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Bottom Line

With stable internet access and enough time to get started, this is a flexible, accessible way to create beautiful designs in your classroom.

How Can I Teach with This Tool?

For your students, use Canva as your go-to creation tool for class projects. Consider having students use the poster and presentation templates to create their own attractive, original art to enhance their in-class presentations. For your own purposes, use these design tools to bring extra verve and pizzazz to your course documents, class website, or social media presence. There are great graph templates built in, too, which could be solid tools to help math and science classes display data; plus, students could use chart templates like the Venn diagram tool to help illustrate what they’ve learned in class. Check out Canva’s Design School for more inspiration.

What Is It?

Canva is a graphic design tool for the web, Android, iOS, and Chrome. Users create an account (with an email address or by linking their Google or Facebook account) and then follow a tutorial that shows them how to get started and how to use the tool’s many features. Users can upload their own images and create their own layouts or choose from a selection of thousands of built-in images and design templates (some of which are available for in-app purchase). Features abound: You can adjust brightness and contrast, resize images, overlay images with text and colors, and more. Once users have finished creating, their designs are automatically saved to the cloud and are accessible from the user’s homepage in the app or on the website. Users can then export their creations via email, as Facebook posts, or via Twitter, and they can download their images in JPEG, PNG, or PDF format. You’ll need a stable internet connection to use Canva successfully.

Is It Good for Learning?

The opening tutorial, which claims it’ll teach you design in 23 seconds, is a winning intro to Canva. While tutorials are often skippable, make sure to see this one through: There are tons of details to know to use this tool, and it’s easy to get overwhelmed with the number of features and all of their possibilities. It’s also important for students to understand how saving works and the difference between “layouts” and “designs.” Without this valuable information, it can be easy to get going on a design only to lose that work. However, once this info sticks, Canva’s structure can be handy, allowing students and teachers to create designs they can reuse and revise.
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