Canva – Amazingly Simple Graphic Design

I love the power of Twitter!  The other day, I was skimming through my Twitter stream, and noticed an intriguing reference to something called “Canva” in a tweet from @shannonmmiller.  I went to the link, and was immediately hooked. Unfortunately, Canva was not immediately hooked on me.  The site is in Beta testing, so you have to fill out your info and wait for an invitation before you can log in. Happily, I waited less than 24 hours before I got the coveted e-mail granting me access.

I am not good at design.  At all.  So, I was thrilled to see that Canva helps a lot with that.  If you are trying to create any kind of hand-out or image for your blog, Canva has tons of templates, layouts, and stock images to help you out.  It is incredibly simple to use, and very easy to share as a PDF, an image or a web link.

Canva Workspace showing some of the different layout options for a Photo Collage
Canva Sharing options

I have been using a couple of free apps on my iPad to put together picture collages, for example.  But look how nicely I was able to display a few pictures from our Cardboard Challenge with Canva’s tools.  It literally took me less than 5 minutes from start to finish.

With all of the great things I see, I have many plans for using Canva.  However, I will probably have to wait until they make a few tweaks (hopefully) so that my students can use it.  First of all, the search of their 1,000,000 images produced some questionable ones that I would be reluctant for my elementary students to add to a poster.  Also, not all of their resources are free.  There are lots of stock images that can be accessed, but paid ones are also included in searches.  Each paid one that you add to your poster costs $1.

Some of Canva’s free Text Holders

Even though it is obvious that schools are not the target consumer for Canva, I would love to see an Edu version of Canva that would allow you to filter out the paid options, which would also probably eliminate the more “adult” offerings.  There is a lot of potential for creative uses for this tool in schools, so I am looking forward to improvements as their site continues to grow.

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