This week’s guest blog post was written by Diana L. Rendina. Diana is a media specialist/teacher librarian at Stewart Middle Magnet School in Tampa, FL. She is passionate about creating an environment in her library for students to discover, learn, grow, create, connect and collaborate. She blogs about Makerspace, libraries and technology at www.RenovatedLearning.com. You can find her on Twitter @DianaLRendina.
Canva is an easy to use, free graphic design tool that allows users to quickly build beautiful graphics. It does have extra fancy paid elements, but it’s easy to make beautiful graphics without using them. You can customize colors and fonts, add all sorts of clip-art like elements, and even upload your own photos. It doesn’t give you as much control as a desktop publishing or photo editing program, but it’s easy to use and can save you a lot of time. Here’s some ways I’ve used Canva in my library:
Canva is amazing at quickly creating eye-catching signs for your library. Instead of a boring text only sign showing your school’s logins and passwords, why not create a sign that looks like a coffee shop menu? You can customize colors and fonts to fit in with your media center décor. It’s great for putting together displays too. I’ve used it to create displays for genres, holiday and even our interactive post-it note display (which I adapted from Tiffany Whitehead’s awesome display).
I create flyers to advertise library events and programs all the time. It used to take me awhile to make anything that looked good – most of the time I ended up quickly throwing something together in a word processing program. With Canva, I can quickly create attractive looking flyers that will get students’ and teachers’ attention.
I like to put out statistics and information about what’s going on in our library. I used to painstakingly create these reports in a desktop publishing program, and it would take me over an hour to get everything formatted just right. With Canva, I was able to put together this infographic in about 20 minutes. It was easy to make it visually appealing and color coordinated. Plus, since Canva creations can be downloaded as both a pdf and a jpg, I was able to print out copies to display in the media center,and create jpgs to post on our website and school Facebook page.
Canva is great for easily creating beautiful graphics to be used on the web. I’ve used it to put together photo collages for my blog, create new cover photos for our school’s Facebook page, and to create graphics to use on our school website. It even has options for making business cards, Pinterest images, podcast covers and more.
Author: Brooke Ahrens
Brooke Carey Ahrens is a Google Certified Teacher and Instructional Technology Coordinator at a bay area high school. Brooke is currently serving as a rep Northern California Region rep for the California School Library Association.