Saturday, September 29, 2018

Sutori Makes Digital Storytelling Fun and Interactive!

It’s human nature to tell stories. We do it every day without realizing it. Explaining your weekend, what you on a vacation, how you feel about the news...and those stories connect us to each other. This post is about an online storytelling tool I wish I found years ago, called Sutori.

Humans used oral traditions before we had the written word. It’s a part of us. I teach History, where telling and sharing stories is a part of my daily life. But even as a teacher of History I believe that stories are not only for the English and Social Studies classrooms. Sutori allows students to develop our ability to tell stories and learn what makes a good story: we remember what makes us emotional, what piques our interests, and what drives us to think and act. We forget the boring. So what does Sutori look like and what does it do?

Creating a “sutori” is easy.  You begin by In creating the story you automatically have an introduction. Simply click the “+” button. The user can embed text, images, audio, and video. Additionally, forums with discussion prompts can be added. For more interactivity with the content, multiple choice and drag-and-drop quizzes can be added. For the quizzes, feedback can also be added so students don’t simply get a “correct” or “incorrect” response. The quizzes are a good tool for the user to check for understanding. Basic formatting of text can be done - bolding, italics, and bullets. New headings can be added to separate ideas, concepts, processes, and dates/time periods. I like the “Did you know?” feature - adding a little spice to pique the interests of the reader.

Sutori also has a great resource called “Guiding Packs” with examples of how specific subject-area teachers are using Sutori, so students and teachers can see that it’s not just for Social Studies. Something else I really like are the "10-minute Tasks" within Guiding Pack units. Have a look at the activities in this unit on Exploration. (

Students and teachers can work as collaborators on a story. Teachers can create classes and invite students. Sharing the story is simple through Google Classroom, Google+, Twitter, Facebook, or a direct link. Sutori can be embedded as well.

Something else I appreciate about Sutori is that from the beginning image, media used, and at the end of every story, there is a section for text that encourages identifying your sources. (so the developers of Sutori recognize that users of their product should practice academic honesty)

Rights That We Demanded (the civil rights movement in America)
Life Under Mao Zedong: China's Cultural Revolution 1966–1976
The Pro-Democracy Movement in China

There is a free trial period, so think about what stories you want to tell and then sign up. Think you have a good “Sutori”? The editor chooses some stories to highlight, so make it good! Want to go deeper with the tool? Like many online tools and apps, Sutori has the Sutori Academy, where educators can become Sutori Storytellers. I like that distinction much more than “...Certified Educator” because it states what you are doing - telling stories. And you’ll get a free subscription that includes all of the features.


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