Tech Talk: Using Canva in the Library

I am always looking to find new ways to use technology in the library. My favorite tools are the ones that are useful to me for everyday library management as well as great learning tools to make learning more enjoyable for my students.

This post is all about Canva, a user-friendly graphic design site for both desktop and mobile device use. Students and educators alike can use this powerful tool to create all types of visual aids, from infographics to library signage, social media posts, to email and social media headers.

Learning to Design with Canva

Canva is a highly user-friendly website. Once you create your account, you will be guided through a brief tutorial that will have you create your first original work. Canva offers a variety of different templates to choose from that you can ultimately edit to make your own. There are free graphics as well as options to purchase more designs for your use. Plus, you also have the option to upload your own images from your computer to add to your unique creations. Keep in mind that you should have full permission to use the images you are uploading. You want to be sure you are following copyright laws. When in doubt, use only images you have taken yourself.

Here is a simple video guide to creating your own graphics, provided on the official Canva YouTube account:

How Can Teachers and Students Use Canva?

Think of Canva as a way to totally change the presentation style in your classroom while also integrating new technology into your lesson plans. Think of your usual project habits. Oftentimes, we might have a group of students do some sort of research and then compile all their findings on a piece of butcher paper. How much wall space do we really have for all these posters? How much time do students waste hand-drawing their illustrations and carefully writing the information down like the little perfectionists they are? Canva gives students the opportunity to create professional-looking creations in a quick amount of time.

Blog Graphic

In the above example, students did a brief research project on American leaders of the American Revolution. Students looked for 6 important facts about their selected topic. In this case, students used a pre-designed template and just edited the text to include their information. This entire project took just one class period.

How Can Librarians Use Canva?

I use Canva to create signs for my book displays. Here is one I created for Halloween. I started with a template and changed it up to fit my own taste:


Here’s another I used just to promote a particular section of the library:

Blog Graphic

I also used Canva to create a logo for our local Battle of the Books Competition:

Central Texas


Possibilities are Endless

As you can see, there really is a lot you can do with Canva! I highly encourage you to check the site out and begin practicing with designing your own graphics. The available templates make it easy to get started, and once you are more confident you can begin to work on graphics from scratch.

How will YOU use Canva? Feel free to share your creations with me on Twitter (@meanslibrary) or comment below!


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