Smilebox Teacher’s Toolbox Program

Before I had children (and for a short time when they were immobile), I was an avid digital scrapbooker. I would spend hours at a time picking out the pictures I wanted to use, searching the digital scrapbooking sites for the perfect kit to match the pictures, and then another few hours actually creating my page(s). I still love it and often make scrapbook-style invitations for my own family and upon request from others. I also use my skills for my websites (including my blog header!).

My program of choice is Adobe Photoshop. I remember about 5 years ago I was using an ancient program called Microsoft Image Composer. I knew all the tips and tricks, so I was reluctant to change, although I knew I wasn’t doing myself any favors by not knowing Photoshop. I remember opening up the program thinking “this is the day I will learn it”, only to get frustrated and close it. Then the day finally came: I looked up a simple tutorial, learned all about layers, and I haven’t looked back.

These days, I don’t have the time like I used to, which lead me to the program Smilebox.  I came across this program as I was looking for different slideshow programs similar to Photoshow.

From the site:

Smilebox is an easy and creative way to safely send photos, videos and personalized information to your parents in a secure way. It’s perfect for newsletters, overviews of teaching units, performance and field trip recaps, classroom activities and more.

The things I like most about Smilebox are:

  1. There are TONS of themes to choose from.
  2. It is simple as pie.  Seriously, anyone can do it.
  3. You can choose to add music from their library of over 700 songs or upload your own.
  4. You can save the pages as JPEGs to print and put in an album.
  5. You can use photos AND videos.
  6. You can do a fancy slideshow or a basic one.
  7. You can imbed the slideshow cleanly into a blog or website.
  8. IT’S FREE FOR TEACHERS! (it’s very inexpensive anyway at $4.99/month)

After subscribing to the service for several months, I happened upon their blog which announced the Smilebox Teacher’s Toolbox Program.  Smilebox is offering a free premium account ($39.99 value) to qualified teachers.  Please visit this site to sign up and see example slideshows.  I submitted my application and was approved within a few days.

So far I’ve used the program to showcase student work, for an end-of-the-year slideshow, and as a video player. I would love to hear your thoughts on Smilebox if you have used it and how you can use it in your classroom!

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  1. This is the first I have ever heard about smile box. What a wonderful thing, to give this amazing outlet to folks and to do such a nice thing for teachers.

    I received my M.Ed. way back in 1985 at the University of North Texas.

    Keep on encouraging your students to press on ahead and to not fear when they have to “Compete With Giants”, David did, and he turned out alright.

    Mike




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    av2My name is Amber Coggin, and I am an Elementary Technology teacher in Mobile, Alabama. I created this blog as a central place to discuss thoughts and ideas regarding what I have going on in the classroom and on the web. I hope you find it useful to you in some way. Read more.
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