Canva might just be the biggest disruption to education since Google threw their hat in the ring and toppled Microsoft’s tools.
I’ve used Canva for a long while, and I didn’t think for a moment it would have quite such an impact in the classroom but the progress made in the last 18 months, and the investment and time they put into their educational provision has been outstanding.
Canva is currently FREE to all educators, it is web based and incredibly user friendly. Primarily a graphic design tool, Canva also offers some very interesting tools and tricks that can have an impact in every classroom.
1. A Presentation Tool!
Canva has so many great templates to use to create an engaging set of slides for any teaching subject. But of course it is also totally customisable and there are so many easy to grab elements and photos to add in that you don’t need to go searching off trying to find the right picture on Google. Even if you do – it is easy to import into Canva, you can just copy and paste straight into the browser editor, or use the upload tool.
2. Graphic Organisers – Templates Galore
Higher order thinking in lessons is the future and Canva have you covered with some already great tools – just hit search on ‘Graphic Organizers’ and you’ll be given a wealth of great starting points to create the perfect activity. You can even share the templates with a link so that students can use Canva to type their answers
3. Worksheets – or App Smash with Wizer
In the last twelve months Canva has exploded with ready to use worksheets, though many are simplistic, it gives a great first step into creating fun looking worksheets. Combine this with either (as above) sharing it so that they can access it through Canva, or go one step further and App Smash with Wizer, where you can import templates directly from Canva when creating your interactive worksheets
4. Google Classroom Banners
A great way to start the year or term – Send a template to the students (or use the ready made templates on Canva already, just search Classroom Banner) and have them come up with creative banners for their Classroom page. If you can, change the banner each week with a new student’s effort – it gets them excited about clicking into their classroom each week to see the new design
5. Remove Backgrounds!
PLEASE don’t use pictures with white squares around the outside, and teach your students the same. This tool is the same technology as the wonderful remove.bg but this has the added creativity that you can resize or even add more great effects to the image and then you could export it as a transparent image to use wherever you need.
6. Comic Books or Infographics for Summative Assessments
Let students get creative when they show off their final learning. Give them a push to improve their presentation skills by using Canva instead of slides or docs. Whilst Book Creator is still a wonderful alternative to comic books and has a more options for adding content, Canva has some great simple comic book templates with some pre loaded elements such as characters and expressions. Also students could present key information from a novel or a science topic using an infograph. There are tons of templates that can help inspire the students.
7. Data Analysis in Maths or Science
Did you know you can create simple pie charts and bar charts in Canva? Great tool for using in maths lessons, or having students present data charts in interesting ways. EVEN BETTER – link a current google sheet from your drive to your infographic and it will take the information from it and create the perfect graphic in your presentations. There is not as much flexibility for more advanced graphs – but should be enough for students to use.
8. Students Collaboration real time
This is wonderful, create a template activity – perhaps a brainstorming for a story idea – and then create a few versions, enough for one per group. Then share the links to the various templates for each group and the students work on those particular versions. Just like Google Slides of course, but in Canva. So much fun, though you still have the ‘who deleted my work!’ dilemma.
9. Class Certificates or Announcements or Videos
Make your own class certificates with the greatest of ease and also make engaging announcement messages for school social media or Seesaw announcements. If you really want to be creative, try creating a class blog and using Canva for inspiration on the blog posts. Finally, Canva has an amazing ‘present and record’ feature, allowing you to create your slide presentation, then record yourself over the top and have a link when finished to send to the community. A great way to make simple webinars!
10. Create Multimedia content for Google sites and Flipgrid and Video amongst others!
So many ideas! How about using the creative graphic design features to make your existing tools stand out. Create logos and graphics that can be used on your google sites, your video editing tools or even on Flipgrid as a sticker. Remember to choose transparent when downloading your image and you can create fun overlays to your videos on WeVideo or whatever other video editing tools you might use.