Tuesday, May 31, 2016

Time to "Spark" some creativity!

With only 8 and a half days left in the school year, we are all looking for ways to keep out students
engaged in the learning process while we wrap up the remainder of the curriculum for the year.  I may have found just the tool to help you with that very goal!

Adobe Spark allows you to "turn your ideas into impactful social graphics, web stories and animated videos—in minutes."  This free tool is super simple to use, works on Chromebooks, iOS devices, desktops, or laptops, and allows even our youngest users to create a professional looking project in minutes.

There are three tools in Spark.  The first, Post, allows users to create a graphic, like a twitter banner or poster, to share a message.  I had my second and third graders create their own faux twitter banners.  They loved trying to share a message with simply a picture and a quote.  Here is a project created by Teah.  She chose this quote because it is what her family says every night before bed.

The next tool is called Spark Page.  This program allows students to create magazine-style web stories.  I am having my students create "All About Me" and "What I Learned" projects with this tool.  They love the way they can combine pictures, icons, videos, and text to tell a story.  It has a different feel than a typical presentation.  I would love to see students creating these to present research or to share about a current or historical event.  Here is Brooklyn's presentation on what she learned in computer class.  She was able to create this is about 30 minutes even though it was the first time she had used the tool.

The final tool in the Spark suite is Spark Video.  This tool lets students create videos by combining pictures/icons, text, and their own voices.  I have used this with students as young as kindergarten and 1st grade!  They love hearing their voices.  It is like Photostory, but MUCH better!  Here is my kindergarten friend, Madison, reading her favorite octopus book.

Students can login to Spark using their Google logins, so there are no new passwords to remember.  They also can search for photos and images directly from the program.

Go to spark.adobe.com and spark some creativity in your students today!  How might you use Spark in your classroom?