Sunday, September 11, 2016

There's an App for That: Canva and Padlet

In Using Digital and Social Media in Education, we have been tasked with finding two apps that are new to us and sharing a little information about them. Please see the information I have provided below about Canva and Padlet, two apps that I really enjoyed working with this week!

Image used with permission by portal gda on flikr
App #1: Canva

Grade level: I believe this app could be used by students in second grade and above. Students need to be able to type words in order to use this app.

Subject area: Any subject area could be incorporated into a Canva, including 21st Century Skills! Two examples of second grade Iowa Core outcomes that could be addressed by creating a project in this app include "With guidance and support from adults, use a variety of digital tools to produce and publish writing, including in collaboration with peers" (W.2.6) and "Use a variety of technology tools and media–rich resources to work collaboratively with others" (21.K-2.TL.2).

    Description of app: Canva is an easy-to-use app for graphic design projects. There are many templates included for different layouts, from greeting cards to event posters and flyers. The user can add, delete, change, relocate, resize, recolor, etc. the text, photos, and graphics on each Canva project. It's even possible to create presentations and multi-page designs on this app! Additionally, Canva is a collaborative app; users can share their projects with each other.

    Description of possible student use: Addressing the two standards listed above, here are some ways the app could be utilized by students.
    Second grade students could use Canva to publish different styles of writing. They could use the templates to create beautiful poetry displays, for example. Another example would be creating advertisements in the app after talking about information versus persuasion, as well as how to use strong vocabulary. Canva is a digital app that would allow the second graders to produce and publish their writing.
    Second grade students could also work on Canva collaboratively. Projects created in Canva can be shared with other collaborators by clicking the "share" button in the top right corner of the screen. Canva is a little-known tool that students may not have seen or heard of before, so bringing this app into the classroom will help them increase their media literacy as well.
    In addition to the ideas that match the standards above, Canva is just a great way to display one's findings. If students gather data, they can create informational posters on the app to show and explain what they discovered. Students could make a similar display summarizing their research about a certain topic. 

    Please view the YouTube video embedded below to see some of the basic features of Canva.

    Something I made:
    I created this Canva to advertise for a solar eclipse social.
    The above Canva was created to advertise for a solar eclipse social at a science center. I began with a poster template and changed the background design to a photo of a solar eclipse; I was easily able to upload this in the app. I typed all of the information I needed onto the poster in different text boxes. I then rearranged these text boxes so that they were centered down the page as well as altered the color, size, and font of the text in order to make my poster interesting and eye-catching. I believe my final product is a fascinating poster that conveys all of the necessary information.

    Additional images:
    Begin by choosing a layout and template.

    Text stickers may be added, or you can add text of your own.

    Text font, alignment, properties, size, color, and spacing may be altered.

    The app also includes stickers you can add to your project.

    If you decide you don't like the template you're working with, Canva will transfer your information onto another template.

    You can even create multiple pages in Canva.



    Image used with permission from tengrrl on flikr
    App #2: Padlet

    Grade level: Similarly, I believe this app could be used by students in second grade and above. As with Canva, students need to be able to type words in order to use Padlet. This app also uses a bit more complex embedding procedures, but with support, second graders should be able to do this!

    Subject area: Any subject area could be incorporated into Padlet, including 21st Century Skills. Two examples of second grade Iowa Core outcomes that could be addressed by creating a project in this app include "Construct an argument with evidence that some changes caused by heating or cooling can be reversed and some cannot" (2-PS1-4) and again, "Use a variety of technology tools and media–rich resources to work collaboratively with others" (21.K-2.TL.2).

      Description of app: You can think of Padlet like a collaborative Twitter feed that allows the users to type more than 140 characters and insert many different types of media. In Padlet, I can record myself interviewing my dog and post it right next to a video I took of us on our walk this afternoon. Padlet allows many different functions of the phone to join within one neat, organized space.

      Description of possible student use: Addressing the two standards listed above, here are some ways the app could be utilized by students.
      Second grade students could use Padlet to collect resources for an argument. If the students created an experiment to identify changes caused by heating and cooling, they could post photos or a video of their experiment in the Padlet. They could also link to a document with their findings or insert a data table onto the Padlet. While the Padlet would be a great way for these students to keep track of their own findings, they could also collect supportive resources from other websites on the Padlet. For example, students could link websites or insert YouTube videos that argue their points to the Padlet. Some other features of Padlet may also be helpful depending on the way the students have to present their arguments; if the students have to debate verbally, they could use the microphone in Padlet to post practice sessions of their debate.
      Like Canva, Padlet is a collaborative tool. Padlets created in the app can be shared and edited by other collaborators, as long as those intended collaborators have a Padlet account. Padlets can also be exported in various ways to allow others to view, but not edit, the Padlet. Padlet turns what could have been a complex app into a simple tool that I think students could use for a variety of projects in a wide range of classrooms. 

      Please view the YouTube video embedded below to see some of the basic features of Padlet.


      Something I made:


      I believe I was able to insert the Padlet for your viewing above. If it is not appearing, please view my sample Padlet here.

      I created this Padlet by inserting my Canva, a link to the NASA website, a video from Vox on YouTube, and even a photo I drew on Snapchat. Padlet allows the user to upload all kinds of media onto your own "wall." But I think the best part is that you can share your project with others so that multiple people can post new things!

      Additional images:

      Here is a new Padlet with a new post, ready for editing. The user creates the post by tapping the + at the bottom.

      Clicking on the "add attachment" icons allows the user to upload various types of media to the post.

      The user can change the title, description, wallpaper, and even layout of the Padlet.

      Changing the sharing settings allows the user to add collaborators to edit the Padlet.

      When the Padlet is complete, it can be shared in many different ways - including through a Padlet-generated QR code!

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