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Storytelling encourages learners to use the knowledge they have learned and apply it to a context and setting in creative ways. Today's technology devices have made it easy to create and share stories digitally. Using a variety of storytelling tools, learners can demonstrate knowledge; teach others, share experiences, explore their creativity, and more!

Are you looking for a new digital storytelling tool to spice up a lesson plan or student project? We may have just what you need. Read on to take a look at our favorite free tools and apps.

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Comics Head

This award-winning digital storytelling app gives students all the tools they need to create high-quality comics.
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Comics Head is the simplest way to create comics with mobile devices. Graphic texts such as comics require students to consider both text and images to convey a story. This adds a level of complexity to their storytelling, making Comics Head an ideal app to integrate into your next student project.

Students can choose from thousands of backgrounds, characters, and props to customize their comics. However, it won't take your budding artists forever to finish their creations because the pre-designed templates available make it simple to finalize each comic in a timely manner.

Outside of student projects, you could even create your own comic summarizing an important classroom policy, or outlining the details of an upcoming lesson. Students will appreciate the visual elements of the lesson and pay better attention, making it more likely they'll remember your message later on.

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Sometimes we all just need a laugh, and that's where this simple tool comes in...
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Blabberize is a fun free tool that allows you to create talking pictures. Use their free editing tools to outline a mouth on your photograph. Upload audio, and voila! You have a talking photo. It's fun, it's free, it's easy to use. Try it out now and let us know what you think.
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A photo collage is a great way to illustrate a story with images. This free web tool allows you to create photo collages with the click of a button.
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BeFunky is a free online photo editing tool that offers a variety of features. You don't need to be a Photoshop guru to edit photos and put on some nice finishing touches with BeFunky. However, my favorite feature of this tool is the collage creator. With BeFunky's collage wizard, you and your students can create photo collages in a couple of minutes, and share them out with students, parents, or the world.

No matter how you end up using collages in your classroom, make sure to put them up on display for your school's next open house. Parents will love looking at all of the things you're engaging students with on a daily basis.

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Take a look at this free video creation app, it's already helping thousands of students tell their stories.
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The days of complex editing software are over. Well... that's not exactly true. Complex editing software does exist, and serves a purpose for many professionals. But it's no longer a requirement that you shell out hundreds of dollars and spend countless hours learning new technology to create your own multimedia project. You can do it all easily and inexpensively (or for free) with Animoto.

I encourage you to take a look at Animoto for Education to see how other educators are currently using this tool. Take the time to watch an example video or two; you'll likely find it inspiring!


Which of these tools are you planning on using first? Let us know how you like to create digital stories in your classroom — please leave a comment on this article below.

Kimber Thompson is a Lead Moderator for SimpleK12 webinars and a Contributing Editor for SimpleK12.com. She writes frequently about education topics, and is passionate about tools and techniques that inspire young learners. You may reach her with ideas and comments at editor@simplek12.com.

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