Elementary School, Middle School

Three Free(ish) iPad Apps for Creating Narrated Stories

Creating narrated slideshows is one of the easiest ways to introduce students to digital storytelling practices. Students can create narrated slideshows to illustrate and explain their research findings, to tell a personal story, or to outline the framework for a story that will written down later. The following three iPad apps all provide an easy way to create narrated slideshows.

shadow puppetShadow Puppet Edu is my favorite app on this list. Shadow Puppet Edu is a free iPad app that students can use to create audio slideshow videos. The app offers an integrated search tool that students can use to find pictures from the Library of Congress, to search for images from NASA, and to find Creative Commons licensed images from Flickr. Students can also import pictures from the camera roll on their iPads. After selecting a set of images students can arrange them into any sequence by simply dragging and dropping them into order. Then to create a story students press the record button and talk while flipping through their images. Students can share their Shadow Puppet Edu projects through a variety of avenues including YouTube and email. Shadow Puppet Edu projects are automatically saved to the camera roll on a student’s iPad.

Screen Shot 2014-11-20 at 9.57.30 PM30hands is a free iPad app that makes it very easy to create a narrated slideshow. To create a basic narrated slideshow on 30hands all you need to do is import images from your iPad’s camera roll then press the record button below each image to record your narration. If you don’t have any pictures on your iPad you can take pictures using the 30hands app. 30hands also allows you to draw images instead of importing pictures. You can combine imported pictures with drawn images in your presentations. And you can draw on top of imported images. When your project is complete you can save it on your iPad or share it with the 30hands community.

30hands is also available in a pro version. The pro version of 30hands allows for integration of Google Drive and Dropbox for storing and sharing projects. Additionally, the pro version offers the option to insert video clips into your slides.

pixntellPixntell is an iPad app for quickly creating simple narrated photostories. To create a story using Pixntell all that you need to do is start a new project, select some images, place them in order, and then start talking about each of your pictures. You control the timing for each image. If you want to talk about your first picture for twenty seconds, your second picture for just three seconds, and your third picture for fifteen seconds, you can do that. Pixntell allows you to crop your pictures, add text them, add filters to them, place fun stickers on your pictures, and draw on your images highlight a portion of them. When your project is complete you can upload it directly to YouTube, save it in your Dropbox account, share it on Facebook, or send to friends via email. The free version of Pixntell allows you include five images in your projects. The paid version allows you use an unlimited amount of images in your projects.

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