Why Online Scrapbooks?

Imagine taking students around the country in an American history class or around the globe in a class on world cultures, geography, or history. How can students remember some of the places they have been and “seen” and events that they have studies? One method is a virtual scrapbook – a collection of images, captions, creativity and much more, all shared online. Social studies students can creatively demonstrate their understanding of various topics by producing an online scrapbook, all from the comfort of their own home or computer lab. Students can collaborate on an imagined journey, and student work can be shared with anyone via the internet, allowing students to create content for classmates.

Online Scrapbooks Tools

There are many online platforms that allow students to create online scrapbooks, each with varied functions in regards to stock backgrounds and images, importing possibility, multimedia use, and publishing possibilities. Most scrapbook platforms allow work to be printed if desired, and many allow authors to select a bound final product (for a fee). Teachers should check each platform thoroughly before using it with their students, as many platforms are commercial in nature and may contain examples not suited for elementary grade levels. Many sites also have social networking capabilities, with tagging, contacts, online communities, and messaging. All scrapbook platforms require authors to create an account with an active email to login. Teachers may choose to create a group login for collaboration, and some platforms have class subscriptions for educators with secure sites.

  • Canva is a simple, drag-and-drop, design software that’s completely online and free to use. Students can make images, infographics, posters, and more! Canva’s collage maker could be a great alternative for a traditional scrapbook project, or collages could be saved and incorporated into a larger book.
  • Mixbook is a very user friendly platform that allows students to produce eye-catching scrapbooks with ease. Students can select the format of the scrapbook, the number of pages, the layout of photos and text on each page, and the background. The order and look of pages can be modified at any time. Some themes are applicable to historical “journeys”, but creating a theme from scratch is simple. Images can be uploaded from a computer or from a photo collection source like flickr.com or photobucket.com. Additional contributors can be invited to collaborate on a scrapbook. While a printed mixbook product needs to be at least 20 pages, that only holds true for printing. The online version that is published can be embedded or shared as a hyperlink.
  • With myebook , authors can publish scrapbooks from an existing .pdf file or create them from scratch. If creating from scratch, authors can start with blank pages or with a theme. Once begun, authors can enter text, load and insert images, embed video and flash files or embed external movies, incorporate hyperlinks, and add forms and documents to their scrapbooks. Authors can change the look and feel of the book by modifying fonts, backgrounds, and color schemes. Clip art is limited in myebook. Once published, the work can be shared via a hyperlink or social media outlets, or it can be embedded into an existing Web site or wiki. Books can also be protected by a password.
  • Cropmom is a basic scrapbooking platform that allows users to create scrapbooks from scratch or based on an existing theme. Authors can develop their own layout, upload images from their computer, and add text and clip art. Cropmom offers a step-by-step tutorial to create scrapbooks, develop themes, and design layouts. Cropmom is also a great platform to create mock magazine covers.
  • With Bookr you can create and share your own scrapbook using images from Flickr. Easily create a cover, add pages, insert images & text. This is a great option for creating online books with a shorter amount of text with image backgrounds.

Online Scrapbooks Tutorials

The video tutorials below will help to get you started with a variety of online scrapbook tools.

Mixbook Tutorial

Introduction to CropMom

For more tutorials, also visit our e-books section.

Online Scrapbooks Examples

  • Brown v. Board of Education – A Firsthand Account – This assignment for 8th grade history students involved research, primary sources, and historical voice for students to create a firsthand account of an important event during the Civil Rights Movement. A rubric is included for the mini-project.

How to Integrate Online Scrapbooks

Scrapbooks can be great assessment tools for historical events, especially if role-playing is desired. Students can look at a particular moment in time from the perspective of an actual participant, research the opinions and experiences of the person, and combine primary source quotes and images to tell the story. Scrapbooks can also be used to chronicle a class simulation of field trip.