Thursday, August 28, 2014

PowerPoint is Dead, Use Canva Instead?

A few weeks ago, I observed a very interesting conversation transpire. A local university was offering a three graduate course in PowerPoint. It began an interesting conversation about the whether this course was needed or not.

Don't get me wrong, I still use PowerPoint for the majority of my presentations; however, our students view this technology as "old school" and "out of date." It's the equivalent to watching a movie on VHS or listening to your favorite album on cassette. It made me think about ways that we can represent content differently without turning to PowerPoint. Is PowerPoint finally dead? Well...probably not, but this series will investigate a few "cool" alternatives.

Canva

Canva is a free tool that you can use to develop posters, presentations, graphics, flyers, and even Facebook covers! It's drag and drop functionality makes it easy to learn and use. In fact, when you sign up for a free account, you are taken through a tutorial on how to create your first design.

How do you create a design? 

First, start with a design in mind. You can choose from a variety of different formats if you want to create a poster, presentation, picture, business card, or flyer.


Next, start adding to  your design. Canva offers free backgrounds, graphics, and text designs. Choose what best works for you. Check out my simple design below. This took me less than a minute to create! If you choose not to use the pictures that Canva provides, you can upload your own!



If I choose, I can add more pages to my design with just a click of a button.

Finally, I am ready to share my design with an audience. I have several different options for sharing my content. 
  • Share a link of my design. I even have the option to give others permission to make changes to it - a great collaboration piece!
  • Publish as an image on the web
  • Download as a PDF .



Be aware that there are elements that you may have to pay for if you choose to publish to the Internet or download. For educational purposes, I personally would either share via link or download a PDF with a watermark (see how to do this below).


Conclusion:

I like the idea of having students visually present information in different ways. This gives students a chance to demonstrate their understanding in different ways, while helping their classmates make connections with the material. Students have an opportunity to be extremely creative with this tool!

You could easily use this for presentations, creating infographics, defining vocabulary words, and creating projects. Give it a try and let me know what you think!

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