April 20, 2015

Teaching Visual Literacy with the Canva Design School – from Beth Holland

Back in December, Amy Burvall (@AmyBurval) created the video below about Exploring Critical Thinking with Visual Literacies. She stressed the need for students to develop visual literacy in addition to text decoding and oral communication skills. As media continues to move towards more image-based communication, she notes that students not only require the ability to interpret it, but also create it.

Amy’s message struck a chord with me, particularly because I typically don’t consider myself as very visual. Despite my best efforts, I do not have the best drawing or visual-spatial skills. In workshops, I struggle with teaching certain tools and apps because of my own inability to use them well. However, I recognize that this is my personal limitation and not the fault of the tool or app.

Canva Design School!

While many of my colleagues have embraced Canva to create amazing designs, I struggled to figure it out. Again, this has nothing to do with the tool and everything to do with me – until Canva launched their Design School and Teaching Materials.

First, I completed their four workshops. Each one taught me how to use the features of the tool as well as how to think through improving my own design skills. Workshop #4 even addressed visual branding and the importance of visuals in crafting a message – tying back into Amy’s message about the need to teach visual literacy.

Canva Lesson Plans

Additionally, Canva features lesson plans from a host of excellent educators. From Visual Poetry to Historical Infographics to Mathematical Modeling, top teachers from around the world offer up tremendous ideas for how to encourage students to make their thinking visible. Each lesson plan includes clearly defined objectives followed by a suggested lesson flow and ways to extend the activity.

The need for students to be able to communicate visually is only going to increase, and the Canva Design School is an excellent place to start.

Learn More!

We are thrilled to have Canva as a sponsor of our November 16-18 iPad Summit in Boston. Chief Canva Evangelist – Guy Kawasaki – will be giving the opening keynote and there will be plenty of opportunities to get hands-on with Canva during conference sessions.

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