adults to create audio/visual stories on the iPhone and iPod Touch using this app. Use the built in microphone, or any 3rd party microphone to create audio recordings with photos and videos. You have the option to upload to Youtube or send it through e-mail. If it’s in their e-mail, then the parents can easily send their child’s production to their friends! You don’t need an Internet connection to create the stories, but you do to share them! Available on the iPad and iPod.

Sock Puppets- If you enjoy playing with sock puppets, you'll love this app that allows students to create a sock puppet show. Choose the sock puppet characters, personalize the characters by adding your voice, select the scene and props, and record a video. Send this by email or upload to Youtube. Watch this great example. Available on the iPad and iPod.

StoryKit- Create an electronic storybook by drawing on the screen, uploading images, recording sound effects and voice, laying out the elements of the story (text boxes, images, paint, and sound clips) freely by dragging them or pinching to resize, reordering pages, and uploading to the StoryKit web server. Email a link to the story. The application includes four public domain children’s books to rewrite and rearrange into a new story. Available on the iPad and iPod.

Animoto- Upload up to 10 images, choose a soundtrack from the library (many nice holiday tunes to choose from), and click a button to make a 30-second video. Sync your videos with your account, download videos for offline viewing, and make longer ones with an All-Access Pass. Available on the iPad and iPod.

I have only listed 5 apps here, but I include many more digital storytelling apps in this presentation, Kids Sharing Stories: Mobile Digital Storytelling. If you are interested in learning more, I'll be co-moderating (with Barb Sakamoto, Michelle Worgan, Ozge Karaoglu, Jennifer Verschoor, Dave Dodgson, Esra Girgin, and Sabrina de Vita) a free 5 week Digital Storytelling with Young Learners online course to learn how to use several more apps and web tools. The session will be one of the many offered through TESOL Electronic Village Online. You can learn more about it, and the many other sessions available, on the TESOL EVO wiki.

Shelly Sanchez Terrell

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Thank you for sharing these. I have used all but the Story Robe. I'll check that one out! The link to Kids Sharing Stories: Mobile Digital Storytelling is not working for me.

Thanks, Deb! I've fixed the link for Shelly's presentation. Hopefully it will work for you now :)

The Little Bird Tales app came out after your original post, but it's a great digital storytelling app on it's own, or you can do even more when you upload your digital story to the free website.

Draw using the art pad or import photos/images, record audio, add text and then share with your friends and family easily and safely on the go. Teachers and students love this app and the website, too! Read a few reviews or watch a few tales kids created on the public tales page!

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