There are a lot of digital storytelling apps for the iPad. Each is just a little bit different from the others, but one stands out among the others, at least for me, because of its simplicity, ease of use, and ability to tell great stories. On top of all that, it is 100% free! I’m talking, of course, about Our Story for iPad, an app created by The Open University. In my opinion, it is the best digital storytelling app for young writers. Here’s why.
Open the app for the first time and you are greeted with three choices Get Started, Create a New Story, or Use Existing Story. Tap the green button to begin Add a title for your story, then find the photos you need in the iPad camera roll. Drag the images you want to the tray at the bottom of the screen.
To begin adding story details, tap on the image you want to use in the timeline at the bottom of the screen. That page of the book will open and you now have the choice over whether you want to add text (tap the keyboard), record audio (tap the microphone), or do both! The app keeps things simple. There are no font choices, page layouts or anything else, so that definitely cuts down on distractions and helps focus the user on the story. When you are done with the page you are working on, the back arrow will take you back to the previous screen to choose another page.
If you want to return to the story to work on it later, press the save button (the floppy disc icon) to store your progress for another day. If the story is finished, you can view it by pressing the purple play button to see the finished product. Stories can be shared from this screen too. Tap the printer for a printed version (no audio of course) or share by email, Dropbox and iTunes as a PDF. You can also send it to other users of the Our Story app the same way so that they can play and edit your story.
Overall it is a great app. Personally I would like to see the option for students to take a picture inside the app and use that in their story, instead of relying on existing images. Alternatively, access to a simple drawing tool would be nice to have students illustrate their own picture if needed.
Otherwise, I think this is a very worthy app for any elementary or primary classroom, and can be a great way for you to create digital stories with your students. Give it a go if you have never used it before.