Friday, February 22, 2013
Paperless Publishing: Smore
Smore is an awesome tool for generating beautiful flyers and presentations. Currently, it is in beta, so it is free. I don't know if it will continue to be so, but I certainly hope so!
Smore allows users to quickly and easily publish their work. Aylin over at Learning to the Core talked about S'more a few weeks ago and I knew that I had to give it a try. To check out her awesome post, click here.
So, here's my take on things:
As a teacher, you can easily sign into S'more using your Facebook login information. I try not to utilize that service in my classroom simply because Facebook is typically frowned upon during work hours on the district server. Even though it's for academic use, I'd rather be safe than sorry :)
You can create a free account easily. I tried the google hack of creating separate accounts for my students by using my own gmail account+student name and creating a generic password. So, for example, katepeila+bob(@)gmail.com would be Bob's login information. Some sites allow this, some do not. I wanted each child to be able to access and save their own flyers from individual accounts, so I gave it a try. Seems fine thus far!
Once inside, you have access to a dashboard that allows you to select the type of flyer that you are interested in creating:
I selected the newsletter piece simply because I liked the layout and it seemed easiest!
Once inside, Smore provides you with a variety of tools to edit and manage the flyer. It is really easy to switch the formatting, background, and fonts. This is all completed through a drop down menu as seen below.
To add pictures and text, simply click on the fields. Adding pictures is a snap through the drag and drop feature that Smore added. AWESOME!
Here's an example of the flyer that one of my tech team students developed using this tool.
Isn't it awesome?
I am really excited to utilize this tool in our upcoming Earth Through Time series. In the past, I have had students create a paper poster utilizing informational text features like captions, pictures, paragraphs, and bold text. I think that this tool will be an easy way for me to implement some digital tools in the classroom while still meeting those standards. I am excited to share them with you all!
How can you see using this tool in your classroom?