This week, we were asked to find a new tech tool, that we hadn’t used before, give it a try and review it!
Check out my newsletter here to see my progress in my learning progress for the week!
I chose to use the app called “Smore”. For those of you who are unfamiliar with it, Smore is an online newsletter creator.
Although you can join Smore for free, users also have the option to upgrade their account to receive more advanced features. With the free account, you also will only be able to create 3 newsletters.
Below is a view of the Smore home screen. I like the layout of this app. I found it to be very user-friendly and it was super easy to navigate. It gives you suggested templates, and makes it fun and inviting by encouraging users to earn badges, as seen in the lower right corner.
I found that creating my newsletter was very easy and I loved the way it turned out. The first thing it asked me to do was choose my theme and font. I loved all the choices and they were all fun, colourful, and aesthetic to the eye.
I also loved how easy it was to add photos and even to embed a YouTube video! All you have to do to add more to your newsletter is to click on the little plus button found at the bottom of any of the text or photo feature.
I think that this would be a useful tool that could be used in the classroom for multiple purposes, for both communication between school and home, and also for different projects in the classroom.
Using the SAMR model, Smore could be used in the classroom in these ways:
S- Substitution: Smore virtual newsletters could act as a substitute for a physical newsletter. Benefits of using Smore would be that it is eco-friendly and it would eliminate the possibility of students misplacing it before they got home.
A- Augmentation: Smore would still be used as a newsletter for parents, but with the functional improvement of including video, audio, and other elements that you would not be able to do with a physical newsletter.
M- Modification: Smore could be used in the classroom by students as a way to update or document progress in an assignment, similar to what I just did.
R- Redefinition: Smore could be used as a newsletter, created online, by the entire class, as a way to update parents at home, but also as an assessment tool for the teacher. You will get dual uses at the same time.
Overall, I think that this is a great educational tool, and I would definitely recommend it to anyone!