Basic graphic design skills can make or break many school projects. Imagine being able to add the professional looking touches to standard computer applications projects such as designing a brochure or newsletter. Blogging projects come to life with quick and easy creation of blog post headings.
While there are many online applications for editing photos, there are only a few for creating simple graphics with great built in design elements. Canva is one that works exceptionally well for the tasks it was built for. It won’t have all of the options of Adobe Illustrator, but for high school students needing to put together a quick graphic, it is almost perfect.
In the “pros” column, Canva offers a great free account option. It allows you to create the graphic, save it in your account, and download it in several file formats. Canva sells graphics and photos to add into your design at $1 a piece, but there are many free options for getting started. Canva allows you to upload your own images as well to use in your designs.
The best part of Canva for teaching graphic design to high school students is all of the built in design lessons. The Canva Design School has tutorials on all the basics including fonts, colors, layouts, and icons. The tutorials are hands on and walk the student through both the concept and how to apply it in Canva. And it is all FREE!
I’ve been using Canva for a couple of years now in a homeschool class that I teach for high school students. I introduce it early on in the class and assign several tutorials to be completed each week. The first semester of the class focuses on Microsoft Office essential skills, and the students use Canva for adding graphics into Word and Powerpoint. By the time we get to blogging in the second semester, Canva is the tool that students use quickly and easily each week to design graphics for their blog.