Digital Storytelling

I recently asked the following question on the ALT list on JISCMail.

I  haven’t looked at this for a while (not since PhotoStory 3!) and I know there are a million and one pages about Digital Storytelling out there on the web, but can anyone recommend tools suitable for undergrads to produce 5 – 10 minute digital stories? (The end results have to be submitted for assessment)

There were quite a few very helpful responses which I have compiled below:

  1. Hi. Microsoft Sway is one option that is growing in popularity. There is Adobe Voice on the iPad. Also Prezi with uploaded music and audio narration is a simple option
  2. One application I have used is red jumpers book creator an inclusive app allows for various levels of creativity and publishing.. Students can choose their technology device and create a story ..
    I have also used I can animate and iMovie together to create shareable stories with students.
    Here’s one Liz created in 2012 with just a iPod touch to capture and edit …
  3. There is only one place to go for help…..
  4. Our History and Classics departments [Warwick] have had success with hundreds of undergrads creating video based digital stories using WeVideo:
    Although you might want something a bit more scaffolded for them. The videos can be rather formless – a spoken narrative over a continuous sequence of images, not all of which are actually related to the topic. So my advice would be to focus on the creative element, regardless of which platforms are used. I used to teach this and say to the students that they could use whatever tools they feel comfortable with, and that would vary from Powerpoint to Final Cut. But I put the emphasis on the creative aspect – the form of good storytelling.
  5. Jane Challinor demonstrated at ALTC, looked simple to use with nice results. But as you all know I’m sure, it’s all about the process of developing the narrative…
    Bob, I don’t know if it helps in your case, but the CDS model of Digital Storytelling works towards a 3 ish minute artefact
  6. If you’ve any geographical content to map against photos or videos we’ve just been trialling Esri’s Story Map software It’s slightly clunky to set up, but creates some really nice looking digital artefacts which are a little like Adobe Slate but with maps.
  7. Along a similar theme, we’ve used StoryMap to help visualise literary geographies using Google Maps. Again, slightly clunky but fantastic for storytelling and combining multiple sources (YouTube, SoundCloud, Vimeo, Storify etc.). It produces an embed code so once you’re done, you can share the resources almost anywhere.
  8. I have also come across a great tool, called PopcornMaker, which looks very neat indeed.Ofcourse, a portfolio tool is also another excellent format for presenting a digital story. PebblePad is rather excellent at this, particularly our brand new and nifty html5 version. Other portfolio tools are also available 😉
  9. I love Popcorn Maker. Sadly, Mozilla are withdrawing support for it *weeps*
  10. Last year as part of an internally funded project I worked with two academics to embed digital storytelling into three modules. For this we bought a Higher Education license for WeVideo. I then created a space for each group within WeVideo admin panel, one student from each group registered with WeVideo and then students could collaborate as they edited their 5-10min video. For a 50 user license we were £400 which gave us 10GB storage + 1hr per month of video export time per user.
    The students liked the option of the different timelines depending on skill level and being able to work on their videos in the Cloud.
  11. Twine is an excellent tool for creating interactive fiction (and also ‘choose your own adventure’ style games, which is more what I use it for): There’s a browser-based version and a standalone version.
    There’s also Inklewriter ( and at the more game-y end of the spectrum, Adventure Game Studio ( and Scratch ( can both be used to tell stories.
  12.  This might provide some useful directions
    Alan Levine is a great storyteller and I would endorse Vivien’s  suggested link
  13. I really like this website – it has a number of ideas about sites/tools:
    Here are some examples of my students work using some of these tools:
  14. With our MA journalism students we introduced them to Immersive by Shorthand. Since re-branded to Shorthand Social – mixing text, images and video to produce longform/immersive style stories.
  15. Would just like to echo Hadrian and Dans comments for Shorthand and StoryMap.JS. Both are absolutely fantastic tools and you get some amazing results without having to be a tech whiz. With Shorthand Social as well it can be a top resource for creating OER.
    We also actively promote using Timeline.JS to staff and students for immersive storytelling. The fact that these fantastic timelines can be built using a Google Spreadsheet makes them extremely accessible to all and very easy to achieve fantastic results. As per StoryMapJS you can embed all manners of content (YouTube, Vimeo, Soundcloud, Tweets, etc, etc)

And here’s a list of the software mentioned.

1. Adobe Voice
2. Adventure game studio
3. Final Cut
4. iMovie
5. Inklewriter
6. Microsoft_Sway
7. PebblePad
8. Photopeach
9. PopcornMaker
10. PowerPoint
11. Prezi
12. Red Jumpers
13. Shorthand
14. Story Map
15. Timeline.JS
16. Twine
17. WeVideo


  1. […] You can find his useful list HERE. […]

  2. […] I recently asked the following question on the ALT list on JISCMail. I haven't looked at this for a while (not since PhotoStory 3!) and I know there are a million and one pages about Digital Storytelling out there on the web, but can anyone recommend tools suitable for undergrads to produce 5 – 10…  […]

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