Welcome to Jennie Magiera's Technology in Education Blog:

Redefining the (digital) Classroom

Wednesday, June 12, 2013

DocsStoryBuilder: Make your own Google Docs Commercial

Back in January, the amazing Ken Shelton came to Chicago to keynote at our CPS Tech Talk. At that time, he showed me a great web-based creation tool: DocsStoryBuilder. Since then I've used it a ton to provide an expressive outlet for students, illustrate a point and inspire learners big and small (read: kids and teachers). As such, I am beyond thankful to Ken for sharing this site with me. And now I'm going to share it with you!

So to understand what DocsStoryBuilder can do, try and remember the series of Google Docs commericals that aired a while back. If you can't remember, here's something to jog your memory...

And this too...

Funny, right? Now look what I made with DocsStoryBuilder (based on a true event)...

How does it work? Well you get to create "characters" - essentially editors in a fake Google Doc. You have them type or interact in the document - either as a dialogue or editing the text. Then you can add some music - then voila! You've created a funny little video. You can speed up or slow down the typing, add a dramatic pause for effect or change the color of each "character" or editor.

So far, in 5 short months, I've used this site to:
  • to kick off a staff PD
  • illustrate the power of a Google doc
  • add a silly interactive segment to a keynote
  • have students retell a historical event
  • have students summarize the plot of a book
  • have students summarize their reactions to a scientific exploration
  • (of course) have students write creatively 
Honestly, there's a million ways to use this tool. How have you used (or do you plan to use) it? Share below!


  1. I sometimes use this to deliver my morning message. I use teacher, student, and administrator names. The kids love it. Totally pulls them in and gets their attention.

  2. Thanks for the mention Jennie. So glad we were able to go over this. Only thing better would have been for us to live demo as a part of the keynote.

  3. These are wonderful. I'm introducing my 5th-graders to their Google accounts and these would be great to make for them to show off the collaborative power. How did you embed them on your site?