30 Hands: A Versatile, Free Storytelling App for the iPad

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Have you tried 30 Hands yet? This free iOS app is a great storytelling or presentation app that has lots of potential for the classroom. I first learned about it from the TCEA iPad site, and my head has been spinning with classroom applications ever since.

Presentations can be made with or without audio, but using audio will be more effective in most situations. Once you create your presentation, you can add images from your Camera Roll, from Dropbox, or you can take a picture with the camera on your device. Multiple images may be selected at once, and can be rearranged in the same way you rearrange apps on your iPad homescreen – press and hold until they wiggle, then drag and drop them to the order you need.

30 Hands App Slides

Tap on the slide you want to record your audio for, and hit the red record button to begin and end the recording. Playback your audio when you are done, and re-record if necessary. After all your slides are recorded and you have them in the order that you want them, hit the arrow to publish your video and save it to your Camera Roll for sharing to YouTube or uploading to Drive, Dropbox, etc.

With a little imagination, you could create some very creative video projects with the 30 Hands app, but it’s the simplicity and ease of use that makes it a winner for me. This app could be just at home in an elementary classroom as it could in a middle school classroom, and that versatility, for free, is hard to match.

It would be a great digital storytelling app, but it is an equally capable presentation app – not in the same way that Keynote is – but in terms of having students present their content and share their ideas, this is a useful option to have and could make a nice change from screencasting apps once in a while. You can get some more ideas and see real student projects by visiting the 30 Hands community site.

A video tutorial is embedded below, but if you are already using the 30 Hands app, and want to share some ways that you have used it with your students, feel free to leave a comment below.

10 thoughts on “30 Hands: A Versatile, Free Storytelling App for the iPad

  1. […] Our Story (for iPad) – This excellent digital storytelling app is simple to use and easy to achieve great results with. Created by the Open University, it allows you to add photos from your camera roll and add text and/or audio to them. It’s perfect for elementary teachers who are looking to introduce their students to digital storytelling for the first time. A good alternative app here is 30 Hands. […]


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