Technology is ever-changing. As the tech world continues to upgrade and develop new products, Edge is the school photography industry leader for innovative products and services. Edge created a first of its kind product – the eID, a digital student card.
Edge’s eID cards are a digital alternative to the traditional, plastic student ID cards we’re all familiar with. They’re yet another way that Edge upholds our eco-promise to reduce our carbon footprint and respect our environment. It’s safe to say eIDs are right up our alley. Besides, plastic is SO last year.
Using an eID card is simple, a third-party app is not required! The eID is added directly to your smartphone wallet, so it’s right at your fingertips any time you need it.
Your personal information is secure, too!
Edge is committed to securing personal data and protecting the privacy of all our customers by ensuring all data is fully encrypted and stored on Edge-managed systems, minimizing the risk of vulnerability or cyber-attacks.
How does it work?
It’s quick and easy as 1-2-3!
Using your smartphone, simply click the link emailed to you, or visit your school’s download website and sign in with your student email address.
Add your eID card to your smartphone wallet by selecting either the Apple or Android wallet.
Begin using your eID card!
What’s not to like about the digital eID card that lives on your smartphone, and won’t get stuck to a piece of gum at the bottom of your backpack?
It’s no secret that we’ve been indoors for quite some time now, and this summer is still looking a bit different for so many of us. It will be different for Edge, too. Unlike ever before, we will be shooting graduation photos throughout the summer; Edge has already gotten the ball rolling with outdoor photos.
Beyond getting your photo taken, there are countless activities we can do outside while staying safe. So take a break and head outside with these 5 things you can safely do outdoors!
Bring the Indoors Out
Love watching movies? Set up a projector or large monitor in your backyard for an outdoor movie night. Grab a big bowl of popcorn and spend the evening under the moonlight watching (or re-watching) your favourite films.
Picnic in the Park
Picnics are easy, fun, and can be relaxing. Find a grassy spot, or stay in the shade if you plan on staying a while. Bring a picnic blanket, some snacks, even a mini speaker to enjoy some tunes as the kids play or work on their PPE Fun Book!
Meeting a friend or two? Make sure everyone brings their own blanket, snacks, sanitizer and sunblock.
As of late, it seems there have been more birds chirping and singing than ever before. Sometimes as early as 4am! Explore your local area and see how many birds you can find. How many new birds can you spot and what new sounds can you hear? If you have a pair of binoculars, even better!
Grow an Edible Garden
There are few things more rewarding than planting and watching your very own vegetables and herbs grow from tiny little seeds. This requires a little bit of research to ensure your garden has enough sunlight, healthy soil, and water, but the result is rewarding. The best part? Eating them, of course!
Community Clean Up
Organize a community clean up! Please be sure to follow your provincial government’s safety guidelines, first. If permitted, round up a small group of neighbours and community members to help clean up your neighbourhood. Members can easily stay socially distanced and safe by wearing gloves, masks, and using trash grabbers.
If you want to take it easy, simply go for a walk and continue supporting the local businesses in your area. Grab that iced latte from the coffee shop around the corner, and pick up some fresh flowers from your local florist. It still is and always will be a great time to support local Canadian businesses, like Edge.
Throughout the last year, Edge Imaging has been focusing on creativity and innovation more than ever before. Edge is excited to launch a new product – the Pandemic Personal Expression (PPE) Fun Book!
The PPE Fun Book is an 80-page activity notebook for kids that is sure to keep them engaged and busy with activities, writing prompts and colouring, all related to the new realities and silver linings of this past year. Edge believes in empowering youth and strengthening our communities and will be donating 10% of profits to the Tim Hortons® Foundation Camps to help send kids to camp.
“We know this year has been challenging and hope our PPE Fun Book will provide an opportunity for children to reflect and share their experience over this last year in a positive way,” shares Edge Imaging’s VP Marketing and Product and Chief Privacy Officer, Jordan Moore. Edge’s PPE Fun Book was developed with one of Edge Imaging’s Corporate Social Responsibility Pillars, Empowering Children, in mind. “We have been a long-standing supporter of Tim Hortons® Foundation Camps and we’re very proud to have 10% of proceeds going back to the Foundation to help send kids to camp,” adds Moore.
We are thrilled to share that you do not need to be photographed by Edge to order the PPE Fun Book. It is available to every Canadian student!
Limited quantities of Edge’s PPE COVID-19 Time Capsule Fun Book have been produced and are available for $15 (personalized with first name) or $12 (without name) and include shipping within Canada. They can be purchased at www.edgeimaging.ca/PPEfunbook.
As a school administrator, an important part of your job includes sourcing external vendors to help keep the school running smoothly. It’s easy to understand the appeal of the lowest-cost option or continue working with the same vendor the person who had your job before you signed ten years ago.
In our experience, many schools searching for vendors are looking for true school partners. Any company can be a vendor, exchanging services or goods for money, but creating a partnership involves much more than a business transaction.
What is a school partner?
A school partner works with your school, not just for your school. When you work with a school partner, you’re both working together toward a common goal.
Ideally, your relationships with your school partners are mutually beneficial. Rather than simply providing your school with products or services in exchange for money, are they giving back in any way? Perhaps this comes in the form of help with a school fundraiser or resources to help you maintain a positive school environment.
When looking for a true partner, it’s important to find a company that holds similar values to those of your school. For example, if your school cares deeply about the environment, find out how your potential school partner is supporting the same cause. Are they using green materials and processes? Are they empowering youth to become environmental changemakers?
Beyond having similar charitable causes, a true school partner shares the same concerns as your school staff. They work with you to keep your students safe, because what’s important to you is important to them, too.
A vendor that fits these guidelines may indeed be the company your predecessor signed or the option that allows you to save the most money. However, this isn’t always the case. Every once in a while, it’s important to reevaluate your school’s needs and whether your current partner or vendor is still meeting these needs.
Your go-to school partner
At Edge Imaging, we’ve been in the school photography business for 15 years, so we know all about being a good school partner.
We want to benefit your school. As long as it’s permitted by your board, every photo day with Edge is, effectively, a school fundraiser. Every time a parent purchases their child’s photos, a percentage of that transaction goes back to you, allowing you to continue educating the next generation.
We prioritize giving back to our communities. Empowering youth and being environmentally conscious are important to us, and this is reflected in our own corporate partnerships. We’ve partnered with Tim Horton Foundation Camps to send kids from low-income backgrounds to camp to improve their leadership skills and with TELUS Wise to educate and encourage youth to be their best digital citizen and stay safe online. We also support EcoSchools Canada and have been inducted into the Burlington Hydro Hall of Fame.
We keep your students safe. After photo day, we provide each school with a number of practical products meant to keep students safe: pictorial directories so school staff have a photo identifier of each student, easy allergy and bus lists for admin, and more. We also provide parents with Child Safe cards free of charge.
In addition, we make data security a priority and invest in cyber-resiliency on an ongoing basis. We realize that, as a school photography provider, we’ve been entrusted with housing images and personal data of millions of students nationwide, and this isn’t a responsibility we take lightly. Learn more about the importance of planning for and mitigating cyber risk with your school vendors in our white paper, found here.
To top it all off, we’re 100% Canadian owned and operated.
Your annual family trip has been cancelled, and you’re wondering if the neighbourhood barbecue will happen. It’s normal to feel disappointed that the plans you were so excited about won’t be happening this summer, but it’s important to try and make the most of a less-than-ideal situation.
Even though we aren’t able to hop on a plane, drive across any borders, or take any other kind of vacation that requires travel or being in typically crowded areas this summer, it’s still hugely beneficial to take time off work and hang out with the family. Even if you’re already working from home, taking a few days away from your laptop will help clear your head and allow you some quality time to bond with your family, among other benefits.
Here are some of our favourite ideas for having a rocking family staycation:
Plan Fun Family Activities at Home
It’s likely you’ve already been planning at-home activities for your kids on a regular basis, but how often have you had the time to participate?
Buy some bubbles from the dollar store, break out the sprinkler, plan a scavenger hunt, or start the competition with cardboard box race cars. With a little bit of creativity, the options are endless, and, by the end of the day, you’ll likely be feeling like a kid again yourself.
Okay, it’s not exactly the same as the overseas trip you initially had planned, but there are a ton of ways you can get your travel fix without ever leaving your couch.
One option is to schedule regular family movie or TV nights with the family. There are plenty of awe-inspiring, travel-themed movies and TV series available on every streaming platform – check out this travel blogger’s huge list of suggestions!
Google Arts & Culture is another platform that can help to ease your family’s wanderlust. Tour world monuments like the Taj Mahal, Macchu Pichu, the Colosseum, and more together from your computer. You can also check out world-class virtual museums like the Museum of Modern Art in NYC, the Van Gough Museum in Amsterdam, and the Uffizi Gallery in Florence. Other websites – tourism boards, zoos, and aquariums – are also offering virtual tours. Find more details and ideas here.
Explore Your Local Area
If you and your family are low-risk, you’re following your local government’s safety guidelines, and you feel comfortable, why not venture out a bit further from home for a day? Visit a nearby conservation area for a hike, head to the beach, or spend the weekend camping.
While it may feel a bit strange heading out to do something in public for the first time in a few months, experts say that these activities pose a relatively low risk.
Keep in mind, spending a significant amount of time outside your home does come with risk – so take extra care to make sure you’re able to stay six feet or more from those outside your immediate household. Check your province’s ministry of health guidelines before heading out to make sure you’re informed on PPE requirements.
Your high school grad picture is one of the most important photos you’ll ever take. You’re expecting it to be one of your most-liked Instagram posts of the year, and you know Mom and Dad will have it hanging up in the living room until they can eventually replace it with your college or university grad photo, wedding picture, or whatever milestone you reach next. Not to mention the fact that it’ll be hanging in the halls of your school for, like, ever.
As government restrictions around physical distancing are starting to relax across the country, we’re just as excited as you are to re-start grad photography sessions. That said, it can feel like there’s a lot riding on grad photo day; take the pressure off by getting prepared to take some awesome pics. We know it’s a big deal, so we’ve put together a list of our top three tips for slaying your photo session – even during a pandemic.
This may not have been the tip you expected at the top of this list, but staying on top of all the details is more important than you might realize. During more normal times, we’d advise this, too, but especially during a pandemic, when government advice and health regulations are constantly changing, it’s crucial to have all the information.
Book your photo session in advance to make sure you get the time slot that works best for you. Pay attention to any emails from your school or the photography provider. They’ll remind you about your photo appointment, explain the safety protocols, and let you know if any details have changed.
On picture day, show up for your appointment 10-15 minutes early for any last-minute touch-ups and to catch your breath before heading to the camera.
Why is staying informed so important for having an absolutely amazing photo shoot?
It’s simple – if you know what’s happening, you have nothing to stress over. You’ll be calm and confident as soon as you’re in front of the camera. Your photographer will appreciate your preparedness, too!
Don’t Be Overly Trendy
Don’t get us wrong, it’s important to feel good about the way you look on grad picture day, but you might want to consider staying with a relatively classic look. Not every trend lives forever.
If you don’t believe us, just look at any school picture from the 80s. Though the hair and makeup styles were very on-trend for the time, this era has become one of the world’s favourites to make fun of.
Make sure your look stands the test of time and keep it simple.
Know What to Wear
Normally, choosing an outfit isn’t too difficult for grad picture day, thanks to the gown, but “what should I wear?” is one of the most common questions we receive from graduating students.
A white, collared shirt nicely compliments the dark-coloured graduation gown. If you’d like, you can also wear a tie – dark, solid colours work best. This is our favourite look and the one we recommend the most. If you prefer a less traditional look, feel free to wear a tank top-style shirt; this won’t be visible under the V-neck of the gown.
We are offering single-use gowns to students during our studio photo shoots (meaning you won’t be sharing the gown with other students), but you can choose to forego the gown if you’d be more comfortable without it. If you decide to take your photos without the gown, we still recommend wearing a white, collared shirt, or something equally sharp. Patterns aren’t your friend for this photo – stick to a clean, simple look.
Still feeling nervous about grad pictures? Check out our “What to Expect” video!
While you’re doing your part and practicing social distancing, you’re going to be spending a lot more time inside at home. It’s easy to get into a slump and lose motivation to do much of anything.
The key to staying sane while self-isolating is staying productive. This doesn’t mean you have to have a plan for every minute of every day. But even checking off just one to-do each day might help you feel accomplished and set you up for success once we’re all let back out of captivity! Here are a few tasks you can keep yourself busy with over the next couple of weeks:
Get Your Taxes Done Early
Try to find the silver lining here: We’re being encouraged to stay home just as the tax deadline is approaching.
Okay, there are better things to get excited about right now – decreased air pollution, companies offering freebies, and everyday people doing good things to help those who need it – but you’ll have to get your taxes done anyway. Think of this as your opportunity to get ahead of one of your chores.
Do Your Workouts
One amazing way to reduce stress and anxiety (two emotions which are likely high right now) is to get moving. You don’t need gym access or hours of time to dedicate to a workout, either.
Plenty of free, at-home, bodyweight workout videos are available online. Choose from activities like HIIT cardio, yoga, Pilates, bodyweight strength training, Zumba, and more – whatever is most likely to get you exercising.
If you’re working from home, find a shorter video to keep you active during your lunch break. Just ten to fifteen minutes is all you need to begin to feel the benefits!
The state of your home can actually impact your mental health. Decluttering your space helps to declutter your mind and is another way to bring stress levels down. Not to mention it may be a bit of a workout in itself!
Organize Photo Albums
Spend some time reminiscing on vacations, family gatherings, and pictures of the kids when they were little. Print out your favourite photos and put them in an album. No printer? No problem – some great apps like Chatbooks exist to help families document their memories. Simply upload and organize your photos, and they will print and ship a memory book to you.
Parents and students across the country are dealing with school closures and government advice to stay home as much as possible. Just because schools are closed doesn’t mean the learning needs to stop – trust us, the kids will get bored pretty quickly if it does!
Luckily, formal classes aren’t the only place to learn new things, and the alternatives don’t have to be expensive. Check out these free or low-cost ideas for new ways to keep the kids learning while you handle your tenth video conference of the day:
Check Your Library’s Online Resources
Your local library may be closed for the time being, but many are providing their communities with access to just as much information online as you could in person! With a library card and a free online account, you’ll likely have access to tons of ebooks, audiobooks, online newspapers, and book clubs.
Some libraries may even be able to provide free courses for teens and adults through websites like Lynda.com. Check the resources section of your library’s website to get reading and learning!
Learn A New Language
Having the ability to speak multiple languages helps improve decision-making skills, keeps the mind sharp (even into old age), and will eventually provide your child with additional job and career opportunities.
In today’s digital age, it’s easier than ever to learn a language from home. Check the app store on your smartphone or tablet for language learning apps. Whether your kids prefer learning a language to be a game or a more serious, classroom-style experience, you’ll find options for them to learn a variety of languages from the comfort of your living room, completely free or for a small fee.
Trying to limit screen time? Start small…together with the kids, write out some flashcards of everyday objects and place them accordingly throughout the house.
Find Out Your Family History
Ever wonder what your grandparents’ grandparents were like? How and when exactly your ancestors arrived in Canada? Whether you have any heritage from a country you didn’t expect?
Now that you have a bit more free time, gather the family together to learn more about where you came from. Sign up for a free trial at Ancestry (check to see if your library offers free Ancestry accounts, first!) and get searching.
Turn it into a fun project for the kids by having them build out a family tree or write up a biography on a specific ancestor. Take the opportunity to help them learn more about your family’s countries of origin, too, whether that means learning a bit of the language or having a fun family night in the kitchen cooking up a local dish.
Spending a couple of weeks at home might sound like a relief from busy everyday life and, for some people, the idea can sound downright exciting! But when you factor in that the “retreat” from society wasn’t a planned vacation you had time to prepare for, you can’t spend the time visiting friends and extended family or travelling somewhere sunny, and that all the places your kids love to visit are closed, a couple of weeks starts to look a lot longer.
So, how do you avoid 2+ weeks of the kiddos
watching streaming services from morning ‘til night? Try scheduling a couple of
evenings each week for a fun family activity.
Here are a few of our favourite ideas for when
you need to turn off the TV or video games and get the fam together for a bit
of quality time.
Do a quick online search for kid-friendly
recipes and get cooking! Classic kid favourites like spaghetti and
meatballs are simple enough to keep those little hands busy.
Don’t be afraid to get a bit more adventurous
with your recipes, either. Even if your kids are picky and claim not to like
the meal you want to make, remember they’re more likely to try eating something
they had a hand in making themselves.
If your kids are younger, game night is a great way to teach them how to be good sports. It can also teach them important life skills like patience, how to take directions, and how to take turns. Many board games also give kids the opportunity to learn how to strategize and learn from their own mistakes.
Organize Family Memories
Remember that family trip to Florida when the
kids were little? They might not. Gather everyone together to go through some older
photos on your phones, on your Dropbox account or housed on your social media
Once you’ve had your fill of reminiscing, choose your favourite pictures and print them at home for a fun arts and crafts project: building scrapbook pages together! Have every family member take charge of a specific page – for example, one person can design a page for a specific family vacation, one for events with the extended family, and one for documenting how the kids have grown year over year (we think school portraits are the perfect way to show this off). Personalize your pages by decorating with stickers and coloured construction paper cut-outs.
If you don’t have a printer at home, why not
build your scrapbook digitally? Upload your favourite photo memories to a
service like Chatbooks, where you can organize your photos and add
captions and designs to the pages.
Missing any schoolyear memories? It’s never too late to order your digital or printed photos with Edge! Visit our online ordering site to get started today.
March Break is coming up quickly. For kids, this is super exciting: it means a whole week with no school! For parents who stay home during March break, getting some extra family time with the kids is fun, but there’s also the daunting task of keeping them entertained for a whole week…and stay on budget!
With a bit of planning, though, it’s easy to find enough free or cheap activities to keep the kiddos busy every day without ever having to hear the dreaded phrase “I’m bored”. We spoke to some industry experts to pull together a fun list of unique ideas for your kiddos to try during March Break:
Get Them Outside
Go for walks in the snow or try snowshoeing: Let the kids get burn off some energy by being outside! Going for a family walk will help your kids’ physical development and emotional well-being, as well as give you an opportunity to talk and connect with them. For something a bit different, try snowshoeing.
Hold a snowman-making contest: Invite over a couple of the kids’ friends and let them get to work building snowmen. Decide on a theme and give extra points for props and size. It’s a great way to combine physical activity with creativity.
Keep Them Creative
Encourage writing: The more students write, the more they develop their creativity. Writing also helps kids develop self-expression, self-confidence, and communication skills. Check out our personalized notebooks; they come with plenty of blank pages, writing prompts, and spaces for doodling and colouring.
Have them produce & perform a play: Parenting coach Elisabeth Stitt suggests gathering siblings and friends to write, produce, and act out a play to whatever audience they can gather. “With younger kids (3-6), they might just act out a story they know. With kids 9-13ish, they could take multiple days to write a sophisticated script and to paint/construct scenes and props,” she says.
Board games: Bad weather might mean playing outside isn’t an option on a particular day, but the kids can still have fun inside without gluing themselves to a screen. “Board games have come a long way from Candy Land and Monopoly. There are some big-budget, highly produced games that can rival video games in terms of aesthetics,” suggests Bryan Truong of GameCows. “One of the newest trends in the board game world are Legacy games. The games themselves evolve and change after every playthrough. That means that every box will be a completely unique experience, and actions performed in the previous rounds will affect future playthroughs.”
Puzzles: Good old-fashioned puzzles are a fun way to keep kiddos occupied at home during bad weather. The best part is that they come in different levels of difficulty to challenge and assist with the development of kids at any age.
STEM toys: “While STEM toys are a little newer to the toy scene, they are a great way to keep the learning going in a fun and engaging way,” Angela Poch of Fun.com tells us. “STEM sets can involve kids in a variety of activities, from chemistry and science to math and coding.”
Get Them Trying New Things
Start a business: Is one of your kids a real go-getter? Leah Remillét, founder of The CEO Kid, has created a fun way to help older kids stay entertained and earning money of their own by starting their own business! She says, “Inside the CEO Kid box they’ll have everything they need to start thinking like a CEO including access to an online portal that will help them take their idea and turn it into an OPEN sign. They could be earning money plowing sidewalks by the end of the week!”