The digital media class I am building at my school is meant to furnish students with the skills they need to be creative with digital media creation tools. The trouble is that much of the class time is necessarily focused on teaching students about the various tools and how to use them effectively. Since most of the students are in the course as an option, I rarely get the opportunity to see a student past this necessary but often tedious phase of tool instruction to the place where they can feel confident with the tool enough to focus on creative work.
Silvia Tolisano has recently released a free guide for teachers to use free and simple digital tools for students to build narratives. Some of the work she suggests in the guide may be like things that you do already, but it is worth noting that she has collected information on a variety of free or cheap solutions in one place along with some great lesson ideas.
I currently use Google Earth as the springboard for verbal storytelling in our homeroom block. It waxes and wanes in popularity but it seems that the students are most reticent when it seems more formal and “organized.” If we take the approach of “just talking,” students are much more likely to participate. I am looking forward to trying some of these other activities in my classroom and seeing how I can encourage more spontaneous narrative-building!