ACS Elementary Tech TidBits

Instructional Technology Resources & Celebrations

❤️ February 16, 2015 ❤️

Where is Alyson this week?

I will be working by appointment this week. I am available on Tuesday and Thursday. Email me to get on the books! :)

  • Monday- Central Office Work Day
  • Tuesday- Open for Appointments
  • Wednesday- Apple Language Development Training
  • Thursday- Open for Appointments
  • Friday- Coach's Training (Technology in Motion)

❤️ A Place for Everything & Everything in its Place! ❤️

New Tech Tidbits Website

Based on your feedback, all shared resources and previous newsletters are now available in one place.

Bookmark this site for future reference: Tabs are located at the top of the site to help you find the resources you need.

❤️ Cool Tech Tools of the Week ❤️

Storytelling Apps--A FUN Way to Meet Many Standards!

Storytelling can be a fun way to meet many standards in different grade levels and content areas. Below are a few examples of ways you might use storytelling in your class:

  • Sharing personal stories
  • Story Retellings
  • Book Trailers or Advertisements
  • Writing to persuade
  • Writing to inform or share a "how-to" demonstration
  • Writing to entertain
  • Explaining a Concept (ex: a new concept in Math)
  • Sharing Poetry & Drama
  • Explaining steps in a process (ex: Science Experiment or Project)
  • Sharing stories of true events (ex: Timelines/Stories from history- Social Studies)
  • See many more examples and correlations here:

Storytelling also provides students with opportunities to collaborate and share their work with authentic audiences.

There are many fantastic apps for storytelling. In fact, there are so many to choose from that deciding which to try can be an overwhelming process. One way to choose which is best for your lesson is to check out app reviews on reputable sites such as Common Sense Media and use these reviews as a guide to age/ability levels and appropriateness of content.

Below are a few popular and high-quality apps for storytelling. The first two were made FREE just this month! Let me know if you try any of these. It would be great to have feedback and ideas for use in different grade levels.


TELESTORY both inspires and empowers kids to be creative. The preset themes will spark ideas, and the crazy costumes and accessories will empower kids to set their creative sillies free. The face-finding technology is really cool -- but not perfect -- so kids will have to let go of perfectionist expectations because their costumes won't line up perfectly for every move they make. Kids can choose from story-starting cue cards, or they can develop or improvise their own ideas. At the time of review, included themes are The Band, Star Adventure, Eye Spy, and The News, with each theme featuring a different setting, costumes, and fun special effects -- which, in an already totally cool tool, may be the coolest feature of all.

~from Common Sense Media Review:

TeleStory - Make your own TV Shows on the iPad and iPhone!


Toontastic provides a stunningly easy way to create your own animated films. Kids choose the characters and setting for each scene, then just move the pieces around like they were playing with action figures, providing their own dialogue as the iPad records it all. They can then add a musical score with the appropriate emotional tone. The app doesn't just allow kids to make their own cartoons, it also teaches the fundamentals of storytelling. Kids can share their videos with the Toontastic community and enter them in film contests, so it's important that they do not reveal personal information in their videos.

~from Common Sense Media Review:


Gone Google Storybuilder

This storytelling tool is actually a website rather than an app. It is super simple to use and works great on the iPad. Music options make Storybuilder fun and exciting for students as well. Check out the ACS example below!

Link to try Storybuilder:

Gone Google StoryBuilder #acsPOWERUP

❤️ Other Storytelling App Options ❤️

What About Doodle Buddy....More Than Just Doodling?

iPad Camera+Doodle Buddy = Easy Characters, Captions, & Cartooning!

Doodle Buddy is an app most of our students already know how to use. Using it along with other storytelling tools is a way to keep the fun and engagement high while making the time spent on a drawing app more meaningful.

Avatars are something I'm hearing about from students across the district. Because kids love avatars and cartoons, we can utilize this "hook" to engage them in meaningful tasks in different content areas. They can create story characters, cartoon style self-portraits, or diagrams using only their iPad camera and the Doodle Buddy app. They can then use these creations in stories, retellings, graphic comics, or assignments for science or social studies. This is a great way to put a drawing app to work in a meaningful way. I'd be happy to share a 10-minute demo of this with you or your students. If you'd like to try on your own, the steps are below. Have fun creating!

❤️ Ready to Create? The link below will tell you how! ❤️

❤️ Athens City Elementary Tech Integration ❤️


Technology integration can be seen in action across all Athens City Schools. Below are a few things that happened in our district just this week!

Let's Collaborate!

Do you have an upcoming event in the classroom that you'd like to enhance? Are there projects you do each year that you'd like to upgrade by integrating technology? Or, are you just looking to try something new with your students? In any of these cases, I would love to collaborate with you!

Disclaimer- I am usually not an expert on an app or tool, but I am learning so much through each collaboration. This learning is helping me to help other classes across the district. I hope you will find lots of ways to put me to work! :)

❤️ Social Media- Learning & Sharing in Athens City! ❤️

❤️ Contact Information ❤️

Alyson Carpenter

Instructional Technology Specialist

Athens City Schools

Athens, AL