I began my exploration and learning this week by reading about various online creation tools. I first browsed through some information about tools used to make comic books and comic strips, but none of these really grabbed my interest. They just simply weren’t my style and I didn’t feel that it would be the best format to present the kind of information I wanted to share from my ILP.
As I moved on to explore the other tools, I began comparing the pros and cons of Piktochart and Canva. With Piktochart, you can choose from any of their free templates in order to get started. From there, you have the ability to choose a theme and move through quick and simple step-by-step instructions to create your graphic. Canva allows you to choose a free template or begin with a blank slate (if you are much more skilled than I am). Canva provides over a million free graphics and also gives you the ability to upload your own images. While each of these tools seemed to be fairly user friendly, I felt that Canva would be the best fit for what I was trying to accomplish.
Once I had determined by platform, I needed to decide what information I was going to include. After thinking back over all I have learned through my ILP, I thought it would be fun to create a visually appealing recipe for meringue frosting that I researched and learned how to make, as described in my blog “ILP: FANTASTIC FROSTING”. I figured that if it turned out how I was picturing it, this would be a fun way to organize information that would be useful to myself in the future and also to any classmates who would like to try their own hand at making this delicious recipe.
When I began working with Canva, it took me just a few minutes to figure everything out. It was not terribly difficult, but I did have to play around with the various features to find the things that I needed. One challenge I encountered was finding the right images to use in my creation. At first glance, Canva did not offer the images that I was wanting free of charge. I began to consider uploading my own images, but as I searched a little deeper I found a cute illustration that fit my recipe nicely. Other than this, I did not have many other issues. Downloading and sharing my finished product was as simple and clicking one button.
I think that there is absolutely value in presenting information in this way. Creating posters, presentations, informational flyers, etc., with a tool like Canva makes what you are sharing so much more appealing to the viewers. The colorful, eye catching, intriguing designs are limitless with these online creation tools.
If I ended up teaching upper elementary or middle school, I would consider using these tools in my classroom. I especially think that the comic strip tool would be fun at the 4th-6th grade level. In the younger grades, I see myself using these tools to create posters and presentations for our classroom, as well as graphics with information that needs to be communicated with parents and guardians about upcoming events, tests, and field trips.
I thoroughly enjoyed my first experience with Canva and see myself using it for many different things in the future!