George Lee's inspiring story about classroom collaboration at Balboa High
In his 26 years of teaching, George Lee never expected to be working from home, but everything changed when the COVID-19 pandemic started.
"I didn't expect to do my teaching online. For my emotional state, it was almost like a little crisis. However, there is a Chinese saying where crisis is a combination of danger and opportunity. I was looking for the opportunity that came from this experience." - George Lee, CAST Academy Coordinator, Balboa High School.
George is an expert in using creative technology to deliver innovative, student-led, project-based learning. His school is a comprehensive public school that represents diversity in numerous forms—socio-economically, ethnically, and linguistically. For George, it is prime to create a cohesive classroom unit so that nobody feels like they are getting left behind & collaboration is the key.
Using Canva, George set up his online classroom and designed all of his assignments and lessons within the platform. With Covid restrictions in place, he created a virtual field trip to San Francisco's Deyoung Museum to see the Frieda Kahlo exhibition. He did so by adding links to all the resources his students needed in his Canva workspace, including images of artworks where they could click to learn more and even take a virtual tour provided by the museum. This virtual exhibition allowed students to have a complete understanding of Frida Kahlo as an artist— her process, her symbolism, how she developed her self-portrait, etc. enlightening the students on how they can create their own.
Students were engaged and got creative. As they created their own portraits, they used the comment function to add descriptions of “who they were” and “what they were trying to convey in their portraits”. Some even used the voiceover function to better convey and explain what they meant within their portrait. Canva provided a medium of expression for all students irrespective of their technical ability.
"With Canva for Education, the amazing thing—not just for the students but for me—is that I get to see their creative minds in progress." George Lee, CAST Academy Coordinator, Balboa High School
George witnessed real-time collaboration in action. He could see the different working studios and the work in progress of the students by simply scrolling through the feed. This gave him an insight into each student’s creativity levels.
CISCO's report on using technology in the classroom highlights creativity and collaboration as critical drivers to become a successful learner at any age.
"Interactive tools have transformed online and blended learning from passive experiences to active, engaging environments that allow students to work together on projects tailored to their specific needs and interests. Next-generation education emphasises collaboration and interactivity, whether students are in the classroom, learning from outside experts or working on their own time.", the report mentions.
Canva offers an environment where this can be easily achieved. It allows students to be creative, to collaborate and express themselves through various mediums at their individual pace while allowing the educators to track students' participation and performance. This collective effort towards learning goals thus reflects in the impact on learning outcomes.
Canva for Education is great tool for schools to adopt for free and create a learning environment where students can explore their creativity. With no risk for school, the platform can be integrated with virtually all current school management and learning management systems that are available out there. Evidently with the use-cases, the learning improvements and outcomes are impressive.
With a repository of 3 million templates, stock photos, fonts, icons and videos, over 4 billion designs have been created on the platform by 57 million monthly active users in 190 countries including a staggering 15 million teachers and students.
With such an appeal Canva for Education is a must try platform for all.