Welcome to the November Teach/Learn Blogging Carnival.
The Teach/Learn Blogging Carnival hosted by Science@home is for anyone, because we are all teachers and learners all the time. This month our theme is “Technology and Design”. This is about being able to design or make something to solve a problem. Check out the links at the bottom to find some other great posts on T&D.
I’m a great fan of digital scrapbooking. I use it to create word art, cards, newsletters, and digital scrapbook pages. With the holiday season coming soon, one of my favorite activities is to use digital scrapbooking to create cards and gifts that will be keepsakes. I can’t recommend digital scrapbooking highly enough as a wonderful skill to learn and pass on to your child.
Necessary Software or Websites
There are a number of software programs that work well for digital scrapbooking. Adobe Photoshop has the longest learning curve but is the one I’d recommend if you can afford it and are willing to take the time to learn how to use it. Photoshop Elements is a bit simpler and less expensive.
Another software program that is quite advanced but less expensive and simpler to use is Corel Paint Shop Pro. That’s what I use. I like Paint Shop Pro a lot, although I wish I knew how to use Photoshop. Someday I hope to take the time to learn.
UPDATE: I’ve been using My Memories Suite (my review post) for 5 months now, and I absolutely love it for putting together scrapbook pages quickly. I find I can put together scrapbook pages much faster and easier than I could with Paint Shop Pro. So I’m much more likely to get them completed! (January 2012)
A great free (or inexpensive with added features) option is PicMonkey. I have a post about PicMonkey at Raising Figure Skaters on How to Create Subway Art Gifts. (November 2012)
There are a number of other software programs you can use. My son made cards and designs as a child using software that isn’t even available anymore. I still have and treasure every design he created, though. My daughter has created wonderful cards and scrapbook pages with Paint Shop Pro and even Microsoft Word (which I used to teach her first). My daughter and I both use Microsoft Word on occasion for a quick, simple project.
My daughter-in-law has used the Shutterfly site to create lovely books. She even used it to create wedding albums as gifts. For a simple but effective way to create digital scrapbooks, there are a number of sites similar to Shutterfly that allow you to easily create lovely hardbound memory books.
Generally, though, you’ll want to learn how to use scrapbooking software that allows you to use png files. If you’re a homeschooler and want to pass on the best information to your child, I’d recommend using the most advanced software you can afford and learn to use. A program like Photoshop has unlimited photo-editing capabilities along with digital scrapbooking possibilities that will be useful to your child throughout life.
Digital Scrapbooking Tutorials and Courses
If you don’t know how to digital scrapbook, there are lots of tutorials and even courses available online. I found it easiest to learn digital scrapbooking through tutorials and a course at Digital Scrapbook Place. You can download elements and backgrounds to create cards and gifts or you can even learn to create your own backgrounds and elements.
Digital Scrapbooking Freebies
There are many wonderful sites online with digital scrapbooking freebies as well as materials of every kind that can be purchased.
There’s also an all-in-one freebie site called Craft Crave with digital scrapbooking freebies from over 200 blogs each day. It’s a computerized search engine that picks up freebies for digital or printable scrapbooking, tutorials and challenges. It picks up my word-art freebies from Raising Figure Skaters each week. I have a bookmark for the Craft Crave digital scrapbooking freebies.
Through Craft Crave, you might find a site you particularly like. For instance, Divine Digital has a free daily download. If you download the freebie every day, at the end of the month you’ll have a complete kit. For sites like Divine Digital, I bookmark the download-a-day page and return each day to pick up my freebie. A lot of the sites offer freebies as incentives for you to buy their products.
Products Available to Purchase
I’ve purchased lovely scrapbooking kits through some of my favorite sites. I’ve had great luck purchasing from many different digital scrapbooking sites over the years. I’ve also developed a special file of scrapbooking kits from my favorite scrapbook artists. One of my very favorites is Kay Miller at Kay Miller Designs. Another favorite, Denise Docherty, has retired from selling digital scrapbooking kits, but I still have and use her amazing designs. I love that digital scrapbooking materials can be used over and over again.
I have lots of fun shopping at hobby and scrapbooking stores for the scrapbooks I use to insert the digital pages I create. They’re easily available online as well, but I still enjoy shopping at a nice craft or scrapbooking store.
Almost Any Age Is a Great Time to Start!
You’re never too old to learn digital scrapbooking, and children can learn a simplified version from a young age. If you want to start with a Christmas project, I created the word art in the image at the top of the post by designing words to go with a royalty-free image found online. To download the word-art freebie, click here, then right click on the image and choose “Save Picture As . . .”
Have fun creating digital keepsakes with your child!
Visit Science@home to find out more about the Teach/Learn Blogging Carnival. Please take the time to visit the other participants and find more Christmas themed posts on Technology and Design.
- Deb from Science@home has solved her wrapping paper problem for the environment, budget and family tradition.
- Marita from Stuff With Thing prepares for Christmas a little differently in her house, come see what they do. A little Christmas present for interested readers is included in this Teach/Learn post.
- Deb Chitwood at Living Montessori Now recommends you and your child learn how to use digital scrapbooking to create cards and gifts that will be cherished forever.
- Monique at Your Cheeky Monkey shows these Christmas Star Decorations are a fun and easy craft for toddlers and pre-schoolers.
- CatWay at Adventures With Kids works together with her 5 year old son to choose, design and make a Christmas present for his grandmother.
- Miss Carly from Early Childhood Resources describes three types of high technology that are a beneficial tool in learning with children under the age of eight.