K-12, Student Response, Teaching Tools

Presenting with Canva

I’ll be honest. I was doing fine with Google Slides. Sometimes I created my slides in Canva first because I liked the design options, but I would then just download the slides as PowerPoint and re-upload them to my Google Drive to convert them to Google Slides when it was time to present.


In case you haven’t noticed, I like to learn new “stuff” and try it out — and I am learning a lot of new stuff you can do with Canva now that I’ve followed a few content creators on TikTok. I subscribe to the Pro version of Canva because I can use it for so many things with my business, but teachers can use that version for free. So, I thought I would share a few reasons you might want to try presenting with Canva in case you want to give it a whirl.

First of all, you can either create a presentation in Canva, or import one from Google Slides or PowerPoint. If you are doing one of the last two, go to your Projects page, click the + sign on the top right and either upload a saved PowerPoint or go to “Import from app” and choose Google Drive.

Click on the presentation, and edit it however you like. When you are ready to present, click on the Present button in the top right corner. As you can see in the short video below, you will have some options on the lower right part of the screen. You can use the pointer, or hide it. You can also start a live Q&A, which basically opens a chat window next to your presentation (love this for presenting to adults, not so sure it would be practical with K-12 students). You can hide or end the chat whenever you like.

But the really fun/practical feature that I think teachers will like are the magic keyboard shortcuts. When you click on the keyboard icon on the bottom right, you will see a list of options that you can activate during your presentation at any time just by hitting a key. For example, if I want participants to think and discuss a slide for 5 minutes, I can just hit “5” on my keyboard and a timer appears. Hit “X” and it disappears. A student says something outstanding, and I can tap “M” for a Mic Drop or “C” for Confetti. There’s more (including a Spider and a Ghost — not sure if these are just during the month of October or year-round).

Another cool option is that you can click on the 3 dots on the bottom right, and get the option to “Share Remote Control.” You can give the link to anyone. I sent it to my own phone, and my phone became a presentation remote. This is a great option for teachers who don’t have a remote, and want to walk around the classroom as they present.

I won’t always be using Canva to present, but I love having another option that has some unique features, and it’s fun to sprinkle a little novelty into the school day. Thanks to the NEISD Elementary GT Teachers who were patient when I tried my first Canva presentation out with them over Zoom!

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