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, author, and international speaker. She is the host of American TESOL’s Free Friday Webinars and the Social Media Community Manager for The Consultants-E. She has co-founded and organized the acclaimed educational projects, Edchat, ELTChat, The Reform Symposium E-Conference and the ELTON nominated Virtual Round Table language and technology conference. Her prolific presence in the educator community through social media has been recognized by several notable entities, such as The New York Times, UNESCO Bangkok, Edweek, Converge Magazine, the United Federation of Teachers, the 140 Conference, Mashable, English Central, Tefl.net, and T/H/E JOURNAL. Her education blog, Teacher Reboot Camp, is ranked as one of the top 10 language teaching and technology blogs and the 50 best blogs for education leaders. In 2012 find her book, The 30 Goals Challenge for Educators published by Eye on Education and participate with over 7000 educators worldwide in this online professional development course that helps educators develop Personal Learning Networks and accomplish social media and teaching goals. Find her on Twitter, @ShellTerrell. Shelly has taught English language learners at various levels since 1998 in the US, Greece, and in Germany. She currently presents and hosts workshops on integrating technology effectively with young learners and adults. Shelly holds an Honours BA in English and a minor in Communication with a specialization in Electronic Media from the University of Texas in San Antonio and an Honours MA in Curriculum Instruction ESL from the University of Phoenix.

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

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