Posts Tagged ‘ back to school ’

3 Easy Ways to Organize School Year Photos and Mementos

Sunday, August 11th, 2013

The start of a new school year is always so exciting and as parents, we take our job of chronicling our child’s year through photos and mementos seriously. But sometimes life gets in the way and it’s easier to say we’re going to do something about the many digital photos, the stacks of artwork, certificates, and precious pieces of academic work than to actually do it. Here are three easy ways you can organize school year photos and mementos with ease as you go so those many precious moments and keepsakes can be cherished for years to come.

Tapsbook for iPad is a free app just launched with rave reviews and as a busy parent of two elementary aged children, I can see why. Tapsbook is a all-in-one app that handles photo viewing, photo management and storytelling that automates the laborious task of sifting through photos from many different sources and pulls them together in one place. Simple gestures can be used to quickly rate my photos and create a yearbook with favorites that can be instantly shared and accessed even offline. Tapsbook is free to download through the iTunes store and users can store up to 500 photos for free. An additional 4GB of storage can be purchased for $2.99/month. In addition to digital photo organization, Tapsbook looks to add a printed photobook service in the next couple months.

School Years by MomAgenda is an easy and effective solution for families that provides single place to keep mementos from your child’s K-12 school career. The spiral bound book features a separate folder for each year in school, has a place to store each year’s report cards, class pictures, art samples, writing samples, and more. Kids enjoy recording special information about their teacher, friends, and favorite after school activities to create a treasured keepsake. Parents love how easy this is to use and what a pleasure it is to open up and read year after year as children grow older.

PicStitch app for iPhone is a simple way to take your many photos from a single event and create beautiful collages. PicStitch features a variety of different layouts, ability to add photos with just a tap and edit them right from the app before publishing to your social networks or saving them to your phone’s album. Parents can quickly share moments with friends and family through their Facebook wall or save them to be printed or incorporated into a Tapsbook album. The free version features 70 different layouts to choose from but the paid version ($1.99) is ad-free and provides 232 layouts, 13 different photo aspect ratios, high resolution export, and more for an investment of less than $2.

Portrait Of Couple Looking At Photo Album via Shutterstock

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Tools for Capturing and Sharing the First Day of School

Saturday, August 18th, 2012

Whether it’s your child’s first day of the first day of preschool, a milestone year such as the first day of kindergarten, middle, or high school, or just another incredible year, it’s always wonderful to capture the first day to share it with friends and loved ones and have it to look back on fondly as your children grow older. Whether you’re an amateur, budding photographer, or a pro, or just love to share those first day photos with friends and loved ones near and far, here are some great tools to help you capture first day memories.

Elmer’s 1st Day of School App— Elmer’s Products (yes, the company that makes glue!) has created a brand new free app just in time for school that allows parents to record and save first day of school memories. Snap photos using your smartphone and then create albums via the secure 1st Day website where they will be stored. Galleries can also be shared securely by email and on Facebook. Uploading them to the 1st Day Website provides convenience since all photos will be in one place and busy moms and dads won’t have to spend time searching for favorite images between phones, computers, flash drives, hard drives, and other digital devices.

Storymark App— Storymark lets you combine photos and videos to share precious moments using your child’s own words. Take a picture with your smartphone or use one from your photo library, record any sound or personalized message, and send it to friends and family within seconds. Special moments captured through StoryMark are housed in my phone’s library keeping them private until you’re ready to share them via email, Facebook, and other social networks. The Storymark app is available for iPhone and Android.

MomAgenda School Years and Sports Years— For parents who prefer to have a hard evidence of their child’s school years and prefer an organized, yet not overwhelming way to save treasured memories, MomAgenda School Years helps organize important mementos from kindergarten through 12th grade by providing places for report cards, class pictures, and art and writing samples, for each school year. MomAgenda also makes a Sports Years version to remember each season’s memorable moments, teammates, team photos, and more.

Content young boy in front of yellow school bus waiting to board on first day back to school via Shutterstock. All other images courtesy of the companies.

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Back to School Tech Bargains on Laptops and Mobile Phones

Friday, August 10th, 2012

If you’re shopping for tech products for back to school, there are some fabulous bonuses that make it a great time to purchase new technology.  Here’s a look at the hot deals on laptops and mobile phones that you will want to take advantage of before the school year starts.

Computers

The best time to buy new computers for students is now. These deals appear towards the end of the summer and disappear once school begins.

  • Apple Computers is offering college students a $100 back to school gift card that can be used on apps, books, music, and movies with the purchase of a Mac.  Buy the new iPad and get a $50 gift card.  This offer is good on purchases until September 21 and with Apple’s education pricing, students, teachers, school staff, administrators, and even homeschool teachers can save even more. Details on Apple’s back to school pricing can be found here.
  • If you’re more of a PC person, students with a valid .edu address can get a free Xbox console when purchasing a PC over $699.  To take advantage of this special offer, visit the Microsoft Store site and type in your .edu email address to receive a promotional code with redemption instructions.

Mobile Phones

Cell phone carriers are offering free, or close to free, phones to new customers with two year contracts.  Here’s a rundown of some of the devices being offered:

  • AT&TSamsung Captivate for a 1¢
  • T-Mobile — Free Nokia Lumia 710 Windows Phone
  • Verizon— Back to school offers include Pantech Breakout, Pantech Marauder, LG Enlighten, and Pantech Jest 2 for free.  Visit the website to learn which offers are online only.
  • Sprint— The Samsung Galaxy S II may have just been replaced by the Samsung Galaxy S III but is still an incredible phone. If you want to upgrade your current phone and need one for another family member, Sprint is offering a buy one, get one free deal where customers can get two Samsung Galaxy S II phones for $99. This offer is good until August 18 and more information can be found on Sprint’s website
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4 Back to School Essentials for Organization

Thursday, August 2nd, 2012

August is here which means the start of school isn’t too far away! Take a deep breath because there’s still plenty of time to buy school supplies and get organized before you send your little ones off on their learning adventures. Here are 4 back to school essentials that can help every family stay organized.

My Lunch Money ensures that parents never have to send another check or cash to the school cafeteria to pay for lunch.  Parents at schools who use My Lunch Money can use the website to add money to their child’s lunch account and receive an email when the balance is low and the amount needs to be replenished. Parents can also view the items that their child is purchasing for lunch to make sure that tummies are being filled with a well rounded meal and not just cookies.

Mabel’s Labels Ultimate Back to School Combo features custom durable labels for all the things that your kids can lose during the course of the school year.  Skinny Minis work well for pencils and USB drives, Tag Mates and Shoe Labels help lost clothing and shoes make it back to your child, while Teeny Tags are perfect for attaching to lunchboxes and backpacks.  Mabels makes plenty of designs to suit every personality.  Tweens will also love the new Tween Pack that makes labeling your stuff uber cool. While you’re ordering, pick up a pack of the new Book Labels too!

LaLa Lunchbox provides you and your hungry little ones with a fun, easy, and engaging way to plan and pack lunch. The iPhone app is designed to empower kids by allowing them to pick their own lunch using photo based icons, save money by allowing them to choose from items they love, and save time since there’s no more guesswork about what to pack. Add your own favorite foods by taking a photo and adding it to the app while keeping track of the number of servings of fruits, vegetables, proteins, etc. your child is consuming. LaLa Lunchbox is available from the iTunes Store for $1.99.

Cozi keeps families organized. This free app is available for Android, Blackberry, and iPhones and synch seamlessly with a web based version you can get to from any internet enabled device. Pull in calendars from your school, create recurring activities and appointments, and color code activities for various family members in your family calendar. Additional features include a to-do list, meal planning, family journal, and shopping list.  Cozi is breeze to use and even better since it’s free!

Back to school via Shutterstock

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