Tech Play 3 — Creativity Tools

Tools Explored

There were a few tools that I decided to explore about thought teachers will become will using in a classroom setting. I know not all creative tools are created equal but I wanted to focus on the re-created tools that could range from the beginner to the expert that I thought teachers could use anytime to create visually stimulating educational pieces that could help them get their message across to the students.

Photoshop

The first one is Photoshop. Photoshop is commonly known as the designer tool of choice for professional’s in the web and graphic design industry. Photoshop now has an online version a.k.a. a cloud version, and, of course, they have their desktop version that many people like me use. I was when Photoshop is one of the best tools for designers, it allows you to change photos that allows you to create unique graphic design pieces that are both visually impressive, and visually stimulating. The problem is Photoshop has a strong learning curve and it can often take months for a person to get to know how to use Photoshop and be comfortable with it in order to use it effectively. I would say that Photoshop is more for the expert etc. the novice.

Pixlr

Pixlr is another tool that is similar to Photoshop in that it allows you to create graphic design pieces from scratch. Pixlr was launched as a cloud-based program year ago and I believe it’s one of the reasons why Photoshop a.k.a. Adobe decided to launch Photoshop cloud to compete with companies like Pixlr. I like Photoshop Pixlr is a lot easier to use. While he uses the same principles as Photoshop it offers less in distractions for the average person to learn how to use the software. Because Pixlr to the cloud version software you can basically use it anywhere in the possibilities unlimited. Similar to Photoshop however Pixlr have somewhat of a strong learning curve as well because he uses the same principles as Photoshop and that is mostly used for photo adjustment and graphic design interfaces, but I would say that the average person could learn how to use Pixlr and become quite good at creating unique graphic design pieces.

Canva

The last tool is Canva. Canva is fairly new lodging only two years ago the school offers graphic design newbies to simply choose what they want to design and drag and drop those designs into a drag-and-drop system. You can choose different things from creating a brochure, to create a Facebook cover for your Facebook profile or business profile. You can also create things like business cards, posters, newsletters, and a host of other unique graphic design pieces that I think could be used very effectively in a classroom. In fact, I’ve used this tool several times to create pieces for school, and for internal classroom use. I’ve also used the tool to create games and instruction flyers for parents.

After evaluating each one of these tools I truly believe that Canva is the best tool the reason why is simply the usability, there is no hard learning curve when trying to figure out how to use the software, and the items that you create truly are unlimited. I also like the fact that Canva is free to use which I think is very beneficial to teachers who are already stretched thin own personal budgets. But I also think the tool can be used by students when students are assigned to create something created. Maybe the students are assigned an assignment to create a visual design graphic representing to Kill a Mockingbird. I believe Canva offers unlimited potential for teachers to connect with their students to a technology-based program that is primary use is to promote creativity and personal expression. I personally don’t see many limitations for Canva and to be honest, the best part about Canva is that someone would know design skills or experience in designing graphic design pieces can learn to use the tool within a couple hours and create some really beautiful art pieces that can be used in any classroom,

Using in the TPACK model

Canva would be a great tool to use in the TPACK model because of allowing students to basically create from an expression standpoint. Canva gives students the ability to imagine what they want to. And then it offers a simple to use methods where students could drag and drop in the online tool to create remarkable art pieces. The goal and objective for Canva are to allow people with no prior design skills to turn around and use the online tool to create graphically visual pleasing pieces with little to no effort basically eliminating the learning barriers to graphic design. I believe the learning curve for students today would be very easy for them to adapt to software like Canva because it really is made for this generation of plug-and-play students. It uses a lot of the same techniques and technology you see in all I platforms such as Facebook and Instagram.

I believe students could use Canva as a way to share what they’ve learned in the classroom visually in a creative manner which would fit pedagogical approach. I think the tool could also be used as a peer to peer learning tool having a student create something visual from maybe a course subject matter that they learned in the classroom and then have their peers review what they’ve designed to see if the design adequately tells the story of what they’ve learned. I think it’s the best tool to showcase student knowledge retention of the subject matter being taught in the classroom. I believe the tool could allow a student to create something as simple as an interactive flash card that could help them remember subject matter for quizzes and test. The tool would also allow students to create cool graphic design artwork that could accompany something like an essay about the subject matter giving their classmates and a teacher a visual point of reference when reviewing their written work.

If actually had to pick three technology affordances that Canva allows students the ability to be creative, show personal expression, and allows them the ability to share what they are thinking visually with their peers and teacher. I believe creativity is the lifeblood of life. When people are able to express the way they feel, the waiting thinks, the way they want to live it breeds
into them because they never stop even imagining and innovating. I think this is very important for students today with so many things out there to distract the student from learning is great to see a tool like Canva that can bring out the creativity in a student, and the school gives teachers a platform where they can challenge their students creativity and imagination and breathe a little more excitement into the internal classroom learning process that is beneficial to both the student and the teacher.

Other ways for Students to use Canva

I believe of the way students can use the tool is to allow them to create personal identity design. Students could create stickers that they could put on their laptops or books that allow them to personally express who they are. I believe individuality is a very important part of student growth. I believe when students are able to personally express who they are and carve out their own individual identity they bring much more to the classroom because they feel there is simply not just another member of the class. I personally believe that in education today we have severely undermined individuality in students. What a person wears is a form of expression now most schools today require students to wear uniforms I understand the reason for this but it does strip a student of individual expression. When everybody looks the same around you there is no self-identity and this can carry over into the classroom as well. I believe a design tool like Canva can give students the school to really express themselves individually not just through their class work but also through their personal experiences, their likes, dislikes, personalities, and quirks.

Importance of Creativity Tools

I think creativity tools are important because it changes the way we think outwork individual. Creativity at its core is about personal expression, it’s about what a person thinks and how can a person show what they think visually. Creativity tools allow a person to write, design, and even create audio like a musical track that is able to be shared with others. Because of technology today on the Internet, we have ample resources to be creative. Tools like Canva, Pixlr, and Photoshop are there to help professionals design unique and visually appealing graphic artwork. But they can also be used to allow the average novice to create something that they feel gives the mobile it. Often all social media websites like Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram people post Gifs, a little second snapshot of video that basically express what they’re trying to say or how they feel. Others do the same thing with Memes, unique pictures with a simple statement plastered over the picture to again express what the person is trying to say or how the person feels about a certain subject. All of these were made would unique creative tools some made from the tools that I have expressed in this blog post and some may have the tools that you can find on the internet today. Creative expression again is the lifeblood of any person. When a person is unable to creatively if express how they feel and how they think that person loses a little bit of themselves because they have no outlet to show their individualism. I believe them more teachers should use and incorporate creative tools into their classroom and course learning. I believe a really would jumpstart learning, providing interactive entertainment elements that some students currently don’t have in today’s classrooms.