20+ Fun Free Apps that Promote Student Centered Learning & Literacy

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Lately, I have discovered many cool free apps that are incredible for creating digital stories, reading stories, and interacting with stories. These apps are incredibly engaging and meet the needs of our diverse learners. They allow learners to interact with the plot, characters, and even design of the story. They also support multiple learning styles because they are visual, have sound, and animation. Students can even begin to craft their own stories using their voices, drawings, images, videos, and so much more! Check out my Symbaloo of apps and the apps in my MentorMob playlist.

Lesson Ideas

Below are a list of the apps and a few activities. You can visit each app by clicking on the playlist above.

  • Sock Puppets- great for collaborative stories in pairs.
  • Puppet Pals
  • Animoto Video Creation App
  • Shmuppet – students create a podcast or tell a short story with a puppet and send them to their friends via email, Facebook, or Twitter.
  • Bunsella Bedtimes Story- students narrate a children’s story and send to a children’s class in the local elementary or a younger brother or sister or for children in another country. They children then can respond to these read stories.
  • Audioboo- create a podcast of local news around the school
  • Comic Head Android & IOS App- students can create comics about any topic you choose
  • Talking Tom & Ben News Reporters- students create dialogues that reflect any news item worldwide and around the school. Kids will love when Tom and Ben report that news.
  • Bubble And Pebble Story- kids will love helping these lovable characters undergo adventures. Kids can then create their own Bubble and Pebble drawings of a new adventure then share these stories and drawings with their peers.
  • Toontastic – students can create stories based on cartoon characters.
  • Journal Jar – students simply shake this app to get a writing prompt. Give them about 5 to 10 minutes to come up with stories based on this prompt.
  • StoryKit App- students can create detailed books about their lives, what they imagine, or change the ending of a classic story. This app allows students to take old classic books like the 3 Little Pigs and edit the pages. Students can even tell the story from a different point-of-view.
  • Fotobabble App- students take a picture and tell the story of that picture. Have students take a picture of their favorite place and talk about it or if you are reading a story, have your students take a picture that reminds them of a scene from the story and explain why they chose that picture.
  • VoiceThread- students can post videos, drawings, images and more then have their classmates comment on what they upload.
  • Videolicious- have students create video stories about themselves. They can try a 3,2,1 introduction where they list 3 places they would like to visit, 2 of their hobbies, and 1 embarrassing moment.

Challenge:

Use one of these ideas in your classes!

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Shelly Terrell

Shelly Sanchez Terrell is a teacher trainer, instructional designer, adjunct professor, and the author of The 30 Goals Challenge for Teachers: Small Steps to Transform Your Teaching and Learning to Go: Lesson Ideas for Teaching with Mobile Devices, Cell Phones and BYOT. She has been recognized by the ELTon Awards, The New York Times, the Ministry of Education in Spain, and Microsoft’s Heroes for Education as an innovator in the movement of teacher-driven professional development and education technology. Recently, she was named Woman of the Year 2014 by Star Jone’s National Association of Professional Women and awarded a Bammy Award as a founder of #Edchat, the Twitter chat that spurred over 400 teacher chats. She has trained teachers and taught learners in over 25 countries and has consulted with organizations worldwide such as UNESCO Bangkok, The European Union aPLaNet Project, Cultura Iglesa of Brazil, the British Council in Tel Aviv, IATEFL Slovenia, HUPE Croatia, and VenTESOL. She shares regularly via TeacherRebootCamp.com, Twitter (@ShellTerrell), and Facebook.com/shellyterrell. Her greatest joy is being the mother of Rosco the pug.

24 thoughts on “20+ Fun Free Apps that Promote Student Centered Learning & Literacy

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