I first posted about Canva about 18 months ago when it was in its beta stage. Since then, this amazing graphic design service has: become a full-fledged website, launched a mobile app, and unveiled its education services (which include sign-in with Google Apps for Education).
I was one of the educators approached by Canva to write some lesson plans utilizing their resources. (Full disclosure: I was paid for this service.) You can also find plans from Vicki Davis, Paul Hamilton, Steven Anderson, and William Ferriter. These plans include many different disciplines and grade levels. In addition, you can access excellent specific graphic design tutorials provided by Canva.
If you are looking for app-smashing ideas for Canva and ThingLink, try these from Lisa Johnson (TechChef4U). Lisa also explains how to use Canva’s public profile feature in this guest post on Free Technology for Teachers.
One of my favorite things about Canva is how the company has really reached out to educators for suggestions and ideas. As you will see on their Canva for Education splash page, they have a board of Education Advisors, and I can personally attest that Canva keeps in regular contact with us to find ways they can improve their product.
Canva is free, but it also offers graphics for a fee. It’s easy to train your students to identify the free images, backgrounds, etc… so their projects don’t end up costing money. In addition, they can upload their own images, and take advantage of Canva’s free templates to design eye-popping presentations, posters, and collages.
If you have students in elementary school, I recommend that you create one account that your students will all access. This will allow you to keep track of their projects and, if you are in a school where students share iPads, then this account can stay logged in.
The best way to get started with Canva as a teacher is to open a free account and start using it yourself. Make blog graphics, picture collages, quote posters for your classroom. Once you see how easy it is to create something that looks professional, you will come up with your own ideas for ways to integrate it into your classroom.