Showing posts with label newsletters. Show all posts
Showing posts with label newsletters. Show all posts

Monday, July 6, 2020

Three Alternatives to Smore

Over the weekend I answered an email from a reader who was looking for an alternative to using Smore to create online posters and newsletters to share with teachers and parents. Smore is great for some people, but it can get a little too pricey for some people. Here are a few alternatives to using Smore to create online posters and newsletters.

ConvertKit is the service that I use for my Practical Ed Tech Newsletter. ConvertKit offers some nice templates for formatting your emails. I don't use those templates because I prefer to send plain text email, but it's nice to know that I could use those templates. The real reason that I use Convert Kit is because I can easily create different segments within my mailing list to send personalized emails to different groups within my mailing list. That function could be useful to schools who want to send different personalized emails to parents based on the grade that their children are in. ConvertKit has a free plan that allows you to have up to 1,000 people on your mailing list, use all of the templates, and send as many emails as you like.

Canva doesn't offer a mailing list component, but it does offer lots of templates for making online posters and simple webpages to announce events. Once you've published your poster or page, you can email the link to it or post it on your LMS. Here's a video about how to use Canva to create and publish a multimedia poster.


Adobe Spark, like Canva, offers an easy way to design and publish simple webpages to use for announcements and updates to share with your school community. One of the things that I like about Adobe Spark is that you can share your designs directly into Google Classroom. Here's my short video on how to use Adobe Spark to create simple webpages.

Saturday, July 11, 2009

Turn Your Blog Into a Newsletter With RSS to PDF

Five Filters' free RSS to PDF service makes it easy to convert your blog's RSS feed into a printable PDF format. To use the service simply enter your blog's RSS feed url (if you use FeedBurner, you can use the FeedBurner feed) and Five Filters quickly converts the feed into a two column printable PDF. Click here to see the PDF created from this blog's RSS feed. Five Filters' RSS to PDF seems to convert six days worth of items from your RSS feed. Although I didn't do it for the RSS feed I converted, you can customize the title of your PDF to match your blog's title.

Applications for Education
As much as we would like to think that the parents of all of our students are can get online to view our classroom blogs, the truth is that in some districts many parents don't have reliable internet access. RSS to PDF services make it possible for you to quickly convert your blog communication to a paper document that you can mail home or send home with students.

Here are some related resources that may be of interest to you:
Feed Journal - Turn RSS Feeds Into Newspapers
Feed Chronicle - Make Your Own News Page
MeeHive - Your Custom News Homepage