Adobe products have been on my computers for 15+ years. They have some of the greatest software apps for editing photos, creating illustrations of logos and art, film post-production editing, and other design apps. A couple years back a finally broke down and subscribed to Adobe Creative Cloud. Wish I had done it a lot sooner! My productivity and workflow improved. The accompanying Creative Cloud app made it easy for me access work projects from my iPhone. I’m also able to share proofs to my teammates and to my clients.
About a year ago, I came across several apps created by Adobe Spark apps, formerly Adobe Slate, Adobe Spark, and Adobe Voice. These quickly became my go to apps for quickly creating content that I can share with others. I still use Adobe CC apps on my desktop for photo editing and video post-production, but I find Adobe Spark apps robust and user-friendly. It is that reason that makes this a powerful tool to use for instructional purposes. Here are several Adobe Spark app activities you can use in your classroom.
Adobe Spark Post works great for creating posters! Whether you use the mobile app or desktop version, you have the option of resizing the post in suitable size for printing on a campus copier/printer. For best printing options, select either letter size: 8.5"x11" or poster size: 11”x17” depending on your preference. I highly recommend using high-resolution images for any printing. Copying images from the web may not produce the best possible print. Your best bet would be to either purchase an image or my favorite option, take your own photos. Most current mobile phones built-in cameras will produce fine quality images that will work fine for posters.
Flyers! Flyers! Flyers! Ok, I know every teacher has had their fair share of flyers to pass out at school. Sometimes attractive ones and other times ones that accidentally wind up in the trash cans! Normally flyers tend to be 5.5”x8.5”; Adobe Spark Post provides many layouts to choose that will work. If you need to print larger, I would go with the poster option (see section above). For best fit would choose sizes that are in landscape mode.. Those should print descently.
There is an advantage of using these sizes. For one thing, you can print flyers 1-up or 2-up on letter sized paper. Secondly, you can add the flyer on a classroom website, post to school/classroom social media accounts, and use for digital signage. Double the benefit, singularly the work!
Sequence of Events, Retell Stories, and Comic Strips
As of writing this blog, Adobe Spark Post was updated and has now added a feature allowing you to add multiple images to on post. Suweeeeet!! This just opens up more options with using Spark Post in the classroom. One option is creating a sequence of events or steps in a process (scientific method, cooking recipe, solving math problems). In the example above, I added images from a Twitter chat, #sketch50, to summarize the first eight days.
Another option is to use it to retell stories. Have students illustrate and recap a novel or book they have read.. Next, have them capture images and place them in sequential order. Adding a fun way to share their work. In addition to sequencing a story, students can create a comic strip of their own. It is a creative way for them to share a story they have written.
It’s fair to say that meme’s are their own form of communication. If you spend a fair amount of time on social media, you’ve probably come across a few. Probably the most famous meme character was the grumpy cat, Tartar Sauce.
Memes are images or videos captioned with text to express an idea or thought and shared through social media. Oftentime they are humorous, inspirational, and fun. But they can be inappropriate. In our case, let’s avoid the latter.
Adobe Spark Post is an efficient tool for creating memes! Here are several ways you and your students can use memes in your classroom:
- Class Rules - Create rules/procedures for your classroom, school or PD session using memes
- Fact v Opinion - Use them to teach digital citizenship. For example teaching students to recognize memes versus truths
- Motivation - Have students create motivational posters or create messages for PD sessions
- Ice breakers - Create humorous memes to introduce lesson. Students can then analyze the meme. Students can also create memes to demonstrate understanding of content.
- Historical Event - Teachers and/or students can import an image into a meme-creation program and make their own meme with a witty subtitle.
- Reinforce Curriculum - Create a meme to remind students of formulas, steps, etc.
- Novel - Create memes to emphasize a theme or point from a novel or short story.
Similar to memes, you can create images to share an idea or concept based on characters or authors quotes from a text. The difference here is that the intent is not to be humorous as in memes, but to convey an interpretation of a quote.
Adobe Spark Page is a perfect tool to share collections of work; as in artwork, photographs, sculptures, woodwork, welding, culinary creations, etc. Spark Page is an user-friendly app and website. There are no html or coding skills required. Simply add images, video, and text into designated sections. The length and complexity of the web page is entirely up to the student. When it comes time for students to share their work with prospective universities or employers, they will have a website readily available.
As far as I can remember, we’ve been asking students to create powerpoint presentations to display their work. I say bump it up a notch by creating a webpage to share their work. Adobe Spark Page fits the bill! Not only can you as the teacher create a webpage to share information, but students can use it too! Here are several ideas or ways you can use Page in the classroom.
- History reports
- Book essays
- Science projects
- Field trip journal
- About me
- Research project
Creating how to videos is a very laborious job! I have spent may hours filming, editing, creating text, and mixing audio recordings to create a short how to video. There’s just not enough time for classroom teachers to do that. Fortunately though, Adobe has developed an app that makes it easier and quicker to do. It’s called Adobe Spark Video!
Spark Video has many bells and whistles to make your videos stand out. There are Story Guides built in so that you don't have to build from scratch, which you can do if you want. For a How To video, I would use the “Teach a Lesson” guide. Follow the prompts and add your own content and audio.
I think students can also use Spark Page to teach each other how to do solve a problem, build a project, pass a level on a game, cook, etc. The sky's the limit!
A great way to share the happenings in your classroom is by creating a highlight reel. With Adobe Spark Video you can do that by choosing the “Tell What Happened” guide. Perfect way to show off your classroom and students. Post the highlight video to social media or on your classroom website for all to see!
Use Adobe Spark Video to create a stunning invitation to a school event such as open house, meet the teacher night, curriculum night, sports events, concerts, etc. To add production value, have your students create invitations to send to their parents or guardians. Simply launch the app and choose “An Invitation” and follow the prompts. Who can turn away a craftily made video and a smiling child's face!
References & Credits
Serano, Sharon. "5 Ways to Use Memes with Students." ISTE. N.p., 2 Dec. 2016. Web. 05 Apr. 2017.
Orman, Tracee. "Five Ways to Use Memes to Connect With Students." Five Ways to Use Memes to Connect With Students. N.p., 01 Jan. 1970. Web. 05 Apr. 2017.
Thompson, Jill. "Using Memes in the Classroom." Inside the Classroom, outside the Box!N.p., 10 July 2016. Web. 05 Apr. 2017.
"I Had Fun Once... It Was Awful." Quickmeme. N.p., n.d. Web. 06 Apr. 2017.