Creative Communicating Through Technology

Digital-age students have the world at their fingertips… So why do classroom presentations still look like a student holding a stack of notecards nervously in front of a Powerpoint slideshow? ISTE student standard 6 focuses on creative communication and ways that students can present their ideas creatively.

ISTE 6 – Creative Communicator 
Students communicate clearly and express themselves creatively for a variety of purposes using the platforms, tools, styles, formats and digital media appropriate to their goals.

6a – Students choose the appropriate platforms and tools for meeting the desired objectives of their creation or communication
6b – Students create original works or responsibly repurpose or remix digital resources into new creations
6c – Students communicate complex ideas clearly and effectively by creating or using a variety of digital objects such as visualizations, models or simulations
6d – Students publish or present content that customizes the message and medium for their intended audiences

This thinking, paired with this ISTE standard, pointed me towards the following leading question:

What technological tools are available for students to communicate and present their ideas?

My research led me to digital storytelling, a method I had not known much about.

“Digital storytelling creates space for students to pursue topics about which they are passionate, grows their learning around assigned topics, and showcases their learning for peers, teachers, and audiences beyond the schoolhouse, all of whom are able to interact with the storyteller.” (Dillon)

Bob Dillon writes about digital storytelling and how it is an effective way for students to demonstrate their learning. He lists 6 key pieces of understanding to help utilize effective digital storytelling. 

  1. Create Space for Learning
  2. Persuade with the Head and the Heart
  3. Lead with the Narrative 
  4. Amplify with Images
  5. Nurture the Process
  6. Understand the Tools

This source helped me realize that not only are there great technological tools that can help students communicate and present their ideas – but that there are also different types of presentations that students can make. One type of presentation is digital storytelling! After reading this article on Edutopia, I decided to brainstorm different types of presentations to help focus my search for technological tools. 

Visual Presentations 

  • Pear Deck (
    • Pear Deck is a slide based presentation tool that has pre-made templates to utilize along with a ton of interactive opportunities for the user! The basic level is always free. There is a 90 day free trial of premium, and after that an individual plan costs $149 per year.
  • Explain Everything (
    • A presentation tool that allows for collaboration between teacher and student or to other students. A trial is free, but after the trial the monthly fee is $3 a month. (There are also audio components!)
  • Canva (
    • Canva is a website and app that has 50,000 premade templates for any type of post you could think of! Templates include; social media posts, posters, logos, infographics and many many more. There is a free component for “individuals and small groups working on small projects”, which is perfect for students and educators!
  • Storybird (
    • Storybird is a “creative writing platform proven to boost young learners’ writing skills.” Students can write stories and add illustration with ease! The cost is $8.99/month or $59.88/year for a single subscription. 

Auditory Presentations 

  • Animoto (
    • Animoto has a focus on video creation and is quite user friendly.  You can sign up for free and there are a large variety of templates available to get started right away!
  • WeVideo (
    • WeVideo has 3 separate platforms, one specifically designed for education. Downside, a class license will cost you $299 a year. There is an available free 30 day trial for teachers!
  • Vyond (
    • Previously known as GoAnimate, Vyond is $49/month or $229/year. Vyond has an easy to use interface and would be easily accessible for students.

For more examples take a peek at a previous post focusing on tools that help students demonstrate conceptual knowledge: “Empowering Learners through Choice”


Dillon, B. (2014). The power of digital story. Edutopia. Retrieved from

Lampinen, M. (2013). Blogging in the 21st-century classroom. Edutopia. Retrieved from

Robin, B. R. (2008). Digital storytelling: A powerful technology tool for the 21st century classroom. Theory into Practice, 47(3), 220–228.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *