By now, it is well established that visual learning is key to effective teaching. Teaching styles will differ from teacher to teacher but a picture will always convey a thousand words to any student in any grade.
Don’t believe me? That’s backed by research.
Studies on the subject have indicated that it is three times easier to follow visual instructions when compared to written instructions. A separate study found that people can remember up to 2000 images with an accuracy of 90%.
This makes Canva a crucial tool for any teacher’s arsenal. Teachers are able to convey lessons in a visual mode while students can illustrate concepts in a clear and intuitive manner.
If you aren’t familiar with Canva, here’s your complete beginner’s guide.
Canva is a powerful tool for designing visuals, be it an infographic, poster or graph. It features numerous templates and an exhaustingly long library of photos, vectors, icons, and stock images.
They are available in a range of designs too; presentation graphics, letterheads, flyers, banners, certificates, or resumes. Anything you can name; you’ll find it here.
But don’t plenty of other tools already offer these features?
While you are right, you are generally required to have a certain level of understanding of most tools (Photoshop etc.) to properly utilize the features it has to offer.
Canva is designed for those who aren’t as tech savvy – it takes the guesswork out of the process, allowing you to design a beautiful engaging image minus the sweat and long hours.
Canva Pro is a premium paid subscription that offers several more features such as unlimited cloud storage for photos and other visuals. It gives you exclusive access to over 60 million images, 1000+ fonts (or upload your own), premium animations, and unlimited folders.
The good news is that if you’re an educator like me, you can get it for FREE!
Thankfully, Canva offers Canva Pro along with a few add-ons free to all teachers and students. Submit proof of your teaching certificates and employment at a school to quality for Canva for Education. Here is everything you need to know.
Classroom Activities You Can Do with Canva
The most popular feature of Canva is definitely the ready to use Presentation Templates. There is specific templates for Education niche, where you can easily build attractive presentations using pre-defined layouts and graphics.
Do you or your students utilize graphs and charts to either showcase or analyse information? Canva can make life easier. They have a range of appealing graph templates that look good while providing information in a readable visual format. It takes half the hassle out of making a chart.
Posters are great for decorating the classroom. At the same time, it can help reinforce what you are teaching. While you can find educational posters, they generally fall short of your vision. With Canva, you can develop personalized posters that you can print and put up on the wall.
Do you regularly send out newsletters to parents, students or the faculty? Canva has several templates suited for all situations ensuring you create striking newsletters. If you have not used newsletters, now this is a good time to begin! They make communication with parents much easier – for instance, you can use newsletters to update parents on the upcoming events.
For projects that include the creation of a magazine or portfolio, Canva’s magazine templates an option to consider. Once completed, these magazines can either be posted online or printed out for grading.
As a fun side project, you can create a magazine at the end of the year by compiling all the year’s events for that class.
Photo collages have several uses in a classroom – presentation, blogs, and similar projects are a few examples. Again, Canva has an array of templates that allow you to create a photo collage that actually stands out and makes an impact. A highlight of the templates is that they work in a drag-and-drop system so it is easy to arrange and organize information visually.
Teachers aren’t the only ones who can benefit – students too can use Canva for their own projects like making a book cover or making a featured image for a blog or their portfolio. These templates also help teachers and students alike understand how to effectively position objects to utilize free space and display key information so that it is visible at a glance.
Infographics are a key component in any piece of content today, both in print and online.
Well, because they can easily showcase information in an appealing manner, quickly breaking down key concepts and difficult ideas into an easily understandable format. Moreover, with attention spans reducing day by day (thanks internet!), infographics are great for situations where you know the crowd will not read through another block of text. I sometimes use infographics to assess my students’ understanding of a key chapter and its concepts. Canva’s user-friendly templates make it easy for me to do. I hope to successfully implement infographics in to all my classes from this year onwards.
There aren’t many better ways to compare and contrast information than with a Venn diagram. With Canva’s diagram templates, your students can neatly and easily sort and store details. I am a huge fan of this feature because hand drawn Venn diagrams by my students can sometimes look illegible and difficult to use for the purpose of analysis. That in turn makes it difficult to grade the diagram too. With Canva, I make the process simple and straightforward.
An award and a certificate for an achievement can go a long way in boosting the confidence of a student and push them to reach higher – this is especially important if they are younger. They can be tedious to design though… unless you use Canva that is. If you have frequent competitions in class or your student has won a team tournament, a well-designed certificate from Canva can show them that you recognize their growth and efforts.