Educators are often in search of ways to create a variety of graphics-based materials. Posters, flyers, certificates, and social media banners are just a few common examples. While there are a number of programs that can allow users to create such items, many are too expensive or too complex for the average user. If you fall into either of these categories, then you need to give Canva a try
Canva is a powerful graphic creation tool that is both easy and free to use. Founded in 2012, the company has grown its business steadily over the past few years and is now one of the leading graphic editors found in the world. Canva offers a free app for tablets and smartphones, but Canva.com offers a more robust list of tools for users. For users who desire even more options including access to over 50 million photos, there is a “pro” subscription tier which costs $12.95 per month or $9.95 if you pay by the year.
I’m happy to say that after nearly six months of using Canva regularly, I have yet to feel the need to upgrade to the paid service. If you are using the free version and find a graphic that is part of the premium service, you can simply buy that single item as an à la carte purchase. Individual items cost $1 for a single-use license.
Another impressive feature of Canva is the ability to share designs with other users, even if both individuals are free users. You have the option of sharing your design with specific people or with “teams” that have access to all items within a folder. While it is possible for multiple people to view a design simultaneously, edits are a different story. Canva will let you know if you are viewing a file at the same time as another individual and even warn you that edits may not be saved during the time if you are not the person who was editing first.
The best feature of Canva is selection. Even as a free user you have access to an impressive number of templates, photos, and other design elements. Premium items are viewable but contain a watermark until purchased. The list of available fonts is exhausting and I’m not sure I’ve ever even made it to the bottom of the list! All elements can be resized, rotated, and layered freely on any design and users can upload their own photos as well.
I think Canva is an amazing resource for educators at all grade levels. The website offers a few more options, so I would suggest starting there, but the app version is capable as well. Give the service a try the next time you are in need of a graphical document and don’t be afraid to reach out if you are in need of help with your designs!