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Digital Stories for Remote Learners

by Miguel Guhlin
digital tales for remote learners

You’ve heard of audio books, but what about video books? The phrase doesn’t quite roll off the tongue. But in spite of that, many educators are looking for video versions of popular stories they can share to encourage students to engage with stories in a new way. In this blog entry, we’ll explore several sources of multimedia, digital tales for remote learners.

The Power of Digital Stories

Have you read Gene Zion’s story of Harry, the Dirty Dog? If not, Betty White’s reading of an old favorite of mine will get your tail wagging. That’s the power of digital stories, to bring to a child the power of another human’s voice and interest in a story. Take a moment to listen to Betty White read the story.

digital stories

Listen online: https://www.storylineonline.net/books/harry-the-dirty-dog/

Let’s take a look at some sources of online stories you can share with your students.

Story Source #1: Storyline Online

This is a phenomenal resource of fifty-seven digital stories and all are completely free. The narrators are top notch, and each story comes with a teacher’s guide. For example, the guide for Harry, the Dirty Dog focuses on Grades K-2. Predictions, which is one of Reciprocal Teaching‘s Fab Four, are encouraged.

Storyline Online (@StorylineOnline) features apps for Android, iOS, and the Chrome browser. The stories and apps are free and will remain so.

Did You Know?

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Story Source #2: Audible Stories

We know listening to stories has the same benefit as reading with one’s eyes. Audible Stories is now offering, at no charge, a large collection of stories which are organized into a variety of categories, such as the following:

  • Littlest Learners
  • Elementary
  • Tween
  • Teen
  • Literary Classics
  • Folk and Fairy Tales for All

Digital Tales for remote learners

Their stories are also available in various languages including French, German, Spanish, Italian, and more. During COVID-19 crisis, Audible offers these at no cost.

Story Source #3: Storynory

Storynory has a variety of stories and tales in video format as well as in audio and text. They are also accessible via the  iOS or Android app that you can get on your device. Students can read the story on the screen while listening to the audio recording, enhancing their reading and listening skills.

Digital Tales for remote learnersStorynory describes itself in this way:

Storynory has been giving free audio stories to the world since November 2005. We are a podcast and a website with audio streaming. Some months we serve around a million downloads of our mp3 files (stored on Libsyn). All our content is free.

Another source of audio books is Loyal Books. They offer classic titles in audio format. You can often find the text version online since most are in the public domain.

Story Source #4: David Walliams

Author David Walliams is sharing stories through March and April, 2020, releasing an audio story every day.

Digital Tales for remote learners

“All those stuck at home with their kids may be able to relate to ‘_The World’s Worst Children_’!” as David Walliams revealed that he’d be sharing his stories with the nation.  (Source: Good Housekeeping)

You can get started with Grubby Gertrude. Try not to laugh too much at this delightful tale.

Story Source #5: EPIC!

Looking for a free source of books and audio books? Check out Epic! which offers free teacher accounts through June 30, 2020. It’s easy to get set up as a teacher and then add your students. Creating the students’ accounts is as easy as copying and pasting their names into a text box.

You can find quite a bit of content online, and your students will have easy access.  Here’s some of the content, featuring audio and video books:

Story Source #6: Vook

Teachers get a year free of access to Vook. This offer is also open to home school educators. From their website:

“Vooks brings children’s books to life with animated illustrations, read-a-long text and narrated story. The ad-free platform features a variety of titles that have been engaging students all across the world. Whether being used as part of the lesson or to wind class down, Vooks is a fun and versatile tool for the classroom.

Learn more about Vook content:

Looking for more stories? Be sure to check out authors online. Like David Walliams, many such as Kate Messner will read their books online.

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