Smore

Common Sense Media says

Design hip virtual flyers with reasonably easy-to-use site.

Age(i)

2
3
4
5
6
7
8
9
10
11
12
13
14
15
16
17

Quality(i)

 

Learning(i)

What parents need to know

Positive messages

The site promotes green practices by posting a tally of trees saved based on the number of e-flyers created.

Violence
Not applicable
Sex
Not applicable
Language

Users can include swear words in flyers but don't seem to; a browser search didn't turn up "s--t," "f--k," or other words.

Consumerism

Many flyers are created for promotional purposes, so kids could be exposed to a number of companies' products and services.

Drinking, drugs, & smoking
Not applicable
Privacy & safety

Flyers created using Smore's free version will be public unless users change their profile settings. Some flyers include URLs and email addresses for contacting the creator. Kids also can list their Facebook addresses and Twitter handles on their profiles. There are a handful of ways that kid stuff will make it into the public eye if you don't keep an eye on settings, but it's not a place where communication is common, and other people's flyers are appropriate in general.

Parents Need to Know

Parents need to know that Smore is a website that helps users create online flyers. Kids have to register to use Smore by entering their first and last name, e-mail address, and a password. They also can sign in using Facebook. Users can allow or disable comments for each flyer; viewers can only comment using Facebook, Yahoo, AOL, or Hotmail, which may cause privacy concerns if other users access their profile on those sites.

What kids can learn

Subjects

Language & Reading

  • presenting to others
  • writing

Arts

  • drawing
  • photography

Skills

Creativity

  • imagination
  • producing new content

Self-Direction

  • initiative
  • set objectives

Communication

  • conveying messages effectively
  • presenting

Engagement, Approach, Support

Engagement

Having creative control and expressing themselves should be fun for most kids. They can comment on flyers and get badges for achievements, but ultimately they'll probably only use Smore if they need to make a flyer.

Learning Approach

The site doesn't offer much marketing and design instruction. However, kids get to practice writing and, if they share their flyer, can find out what promotional efforts work better than others using metrics.

Support

Kids won't find in-depth articles on marketing or abundant tips on how to use the site, but the help section includes brief overviews of Web analytics. The analytic data saved can be really helpful for kids to see the reach of a flyer.

What kids can learn

Subjects

Language & Reading

  • presenting to others
  • writing

Arts

  • drawing
  • photography

Skills

Creativity

  • imagination
  • producing new content

Self-Direction

  • initiative
  • set objectives

Communication

  • conveying messages effectively
  • presenting

Kids can learn a bit about graphic design and how to organize information. Other people's flyers will introduce them to a collection of random subjects, like real estate, aviation, and fundraising. Making flyers gives kids hands-on design experience, and, with a bit of help, they'll also learn to present a message to a specific audience. Parents may not want kids to share their work on the site, so they'll still be able to create attractive flyers, but they won't get analytics, which supply the site's biggest lesson. Adding more marketing-related learning materials would help make Smore a better all-around resource.

This Learning Rating review was written by Erin Brereton

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What's it about?

Choose a theme -- event, business, for sale, news bulletin, class, or anything else you need to promote -- and fill in a template to create a newsletter or flyer. Prompts offer some simple tips, such as, \"Titles are a must for all flyers.\" You can add text, photos, and audio from aural platform SoundCloud; YouTube, Vimeo, and Viddler videos; or a form. Once the design is complete, you can distribute designs to Craiglist or an email list, make them private, promote them on social media, or print them. Analytics help track reader response. Basic Smore is free; paid monthly subscriptions range from $19 to $99.

Is it any good?

QUALITY
 

According to Smore, more than 30,000 users access the promotional flyer-creation site daily. Most seem to be logging on to make flyers and newsletters for the products and services they offer. Flyers can be printed out and distributed, emailed, and shared on certain sites. Smore makes document design, creation, and distribution simple; its tool guides you through the process, and you can add some nifty extras, like videos and audio. Graphic and font options are modern and charming, which works well for kid-created flyers. However, without a paid subscription, flyers will contain Smore's logo, which can be a drawback for some users. Parents also may have concerns about kids' ability to connect with other users on the site. To comment on other flyers, kids need to first log in to their Yahoo, Facebook, AOL, or Hotmail account, which means other users can easily learn more about their identity and potentially contact them. Parents can alter kids' profile settings to make their flyers private; this will remove the analytics option and prevent kids from seeing which promotional efforts resonate best with viewers -- but it should make their experience safer.

Families can talk about...

  • Families can talk about PR and marketing and how companies promote products and services to potential buyers. Ask your child for some examples of commercials or ads. How did they influence your child's interest in a toy or other product?

  • Discuss some issues that can arise from logging into a website using your Facebook account. How could strangers contact you if they can see your profile?

  • Users can make their flyers public or private. Ask kids what privacy issues they could face if everyone could see their work. Should everything that kids create on sites like Smore be for-their-eyes-only?

Website details

Genre:Creating
Pricing structure:Free, Paid

This review of Smore was written by

About our rating system

  • ON: Content is age-appropriate for kids this age.
  • PAUSE: Know your child; some content may not be right for some kids.
  • OFF: Not age-appropriate for kids this age.
  • NOT FOR KIDS: Not appropriate for kids of any age.

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Quality

Our star rating assesses the media's overall quality.

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Learning ratings

  • Best: Really engaging; great learning approach.
  • Very Good: Engaging; good learning approach.
  • Good: Pretty engaging; good learning approach.
  • Fair: Somewhat engaging; OK learning approach.
  • Not for Learning: Not recommended for learning.
  • Not for Kids: Not age-appropriate for kids; not recommended for learning.

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