Tool Review: Scrapblog

Thursday, December 09, 2010 at 10:58 am
Jennifer Dick's picture


Scrapbooking hit the craft scene hard a few years ago, and has demonstrated some serious staying power. It's not uncommon to find that craft stores have more space devoted to different papers, stickers, and photo mounting options than knitting supplies! This isn't surprising -- memories make us who we are, and it can be very comforting to have a personal record celebrating the good times. What's's more surprising is that, despite the growing ubiquity of digital cameras and photo sharing services, there isn't a bigger market for digital scrapbooking. Enter Scrapblog, a free web-based scrapbook application that lets users put their photos in various visual contexts.

Features
As with traditional scrapbooking, you can select from a wide variety of backgrounds on which to display their pictures. Photographs are very easy to import from the usual sources -- Flickr, Facebook, Photobucket, Picasa, etc. You can add resizable frames, stickers, and text to pages, change page element colors, and layer multiple elements. Video embedding from Photobucket and YouTube is also supported. Once you've finished your scrapblog, you can add music (they have a handful of selections to choose from on the site) and transitions before viewing the result as a slide show. Publishing options allow you to keep your scrapblog visible only to those you invite, a very useful feature when working with youth.


Sample Classroom & Youth Program Applications

 

  • Foreign Language: Have students create a vocabulary scrapblog, illustrated with photographs and captioned in the language of study. Have each group select a different focus, and at the end of the project, add links to the scrapblogs on the class website so that students can use them as study aids.
  • Visual Art: Scrapblog makes it very easy to create a digital portfolio! Have youth scan or take digital pictures of their work. This is a great opportunity to discuss curation and encourage students to reflect on their progress as artists.
  • History: Flickr has a huge selection of historical photographs from NASA and the Library of Congress, as well as from many other cultural institutions. Give students an opportunity to find primary source images for a time or concept they're studying in class and create a scrapblog about it -- properly citing their sources, of course!

 

Breakdown

 

  • Price Structure: Free and Premium
  • Pros:
    • Simple user interface for importing media and designing pages
    • Easy to create sophisticated-looking pages
  • Cons:
    • Fair bit of upselling during the creation process, and non-Premium page elements like backgrounds and stickers require you to actively look for them
    • Need to create an account and log in, so be sure to allot some time for this

 

Do you use Scrapblog with your youth? Do you have any activity suggestions, tips, or tricks to share? Comment below or contact us!