Last year, I was introduced to Canva by Tom Mullaney and, ever since then, I have been addicted to this simple, graphic design software. Canva is a simple and easy-to-use graphic design software that consists of thousands of free templates for infographics, social media posts, flyers, and more. The quality of Canva’s products is amazing – it’s crisp, clear, and colorful. Canva has become my “go-to” for many of the graphics that I use in my blog posts. Even though I could design it myself in Photoshop or Illustrator, Canva contains thousands of templates that allow me to quickly and easily design featured images and promotional material for my website.
As always, the second I find something that I love using, I start asking myself the question: How can I use this in my classroom? Students can use Canva to create a variety of visuals, such as:
With Canva, students can easily create high-quality visuals and focus on the content. I think we can all remember a time in our classroom where students were more worried about how something looked, rather than the content and knowledge behind it. Canva allows students to select templates, easily edit and add images/text, which will allow them to focus on showing what they know.
When my students have created visuals in my classroom, I have alway given them the option to choose the application/software that works best for them. It usually comes down to Canva and Google Drawings – both of which I love! Although my students love the templates on Canva, they often choose Google Drawings due to the ability to share and simultaneously edit. This a huge advantage of Google Drawings over Canva. Canva allows the designs to be shared but the ability to edit simultaneously is limited to two users and does not always seem to be a live edit. Therefore, my students often chose Google Drawings for creating their designs but use Canva as an “idea” factory. They would build their designs in Drawings but take ideas from Canva for building their work.
So, I started thinking…Why not combine Canva and Google Drawings to get the best of both worlds? It’s simple! The design could be created in Canva and transferred to Google Drawings. Through this process, the students would be able to use the templates from Canva but incorporate the features from Google Drawings that makes the technology more purposeful in the classroom, such as the ability to edit simultaneously and comment on the work of other students.
In the video below, I will walk you through how to combine Canva and Google Drawings into the ultimate graphic design experience:
My ultimate goal when “app-smashing” Canva and Google Drawings is to create a purposeful technology experience for students. Does Canva make pretty designs? Yes. Is Google Drawings fun to use? Yes. But…how does it help students learn and grow? By combining these apps, I believe there are three important things that occur:
- Students are easily able to make high-quality designs through Canva which helps eliminate wasted time on the graphic design process. The graphics are pretty but I really want to see their knowledge of the concept displayed.
- Students are able to upload the design to Google Drawings and share with other students. It’s all about collaboration, right? Students learn and grow when they have conversations.
- Students are able to view and comment on each other’s work. Again, collaboration is key. Students can leave positive feedback, constructive criticism, and questions that ask for further explanation of the concept.
Although I will not get to try out this in my classroom for several months, I am very excited about the possibilities of combining Canva and Google Drawings to support student learning. I’ll have to do a follow-up post to share the experience!
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