Check Out Canva’s Education Resources!

As regular Radical readers already know (see here, here and here), I’ve been a big fan of Canva — an online tool designed to make it easy for anyone to create stunning visual content — for a long while.  Understanding the role that visual content can play in communicating messages and persuading audiences is an essential skill in a world where pictures and infographics and videos are everywhere.  Canva facilitates that work, plain and simple.

What I love the best about Canva, though, is their organizational commitment to supporting educators.  In the past year alone, I’ve had tons of conversations with Cliff Obrecht — Canva’s Founder — about just what classroom teachers need in order to better integrate graphic design into their lesson plans.  And in that time, I’ve watched Canva create REALLY useful content that teachers and students can use immediately.

Need proof?  

Then check out Canva’s Design School Tutorials, where you can work through a series of lessons on topics ranging from pairing fonts together in a design to using whitespace to enhance a final product.  Every time that I poke around in the Design School Tutorials, I learn something new.  More importantly, every time that I poke around in the Design School Tutorials, I learn something that I can share with my students as I help them to master the art of creating influential visuals.

Need MORE proof?

Then check out Canva’s Teaching Materials, where you can find a growing collection of classroom-ready lesson plans that are being created by remarkable practitioners.  Learn how to use Canva as a part of a lesson on visual poetry from John Spencer; how to use Canva for mathematical modeling from Steven Anderson; or how to use Canva to create “fan pages” for historical figures from Vicki Davis.  There are also lessons from Monica Burns, Paul Hamilton, Terri Eicholtz, and some guy named Bill Ferriter.  It’s honestly a remarkable collection covering all subjects and grade levels.

Or just stop by Canva’s new Education landing page — launched at this year’s SXSW conference:

https://www.canva.com/education/

Long story short:  I’m a BIG believer that teaching kids to create influential visual content matters — even if creating influential visual content isn’t a skill that appears regularly in our required curricula.  To turn kids loose into a visual world without preparing them to communicate messages visually would be akin to turning kids loose in a text-based world without teaching them how to read and write.

#notcool

And I’m a BIG believer in Canva.  They are a company with a great tool.  But more importantly, they are a company committed to doing everything that they can to make graphic design more approachable for teachers and for students.

#goodpeople

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(Blogger’s Note:  In the interest of full disclosure, you should know that I’ve got a great relationship with Cliff Obrecht, Canva’s founder.  While we’ve never met in person, Cliff reached out early in Canva’s attempts to get into the education space.  I’ve been giving him advice ever since.  

I continue to fill that role for Cliff as an official “Education Adviser.”  That doesn’t come with any official salary — but Cliff does throw me gift cards that I can share with readers every now and then!  I don’t help him for free gift cards, though.  I help him because I believe in him.  He really does want to give back to practitoners — and that’s just plain cool.)

(Blogger’s Note 2:  Want a gift code good for 10 free premium images in Canva?  Cliff just sent me a ton to share with readers.  Drop me a comment with your email address.  I’ll send one along!)

 

10 comments

    • Bill Ferriter

      No worries, Dwight!

      And hope you are well, by the way. It’s been a LONG time.

      I’ll drop you a few free Canva codes. That way you can tinker with the premium images.

      Rock right on,
      Bill

  1. Tim Haag

    Bill, as always, I learn something new when I check out The Tempered Radical. Just last week I shared Canva with a colleague as a much more effective alternative for flyers, etc. Thanks. Would appreciate the gift code if still available.

  2. Janelle

    My name is Janelle Owens. I am student in EDM310 at the University of South Alabama. I will posting to my blog next week. You can find my blog at http://owensjanelleedm310.blogspot.com/
    This is a really cool website! I really feel that students would enjoy using it. The tutorials really help get you started and help you figure out how to work the website.

    • Bill Ferriter

      Hey Janelle,

      Glad to have you stop by! Hope South Alabama is treating you well.

      So lemme ask you a question: Have you seen/heard anything about visual influence or design in your college classes? I know that I never see it in the curricula that I am required to teach and I’m hoping that college classes are starting to emphasize it.

      The truth is that visual design matters — yet we never teach it to our kids. What’s up with that?!

      Bill

  3. Mike R

    Bill,

    Thanks for the introduction to Canva. I was looking for something easy, yet powerful, for students and teachers to use in design. I think I now found it! I would love a gift code if you have any left!

    Thanks

  4. Linda Clark

    I concur. This is a great site to create good designs from. I use the tutorials as an introduction to graphic design for grade 8 and 9 students and even have the grade 11/12 students refreshing their concepts here. All too often we accept sub-standard work just because it is digital, therefore it must be good – not necessarily so – and a sound understanding about good design allows students to present work cleanly and correctly.

    • Bill Ferriter

      Linda said something powerful, y’all. She wrote:

      All too often we accept sub-standard work just because it is digital, therefore it must be good – not necessarily so – and a sound understanding about good design allows students to present work cleanly and correctly.

      There’s so much truth there. Not only do we tend to give kids more credit than they deserve for digital work because we assume that digital work is always better than work turned in in more traditional formats, but it is our job to teach kids about good design principles. That knowledge doesn’t just magically drop into the heads of kids. It is something that has to be taught directly.

      Canva makes that possible.

      Thanks for the reminder, Linda!
      Bill

  5. Diane Musick

    Hi, Bill. I read your post about Canva and I’d like to check it out. If you still have a gift code left, I’d sure appreciate one. Thanks, Diane M