Digital storytelling is a great way for students to demonstrate what they have learned through the use of digital expression. There are quite a few great computer based programs such as Windows Movie Maker, Microsoft Photostory and iMovie for creating high quality videos but there are also some really great web based sites as well.
Animoto is a site that I've written about before and I'm a big fan of it's ease of use. Many teachers have told me how much they love this site because you can create a video start to finish in a matter of moments. The only catch with
Animoto is that you can only create a thirty second video with the free version. Other than that you will be blown away by the high quality effects and transitions that you can apply to your movie. Also,
Animoto has a large selection of royalty free audio to use as a background score for your video which helps to make it a one stop shop for video creation.
Xtranormal is another great site for creating entertaining video. The tagline for Xtranormal is "If you can type, you can make movies". This site is unique in that you get to use characters, backgrounds and props from their library to create your scene. From there, you can give your characters lines and body movements to accompany their words. Xtranormal is very popular and can be addictive. The one catch with Xtranormal is that if you want to use more than the default characters and backgrounds you will need to buy credits to spend on these extras.
Masher is another great site for creating video. Using Masher you can create video using their stock images, video (BBC library of videos) and music or you can upload your own and create a custom video from your own content. Masher is very easy to use and with the ability to add text as well this is another great way for students to create their own digital stories.
Look at your curriculum and select a place where you would like students to create a concluding work such as a digital story. You can also have students create a short video on Animoto for a homework assignment. As a teacher, these video creation sites are also great for creating an introductory look at a topic or unit of study.