Skip to main content
It looks like you're using Internet Explorer 11 or older. This website works best with modern browsers such as the latest versions of Chrome, Firefox, Safari, and Edge. If you continue with this browser, you may see unexpected results.

Resources for Excellence Across the Curriculum - Spring 2021: Technology

This guide contains resources for students participating in the annual Student Interdisciplinary Symposium.

Academic Poster Template

Adobe Spark Video

Storytelling Made Easy with Adobe Spark

StoryCorps

StoryCorps is simply amazing. Not only is it a free app, but the best part is that the stories created on it are archived in the Library of Congress (LC), giving students a built-in audience for their work. Because StoryCorps projects are set in an interview format, we use it with teams of students. I love how the students interview each other to tell a story that is important in their lives. You can check out all kinds of StoryCorps examples at the LC website, as well as at the StoryCorps website.

Adobe Spark

Digital Storytelling tips, tips, tools, and resources.

So let's get started by discussing freely available software tools for digital storytelling. There are lots of tools you can use. There is no one platform for digital storytelling that will suit all purposes. Depending on the ages and grade levels you work with, you may choose one over another for a variety of reasons. In this section of the article, I'm going to share my experiences with the tools that I have used for digital storytelling and why I think they are worth exploring.

StoryJumper is free for educators, unless you want to purchase a hard copy of the book you create. It is easy for elementary school students to use, because it has a built-in storyboard that allows for a click-and-drag experience. StoryJumper also contains a library of stock characters, which can save time if you have a specific time frame for a project. Its image database is safe for students to search, and you can add your own audio and pictures as well. For one digital story experience, we used StoryJumper to create All About Me books with 2nd-4th-grade students. This is a great way to have them introduce themselves to you in the library or classroom. Students were able to customize their books based on their grade level. With the younger students, we stuck to the template because they were new to the platform and to ensure they were able to finish in our allotted time frame.

Adobe Spark is a free service. Although our district has a login for every student and teacher, I would not recommend it for younger students, as it can be cumbersome. However, middle and high school students should be able to handle the nuances. Adobe Spark allows you to tell stories by creating graphics or videos, and it's easy to find and upload pictures and video. There is a built-in music library as well. For educators who wish to have students collaborate on a digital storytelling project, this is a great resource. Eric Heisler, an English teacher at Patuxent High School in Lusby, Md., used Adobe Spark this spring with his classes. Students were assigned to create a digital story after reading Ernest Hemingway's The Old Man and the Sea. They digitally told their stories as advertisements, using Adobe Spark to create a TV ad for the book to hook readers, as well as a magazine ad to tell the book's story.

StoryCorps is simply amazing. Not only is it a free app, but the best part is that the stories created on it are archived in the Library of Congress (LC), giving students a built-in audience for their work. Because StoryCorps projects are set in an interview format, we use it with teams of students. I love how the students interview each other to tell a story that is important in their lives. You can check out all kinds of StoryCorps examples at the LC website, as well as at the StoryCorps website.

For a StoryCorps project, I highly recommend creating a free account and going through LC's education resources, which include the following:

* Tips for effective interviews

* The power of active listening

* Strengths of stories

Free Microsoft Office 365

Office 365 logo

Click on the logo above or head to myoffice.mdc.edu for your free copy of Microsoft Office 365 for Employees and Students!

16 free online Video Editors and Animation Tools