This week I used Canva to create a little something for my independent learning project.
This semester I have chosen to read classic literature for my independent learning project. Why? I love to read. Literature makes me happy. I want to be smarter. (And classic literature makes you smarter! True story.)
It’s nice to get school credit for something I am going to do anyway. Now instead of feeling guilty for opening a classic in the middle of the semester, I can smile and think, “It’s homework. I am required to do this.”
About my creation
On the poster I included the subject of my project, my favorite quote by Italo Cavino from his work Why Read the Classics, and the list of books I have read during this semester. A couple of the books on the list I did not post about on the blog, and the last, The Grapes of Wrath, I have yet to read. I have high hopes of making it next week’s book. The information on the poster is what, why, and which books. It sums up my project.
I discovered Canva through reading the article Tech Review: Online Creation Tools Piktochart and Canva by Karen Jenson. She has some great posters that she has made using both sites in her article. In her article she writes about what she likes about both Piktochart and Canva, as well as what she does not like. She also includes tutorials on how to use each site. Jenson stated that Canva is a little more user friendly, so I chose to use that site for this week’s assignment.
Canva is a simple program that yield good results. If one is familiar with any Microsoft programs, Canva is intuitive. One begins with choosing what type of product they want (business card, poster, collage, etc.). Next, a sidebar appears on the left side of the screen and walks the user through choosing a template, text style, images, and backgrounds. Colors and transparency can be altered for any image on the product. The site also auto-saves after every change, so there is no chance of losing work if the computer shuts down or the internet connection is lost. I need to mention that some things on Canva cost money. However, there is a lot that is free and one can upload their own images and use those for free.
I really liked this program. I think that Canva will simplify making digital designs. I have used Photoshop in the past and I am becoming familiar with Gimp, but the platform I utilize most often is Microsoft Publisher. Many times I find myself switching between Gimp and Publisher to make an artifact for a class, DS106, or for fun. However, there are things that are difficult or time consuming to do using two programs at the same time. This is where a site like Canva will be a great tool.
In the classroom
I think that Canva, or a program like it, will be a fun way for students to create a product that demonstrates what they have learned or what they can do. Students can use this as partners or individually. The only limitation there would be with this program is the imagination of the kids who are using it.
I think that I may use it to “pretty-up” classroom communications to parents or on the class website. I could also use it to make signs, a teacher’s notebook, labels… Really, the possibilities are endless for a perfectionist!