How Schools are Using Canva to Spark Student Creativity and Engag

Started back in 2012, Canva has been able to stand out in the industry for the dynamic solution it is. Without a doubt, this is the first name that strikes when people are looking for an online tool to create stunning graphical images, posters and more.

But Canva is not just for images or social media posts. It offers a diverse range of templates for posters, videos, presentations, flyers, book covers, ID cards, postcards, storyboards, class schedules, report cards, and much more. Many of these things are something that a teacher or school would use to keep students indulged in the learning process.

Canva is a user-friendly platform that allows the user to rapidly create custom visual content by using varied templates available. The platform is free to use and offers paid subscriptions like Canva Pro and Canva for Enterprise for additional functionality.

For teachers, schools, and students, its paid subscription – Canva Pro – is free. The platform is used by about 18000 schools and caters to 15M+ teachers and students worldwide. The platform helps school and teachers offer an engaging and hands-on experience learning environment for students.

To better understand how schools are using Canva for Education, here are a few case studies that'll help you get insights into how the tool is impacting learning.

How Macquarie Anglican Grammar School set their school year with Canva

Macquarie Anglican Grammar School was facing challenges in keeping teachers and students stay focused and engaged as the COVID-19 pandemic and associated limitations affected education adversely irrespective of whether students were learning from home or in the physical classroom.

Keera Job, Head of Junior School at Macquarie Anglican Grammar School in Dubbo, Australia, introduced Canva amid these testing times and shares how the platform has been an invaluable resource.

By using Canva for Education, her teaching staff got unlimited access to classroom resources like worksheets. Additional features like sharing and collaboration helped students and teachers to come together and create, collaborate, and comment on projects. Simultaneously, teachers could track students' progress and respond in real-time or as desired. It eases many tensions around remote learning while also creating new ways to work together and keep engagement high in a traditional classroom setting.

"We pride ourselves on the teaching and learning programs that we have in place, and part of that is creating a classroom environment that's not only safe and supportive for our students, but it's also really engaging and inspiring." - Keera Job, Head of Junior School at Macquarie Anglican Grammar School in Dubbo, Australia

The school utilised Canva for Education from day one by using the tool for icebreaker activities during the first week back after the pandemic. They used the About Me posters or video templates that helped students introduce themselves confidently to their new classmates. Additionally, the tool allowed students to be creative and engage in expression by adding real-life elements to the designs with millions of free photos, graphics, animations, and even music. Availability of media integration enables students to express themselves without any inhibitions. They can easily voice their thoughts through various mediums simply by creating a piece of content that speaks for them.

George Lee's inspiring story about classroom collaboration at Balboa High

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.

Canva is now available for Indian schools and all school leaders are welcomed to reach out to the Canva team for any query including demo request, use case consultation, account setup & etc.

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About the Author
Author: Priyanka Gupta
Priyanka is a blogger by profession and has an increasing interest to write about the edtech space. While writing she keeps in mind the educators to come up with right resources and ideas which might be relevant for them in relation to effective use of technology in their profession and institutions/classrooms.
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