3. Please add your contributions to discussions here.
For a summary S.E.C.T.I.O.N.S analysis of Canva please click here.
Canva is a multimedia design platform that allows users to communicate messages and tell stories in a variety of ways (Morris, K, 2019). Creating presentations, posters and other visual content are all available on the web and mobile app. Whilst it does rely on the use of the internet, it also allows you to zoom into your design which makes it more accessible to users with visual impairments. The teacher’s role has shifted from one of distributor of information to conductor of the classroom orchestra (McCusker, S. 2014). Canva creates contexts for authentic learning that is integrated and meaningful to help enhance the production of knowledge. Educators can use Canva to present materials to students in a visual manner and students can use it to ‘articulate’ new concepts in a clear and intuitive way (Briggs, S, n.d). Since December 2019 Canva has offered a free Canva for Education subscription; you just need to apply online with a school email address registered account to unlock even more free content.
Canva is a straightforward and easy to use tool that integrates millions of images, fonts, templates, and illustrations to create professional-looking designs. Students and teachers simply sign up for free using their school email address to become ‘design thinkers’ skilled at imagining and creating solutions to problems rather than identifying existing ones (Briggs, S, n.d). The use of 50,000 free, standard layouts and the ability to create custom-sized ones makes Canva easy to use (bepsokeclassroom.com). The drag and drop function makes it a low physical effort to use (Connell et al, 1997). Some of the templates and graphics cost money however there are still a plethora of free options that create dynamic and personalized visuals. You can upload your own photos, graphics and text and Canva automatically saves your creations. You also have the option to edit the text size and colour which makes it more accessible to users with differing needs. Once completed, users can simply download their graphic or embed/share using the link.
The innovation adoption lifecycle states that 50% of teachers will be classed as ‘late majority’ or ‘laggards’ therefore differentiating the instructional coaching and feedback provided to staff whilst learning this new app will support a changed mindset and willingness to try new things (Pepe, C. 2015). A great way to build these skills is to explore the six workshops in Canva’s Design School and Teaching Materials. Each workshop teaches you how to use the features of the tool as well as how to think through your own design skills.
Canva makes it easy for teachers to collaborate with others. When educators are allowed to create and collaborate, curriculum and instruction truly begins to transform (Johnson, L, 2014). On the teaching materials page there are lesson plans written by other educators, each of which includes learning objectives, instructions, suggested learning flow and extension activities. As well as individual use, the needs of different types of users are also considered with Team settings in Canva as collaboration can happen in person, virtually or a combination of both (Briggs, S. n.d). Within a Team (class), students can be put into groups. Group size is limited to a maximum of 10, with 2 folders per group, and students can draft, revise, peer review and edit collaboratively. The terms of Canva state that they allow for interactions between users on publicly shared designs (Kievlan, P. M. n.d.) However, group collaboration removes the need to share publicly (outside of class members) and the default visibility setting for user’s designs is private. Users must be 13 years or older to use the service unless they are directly supervised by a parent, guardian or teacher, therefore, it is not suitable to set to support an unsupervised extension or homework task for younger students.
The benefits of using Canva are plentiful. Canva:
- Promotes an empowered learner, digital citizen, knowledge constructor, innovative designer, computational thinker, creative communicator and global collaborator (ISTE standards for children, n.d)
- allows students to delve deep into discovering and nurturing their passion and gaining critical experience. Digital tools break the barriers to global communication and create opportunities for educators to design learning experiences both inside and outside of the classroom (Holland, B., and Quidwai, S, 2015).
- gives students the opportunity to engage in higher-level thinking by creating their own content. The more students are engaged in learning the fewer disciplinary issues you may face (Pepe, C, 2015).
- encourages the art of creation so that students feel more involved in theIr own education (Briggs, S, n.d)
- promotes self-reliance- one of the most important skills to develop, given the constant nature of change due to the rapid influx of technologies(Holland, B., and Quidwai, S, 2015).
- provides time for students to sit with problems, work out their own solutions and to uncover their own capabilities
- allows teachers to challenge their students to seek out their own meaning and create context
Briggs, S. (n.d.). Retrieved from https://www.canva.com/learn/10-ways-to-take-your-lessons-to-the-next-level-with-canva/
Holland, B., & Quidwai, S. (2015, June 8). Retrieved from https://edtechteacher.org/create-a-culture-of-innovation-beth-holland-sabba-quidwai/
ISTE Standards for Students. (n.d.). Retrieved March 3, 2020, from https://www.iste.org/standards/for-students
Johnson, L. (2014, July 28). Retrieved from https://edtechteacher.org/these-real-world-professional-development-setups-actually-work-from-lisa-johnson/
Kievlan, P. M. (n.d.). Canva Review for Teachers. Retrieved March 2, 2020, from https://www.commonsense.org/education/app/canva
McCusker, S. (2014, April 7). Retrieved from https://www.kqed.org/mindshift/34799/teachers-most-powerful-role-adding-context
Morris, K. (2019, December 7). Retrieved from https://www.theedublogger.com/canva/
Pepe, C. (2015, May 12). Retrieved from https://edtechteacher.org/tech-tools-administrator-courtney-pepe/
(n.d.). Retrieved from https://www.bespokeclassroom.com/blog/2017/7/29/op660qadw8b5uzt4tq28ws3ryljfik