Humankind's fascination with story is no different now that we are in the age of technology. In fact, one of the great things about technology is the way it encourages us to share stories with others. Those stories might take the form of a phone call, an email, a mime shared via a slideshow, a video, a series of drawings, a digital cartoon, a recorded oral story, a podcast, or a poem recorded as a PDF document. Yes, these options seem very different to swapping tales around a campfire, but the basics haven't changed. A good story needs a communicator and an audience. Here are six apps that might help your youngster get a message across to a chosen audience.
The process of creating a presentation with 30hands is simple. Once children draw on a slide, they take a photo/video or add an image/video from the Camera Roll, and can then edit the order images are in, as well as record audio for each slide. The resulting creation can be added as a video to the Camera Roll. 30hands is not just great for telling digital stories; it offers children the chance to present information in an educational context too.
Check out my review of 30hands at The Book Chook. Find 30hands for iPad on iTunes USA: 30hands Starter: Create and Show What You Know.
Make Beliefs Comix
If you'd like your children to be involved in a little writing, but not so much writing as to be daunting, why not consider introducing them to a comic app? Free is always great, and the Make Beliefs Comix app works well. Kids choose the number of panels they want for their story, then characters, objects, and backgrounds. There aren't too many bells and whistles so youngsters will work it out in no time and can then email their story to a friend or relative to view.
Check out my review of Make Beliefs Comix at The Book Chook. Find Make Beliefs Comix on iTunes USA.
Another app that encourages us to create a comic as a way to tell a digital story is Toon Toolkit. Because it's more complicated than Make Beliefs Comix, I would suggest it's better for teens to use. The process is similar to most comic editors in that you need to have a story to tell first, then choose from the elements provided by the app to create it. Elements have a "menu" that amplifies them. In the case of characters, this means you can choose different emotions.
Check out my review of Toon Toolkit at The Book Chook. Find Toon Toolkit on iTunes USA.
Shadow Puppet is a really versatile app that's suitable for both kids and adults who want to make a share a story. Kids can choose images or video, then add music and/or record their voice narrating. It makes sharing holiday snaps and tall tales with grandparents easy, and the resulting video can also be uploaded to YouTube.
Check out my review of Shadow Puppet at The Book Chook. Find Shadow Puppet on iTunes USA.
Here's another free app kids can use to tell a short story. YAKiT Kids encourages youngsters to make quick animated videos by using images and their own voices. It's lots of fun to do, but the maximum length is 15 seconds, so for some kids, this won't be long enough. Chatterpix Kids might suit them better.
Check out my review of YAKiT Kids at The Book Chook. Find YAKiT Kids on iTunes USA.
LEGO Movie Maker
This is a free app that makes it fairly straightforward for kids create a stop-motion movie. Kids can set up a photo with LEGO or other toys and snap it from within the app. Then they move part of the set a little to show progression in their story, and take another photo. They repeat this, building a short video from their photos. They can also choose music and sound effects to add to their video. You can read my review of LEGO Movie Maker at The Book Chook.
Find LEGO Movie Maker app on iTunes USA.
Because I'm fascinated by all the possibilities inherent in tech for children's learning, I've made a list of even more apps kids can use to create digital stories at The Book Chook.
Do you and your kids create digital stories? Let us know on the Scholastic Parents Facebook page.