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Back to School: Creative ways teachers are using Canva

Get Back to School ready with Canva! From videos and whiteboards, to posters, presentations and AI tools, we’re sharing some of the latest ways teachers are engaging their students and driving creativity in the classroom.

Creativity is born in the classroom, and we’re proud to be supporting more than 45 million students and teachers(opens in a new tab or window) across the world to grow visual communication, collaboration and innovation in learning through Canva for Education. We know that finding the time to dream up new back-to-school ideas that capture students attention can be challenging, so thanks to our incredible Canva for Education(opens in a new tab or window) community, we’re excited to share some of the unique ways teachers are engaging their students and inspiring their classrooms with Canva.

Image of two students working on their laptops making Canva designs

Engaging your class with visual communication

Research shows design literacy is on the rise(opens in a new tab or window), and using visual tools like Canva is a great way for students to learn the skills of tomorrow. From Docs(opens in a new tab or window) and Presentations(opens in a new tab or window), to Videos(opens in a new tab or window), Websites(opens in a new tab or window), and Whiteboards(opens in a new tab or window), we strive to provide a single, free visual communication platform that houses more than 100,000 templates across a variety of subjects and grade levels to supercharge your back to school planning. We’re continuously adding new tools, apps and features to enhance our education community’s experience and take your lesson plans to the next level.

Quote card saying "I truly believe that Canva has changed the way I teach, and it has so much potential for student creativity" by Tia Jones, EdTech coach at Wichita Public Schools

Making use of multimedia

We live in an increasingly visual world – and video plays a huge role in capturing attention through engaging content. Adding video(opens in a new tab or window) to your lessons is an easy way to provide a fun and interactive experience, and we’ve got thousands of free educational video templates(opens in a new tab or window) ready to be customized to any topic.

Many schools in our community are now using Canva to create video news updates, and students are loving it! Not only is it a creative way to capture attention – it's also a collaborative way to increase confidence and grow public speaking skills.

Image of a Canva video presentation of a female student presenting the school news

Kristina Holzweiss, an Edtech Librarian at Syosset High School in New York, USA, utilizes Canva’s Video suite to engage her students by creating GIFs(opens in a new tab or window), transforming images into videos by adding animation, and developing YouTube videos. Her students have been enthusiastic to get involved, recording videos for public service announcements about endangered animals, and using Canva’s video background remover(opens in a new tab or window) tool to create a green screen effect in their Halloween stories.

Quote card from Kristina Holzweiss, Edtech librarian at Syosset High School, saying "Over the past few months, I have seen my students become more confident about sharing their voices using the recording feature along with video templates. Even students who have never edited videos before can now create professional looking projects".

Taking posters and presentations to the next level

From science reports to literacy projects, Canva's colorful and creative resources will keep even the most reluctant learners engaged. Whether you're creating a printable poster or a presentation, our content library is home to thousands of ready-to-use templates(opens in a new tab or window), or if you’re looking to start the year fresh with a particular theme, we’ve got plenty of Classroom Decor Kits for you to customize to suit your needs.

Galina Rozhkova, an English Language Arts Teacher in Johnson City Schools District in Tennessee, USA, loves that the interactive nature of Canva allows students to bring their own creative flair to existing designs. A big fan of group work and collaboration, Galina often utilizes set Canva templates and tasks students with collaborating to update slides with infographics and animations – all made possible in real-time due to multiple users being able to access a singular design at once.

Even when working on their own personal templates, Galina finds her students continue to discuss their designs and share their information with each other, which has helped to rapidly boost creativity in her classroom. On a recent project, students used Canva to represent themes in a novel by animating symbols or drawing their own(opens in a new tab or window). Different students had different ideas, and the interactive experience meant many students who didn’t originally identify themselves as creative grew in confidence.

Supercharging collaboration with Whiteboards

Canva Whiteboards(opens in a new tab or window) gives you infinite space to collaborate – from brainstorms and project planning, to storyboard mapping and moodboard development. Available to use stand-alone, or within presentations(opens in a new tab or window), they’re a fantastic resource for running engaging professional development sessions, unit planning with other teachers, or teaching students how to collaborate with each other. Keen to workshop ideas with your students? Set the timer and watch the screen populate with ideas on personalized colorful sticky notes.

For Colby Hawkins, a Digital Learning Specialist in Utah, USA, Canva has become an indispensable, time-saving daily tool. Existing templates and icons all in one place mean he doesn’t have to start from scratch when brainstorming, and can collaborate with students in real time via Whiteboards, even when they aren’t in the same space.

Example of a Whiteboard in Canva where students are adding sticky notes to brainstorm ideas

Whiteboards can also be a great way to sense-check your students' understanding too. Emily Tranter, a High School English Teacher at Australian Christian College, often uses Canva Whiteboards as an interactive way for students to share thoughts and ideas, while providing an opportunity for Emily to gauge their understanding of different topics.

Adding the magic touch

Developed with safety in mind(opens in a new tab or window), our suite of AI Magic tools(opens in a new tab or window) can be used as a collaborative partner in the classroom, with the potential to free up hours of planning time and supercharge your ideas. Our AI text generator Magic Write(opens in a new tab or window) is great for helping teachers brainstorm lesson plans, question prompts and writing samples, or Magic Design(opens in a new tab or window) can provide you with the perfect starting point on presentations ahead of sharing with your classroom.

We’re always looking at ways to innovate our product to unleash learning potential and inspire creativity in the classroom and we’re humbled to have an incredible community of teachers, students and educators utilizing Canva. As a large portion of the world heads back to school, we can’t wait to hear about the incredible creations brought to life in the coming months.

Canva for Education is 100% free for all K-12 teachers, students, schools, districts, campuses, ministries and school systems. Sign up today(opens in a new tab or window) and check out some of our latest back-to-school templates(opens in a new tab or window).

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