Thursday, July 30, 2015

Five Great Reasons to Use Canva in the Classroom






What is Canva you ask?


In the companies own words “An amazingly simple graphic design tool."

Five Great Reasons to Use Canva in the Classroom


Easy to Use

Canva is very easy to use. Students simply sign up with their Google account. If no Google account - an email address and a password is all that is required. Once the account is set up - it is smooth sailing from there.

Think-Pic-Share

I like to think of the things I ask students to do on Canva as a "Think - Pic - Share."

Think - First, ask students to think about what they learned and find a way to summarize it. Being succinct and articulate is a very important 21st century skill and NOT one students do very well on their own. Teaching the art of concise writing -  that is still able to catch the readers attention is not easy to do.  Learning how to do this is extremely valuable in today's 140 character world.

Pic - Next, find a picture (at this point teach about creative commons) that is a good graphical summarization of what was learned. This is also a skill students don’t do well on their own. They want to choose crazy pictures that are not pleasing to the eye, or pictures that are not simple enough for a textual overlay.

I call this being a good “stealographer.” Basically students are stealing other pictures and they need to learn how to do it appropriately. Just like a good photographer learns to take good shots with different angles...students need to become good at choosing a picture that accurately reflects their learning. In 2015, these are VERY important skills to develop in our learners.

Share - In my opinion, this is the most important step. Gone are the days where students turn in work that it is only seen by the teacher, graded and then returned. When students share their creations on something like a Padlet or Tackk (one they all have access to) the extended learning begins to take place. Once they are done and have shared their work...they look to see what others have turned in.  Students will compare their designs with the other students and  begin thinking about their thinking - or better yet thinking about their learning. It is a step we can not devalue - because it helps with metacognition and deeper understanding.



Quick Reflection

Canva can be used as a quick reflection tool. What about a six word summary about what was just learned. I use it to teach thinking strategies like this one...an idea I garnered fromMaking Thinking Visible by Ron Ritchhart,
Screen Shot 2015-04-30 at 3.20.29 PM

The Great Hook

Get kids excited about an upcoming unit - I like to use Canva to send out some kind of clue or hook using the Remind app. Sending out secret messages really helps to get the excitement going before a unit even begins.

Collaborative Designing

Students can share a Canva with another student - and together they can work to make it better. It might be smart to make each Canva go through one other "student editors" or "Co-creators" eyes before being published.

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