Our Story for iPad: The Best Digital Storytelling App for Young Writers

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.

Our Story for iPad

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.

Our Story for iPad Creation 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.

Our Story for iPad Creation Screen

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.

10 thoughts on “Our Story for iPad: The Best Digital Storytelling App for Young Writers”

  1. Hi JW,
    As always, your posts are so timely! I am deciding right now on a digital book creation App. I took a class on eBooks and I liked the “creative book builder” app. It does cost money, but schools with volume vouchers get a 1/2 price discount.
    I want to add a storytelling App to a classroom set of iPads. I like the fact that I can add video and pictures, voice etc. This would be for High School. Would you suggest the better choice for me? Free is great, but what about the usage for teens? Students will create meaning from class lessons by creating eBooks
    Sharing topic or research. Thanks for your expert sharing!

    1. Hi Suzi,

      Creative Book Builder is a nice app for HS, but so is Book Creator for iPad. There is a free version of that which you could use to try it out. The free version is limited to just one book, but has all the features of the paid app including the ones you listed. You might also take a look at Demibooks, or their paid version, Composer Pro.

  2. Write About This is my all time fav for young writers which allows for students to record their voice and upload pics they have saved on their camera roll. The paid verson is worth $3.99 and allows for students to email stories to teacher.

  3. The sharing part is the most powerful aspect in my opinion. Do I understand correctly that Our Story has to be shared to someone else with the same app? I had been excited to see I could put it in Dropbox, thinking that I could share it out that way. But I think I understand you to say full playback only happens in the app?
    However, this is still wonderful in the ease of creation department!

Leave a Reply