Three Free Creative Tools to Up Your Teaching Game
September 10, 2020
As they face challenges with remote instruction, teachers require a greater degree of imagination and agility than ever before. Let’s look at three free creative apps that teachers and students can use to improve and enhance this new education landscape.
Color themes or palettes are the centerpiece of this app. The app generates mini-color family palettes using five individual color swatches that are related thematically. Understanding and playing with colors here is easy, intuitive, and a lot of fun. It’s a wonderful way for teachers and their students to learn about color and explore its many applications.
Browse an almost endless library of photos, illustrations, and other imagery using visually rich and intuitive tools. Check the color palettes of trending categories such as fashion, graphic design, architecture, interaction, game design, flavor, and travel. It’s easy to upload your own photos, generating a unique, editable color wheel. You can even check for accessibility compliance with the click of a button!
This flexible little app replaces Adobe’s extremely popular Kuler app and is available only online, so you’ll need a working Internet connection. It doesn’t require you to have an Adobe account or prior Adobe experience. If you’re adroit with Adobe, it does integrate well with Illustrator and InDesign.
Whether web-based or mobile, Canva is your own personal graphic design genie. Even without a background in design and art, Canva’s seriously comprehensive library of templates and images is ready for instant use. For those who already have serious design chops, Canva provides an amazing jumpstart and ideation tool. Canva is perfect for mock-ups and it’s collaborative tools make design syncing simple.
Workflows in Canva begin with templates, including those for social media, invitations, events, marketing, videos, announcements, presentations and education. For teachers, this latter category includes templates for lesson plans, worksheets, presentations, class schedules and more. Canva does much of the heavy lifting, but still allows you complete freedom for easy customization.
Canva also supplies a huge library of royalty-free image assets, which alone make Canva indispensable.
This mobile app gives you the ability to easily create engaging stop motion animation videos using just the camera on your mobile device. Simple and straightforward to use, this app’s big possibilities welcome new users with a low barrier of entry. Users take a series of still photos, generating interim image frames and stitching them together to make an animated video.
Classroom applications abound, offering students new ways to externalize their thinking. Storytellers can re-enact time lines or plots, collaborating with their peers to aggregate individual videos into a final product.
There are plenty of export options, including video, still frames or animated GIFs. Videos can be exported in various resolutions and crop ratios. Downloaded videos can then be edited in any video editing software.
These three creative applications are by no means the only free options out there to help up your teaching game, but they certainly offer a good place to start!