What's the Story?
Updated: Jun 20
“The universe is made of stories, not atoms.”
Telling and enjoying stories with technology
Everyone loves a good yarn.
An urban story shared with friends around a campfire.
A favourite bedtime story passed down through the generations.
A bit of gossip that’s been embellished for dramatic effect.
And not forgetting, of course, all those cherished books, movies, TV shows, poems, plays, blogs, TikToks, podcasts, and video-games.
Stories have brought people of all ages and backgrounds together since the beginning of mankind, and there’s never been as many exciting ways to tell or read them as there are today.
Here are our top tech tips and suggestions for telling and tapping into great stories.
With mobile phones now playing a part in many Hollywood movie shoots, it’s never been easier to create stories on 'film'. Whether it’s a simple piece to camera like Tom Hardy’s Bedtime Stories, or a more dramatic reenactment made with family and friends, your children’s stories can now be brought to life in a matter of minutes. And if you’re feeling creative, there’s a whole host of free and simple video editing apps available for mobiles, tablets and computers.
Audio books have exploded in popularity and it’s now incredibly easy to access a wealth of titles through platforms such as Amazon’s Audible, Audiobooks and Scribd. Offering a different experience to the traditional ebook, audio offers a more intimate and unique way in which to tell stories (as well as access to traditional ebooks). As a medium, it’s great if you’re particularly camera shy, or simply want to use voice and sound effects to tell your story. Again, pretty much all entry-level smartphones offer an easy way to lay down your narrative as a spoken audio track. This Beginners Guide to Audio Storytelling provides a great introduction to recording audio stories.
We’ve all grown accustomed to the power of animation through treasure trove of Pixar’s movies such as Toy Story, Up and Coco. But you don’t need a Hollywood machine behind you to create beautiful, inventive and heart-melting animated stories. Your stories can be brought to life to dramatic effect with nothing more than drawings, audio and that all important story idea. Or you may choose to go the Wallace and Gromit route with an inexpensive supply of plasticines and pipe cleaners. If you’re looking for inspiration, check out “Where will I live?” by Camille Bradbury – aged seven at the time of production – who created this fabulous animated story about environmental issues for a school project.
Unlocking great stories
Reading brings joy to many of our lives, yet many feel overwhelmed or put off with the prospect of committing large amounts of time to a lengthy novel. Whether you want to help instil a love of reading in a young family member or look for ways to reignite your own interest in reading, there’s lots of support and tech out there to help get things moving.
Free resources and inspiration for children
The National Literacy Trust is bursting with free advice and practical resources for early years, Primary and Secondary school readers. Their National Storytelling Week page serves as a brilliant gateway to a plethora of resources, including links to a Write an Alex Rider adventure story competition and collection of short video stories.
The digital book revolution has been burning brightly for over a decade now, during which time the variety and choice of dedicated devices has flourished. Here’s a rundown of the best 10 best ebook readers for 2022 as curated by PC Magazine.
You could, of course, decide to forgo a dedicated ebook reader and lean on your existing smartphone or tablet to access the countless ebook apps available on the market. Look no further than this extensive guide to the top free ebook apps available right now.
As we celebrate National Storytelling Week, why not try out creating your own stories as a family, or pick up a ebook and give it a try.