Learning at the JRCoE: Creating Student Stories on the iPad


 JCRoE Workshop 4/17/16:  The New and the Old…

For this Sunday’s workshop, I decided to take a look at my list of digital storytelling apps, and share them with attendees.  After being overwhelmed by the amount of apps that could be applicable for this workshop, I decided to make a list of new apps I have been playing with, as well as some of my favorites that I keep going back to.

I created a Google Draw with links to download.  To access the link embedded Google Draw document, visit http://bit.ly/1qOTEVV.  But please read this post in its entirety for an explanation of the organization and choices of the Google Draw Venn diagram.


Creating the Venn Diagram

I looked through my list and I decided to cover three apps per grade level during the workshop .

Early Elementary Apps

I picked three apps to specifically talk to Early Elementary educators about, but please keep in my mind that there isn’t a limit for these little learners.  Screen Shot 2016-04-16 at 3.21.57 PMI have seen our littlest tikes create movies, presentations, and other masterpieces that no one thought they could.  To be honest, I should emphasize that these are apps that the educators are more comfortable with.

  • Draw and Tell This app is from one of my favorite app companies!  Our little students have creative control over the stories they create and is easily shared to the camera roll.  I refer to it as an Explain Everything for four year olds!
  • ChatterPix KidsHave your students take pictures of themselves, artwork, or digital art to create a digital story!  View some of my chatter pix on my Youtube channel.
  • Story Buddy: This app is a book creator for little and big kids!  It is easy to use and easily exports to multiple platforms.

Early Elementary/Elementary

early:elemI chose two apps that integrated between Early Elementary and Elementary, SeeSaw and Shadow Puppets EDU.  I chose these two apps because they are created by the same company and are easy to share projects between.

Elementary Apps

Screen Shot 2016-04-16 at 4.20.33 PM


  • Buncee EDU:  This is a new app I have been playing with that has lots of versatility.  Your students can draw, record, and share their stories with professional illustrations.
  • Lego Stop Motion:  This app requires legos, but I am sure your students would volunteer to bring their own if they can create an awesome movie!  This app is a personal favorite with my nine year old son.
  • Scribble Press Deluxe; This is a new addition to my iPad.  I have played with several templates and I think this will be a hit in any elementary classroom!

Elementary/Secondary Apps

A storytelling app I think elementary students would benefit from learning before Middle School is Google Slides.  Students can learn to make professional and meaningful presentations, and they are easy to embed into other applications.  Screen Shot 2016-04-16 at 4.15.55 PMI chose Tellagami as well because as a former secondary teacher, this is still a great tool to still use in older grades.  The feature I like best is the typed message.  Some student might be more comfortable with using an automated voice instead of their own.


Secondary Apps

Screen Shot 2016-04-16 at 3.21.29 PM

  • Thinglink: One of my life long friends!  I love this app for presentations, cloud source, interactive images and more.  Students can add text and links with hotspots on images they create or teachers assign them.  The possibilities are endless with Thinglink and I would definetely introduce this in an elementary classroom as well.
  • Keynote + iMovie:  These two Apple apps have unlimited possibilities.  The first lesson that comes to mind is a slide show of images, movies, and text exported to iMovie with voice recording and Ken Burns effects.  Just an idea.
  • Touchcast: Another app with multiple purposes.  Students can create interactive videos with Vapps, greenscreen projects, scripted movies, and more.

Apps for All

Screen Shot 2016-04-16 at 4.16.18 PMThis is completely a suggestion, but I put two apps in the middle of the venn diagram to emphasize a point.  I believe the iPad is our best tool for creating.  It is completely versatile in its abilities to capture movies and picture, create text documents and connect with the world.  With that being said, I firmly believe that every educator regardless of grade level or subject are could benefit from using and creating with Book Creator and Explain Everything.  Our students can create powerful material with these two apps, and so can their teachers!

A Side Note…

Screen Shot 2016-04-16 at 4.15.36 PMI have personally used 30 Hands app with PreK students and High School students.  It is one of the only creation apps that needed minimal directions and was fairly user friendly.  It is not as powerful as Explain Everything, but it is a good alternative to switch things up.


JRCoE WorkshopProject/Extended Learning Activity:

Create your own story with one of the apps from the Google Draw Venn Diagram.  Submit your quick bio to my dropittome link.  The password is jrcoe.

Drop It To Me


I always enjoy learning!  Have any questions, comments, or suggestions?  Leave a comment below!

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