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Canva- A Quick Crash Course Blog
Canva, a more than popular tool most recently used on mobile devices as means of creating stimulating visual marketing and social media related images. However, do you know enough about Canva to become an effective Canva user? I hope you are able to leave this crash course well informed about the many uses of Canva!
There are hundred’s of pre-made templates that you can download and use to DIY your blog’s design. If you are struggling with web design, did you know you can use Canva to design certain elements of your site? Read more about this and other topics below centering around Canva!
10 Types of Visual Designs You Can Create With Canva
- Blog Post Image Template
- Sidebar Graphics
- Blog Email Newsletter Header
- Lead Magnet
- Content Upgrades
- Email Opt-In Mockups
- Blog Post Graphics
- Blog Post Infographics
- Blog Media Kit
Many users still don’t know the powerful features of Canva. With Canva, you can create the following:
- Design product labels
- Create workbooks / Planners / Ebooks
- Invitation cards
- Photo collages
- Mobile videos
- Desktop wallpaper
3 Ways To Enhance Your Blog Posts with Canva
1. Blog Title Image
Canva’s Blog Title design template is best for Twitter, Facebook, and LinkedIn shares. If you’re looking for a portrait or vertical blog title image for Pinterest and Google+ shares you can use Canva’s Blog Graphic template. It works great!
The best thing is Canva created an infographic template, which is SO helpful. You can use any of the ready to use template designs and switch out the font, colors, and design elements. Have an outline ready for your infographic, which will make it easier to get done.
3. Photo Collages
Photo collages are a great visual piece with a variety of images in one. You can use the ready-to-use Photo Collage template in Canva to show steps of a recipe or instructions. The Canva photo collage template is square shaped however you can create a photo collage with many of their photo grids.
You can use collages for designs and to display your portfolio. Use the Pinterest template in Canva and the multiple image photo grids as shown below.
Tip: Find the right photo with Canva’s built in photo library
To start, type a keyword or two into the search bar, and choose from any of the photos or illustrations — that means no more Google image searches. The extensive photo library hosts a wide variety of subjects and themes, like abstract images, textures, landscapes, people, and animals. Once you’ve found the perfect image, just drag it over to your design, and drop it where it needs to go.
Canva also allows you to upload your own images and use them on your design, which is perfect for adding your logo and other branded visuals to content.
Tip: Resize your whole design to fit various platforms.
The Magic Resize tool is available for Canva for Work users — a paid plan starting at $12.95 per month. Users of Canva’s free tools can still resize their designs by creating a copy of the original visual. Click “File,” “Change Dimensions,” and select the format to which you’d like to resize the design. That said, Magic Resize is quite a time-saving feature that lets you copy and resize one design into formats for various channels. Just click on “File,” navigate to “Magic Resize,” then choose the different formats you want to use to adapt your visual. Then, click the “resize” button, and you’re done.
Visual content is #Winning!
Social media users are much more likely to engage with posts that have “visuals” tied to them.
8 Google Sheets Add-Ons For Educators
Below is a collection of Google Sheets add-ons that I believe every teacher and educator should at least be aware of. These are tools that provide you with tons of functionality hacks to enhance your productivity and facilitate your workflow. Some of the things you can do with these add-ons include: creating forms of various types (e.g., quizzes, assignments, surveys, etc), generate PDFs and documents from Sheets’ data, grade and analyze digital assignments, create a class website from spreadsheets, and many more.
An easy way to generate Google Forms to use for various educational purposes including for surveys, quizzes, assignments, feedback, etc.
Enhances teachers workflow by providing teachers with the ability to “mass-copy, share, monitor student progress, and manage grading and feedback for student projects in Google Drive”.
“Flexible, easy to use document merge tool that creates PDF or shared Documents from spreadsheet data”.
Wikipedia and Wikidata tools
This add-on is great for mining data for your classes. You can use Wikipedia and Wikidata tools to do a ton of information gathering, instantly. The add-on provides you with a host of custom lookups such as WIKITRANSLATE and WIKIGEOCOORDINATES. These functions pull live data straight from Wikipedia into a spreadsheet, enabling teachers to compile an up-to-date and accurate database of facts.
A Google Spreadsheets Add-on that helps educators quickly grade and analyze online assignments and assessments, as well as share scores with students!”
Allows you to create a website for your class using Google Sheets.
Allows you to generate documents (e.g., Docs, PDF, Sheets, Slides, Word, Excel, and PowerPoint) from data on Google Forms and Google Sheets.
Originally, Flippity was designed to help you create online flashcards from Google Sheets, but the range of templates now includes everything from quiz shows and crossword puzzles to spelling and typing tests. The add-on has recently been discontinued but all the same great templates are available directly via the Flippity website.
The 7 Components of TPACK For Successful Technology Integration
At the heart of the TPACK framework, is the complex interplay of three primary forms of knowledge: Content (CK), Pedagogy (PK), and Technology (TK). The TPACK approach goes beyond seeing these three knowledge bases in isolation. The TPACK framework goes further by emphasizing the kinds of knowledge that lie at the intersections between three primary forms: Pedagogical Content Knowledge (PCK), Technological Content Knowledge (TCK), Technological Pedagogical Knowledge (TPK), and Technological Pedagogical Content Knowledge (TPACK).
Effective technology integration for pedagogy around specific subject matter requires developing sensitivity to the dynamic, transactional relationship between these components of knowledge situated in unique contexts. Individual teachers, grade-level, school-specific factors, demographics, culture, and other factors ensure that every situation is unique, and no single combination of content, technology, and pedagogy will apply for every teacher, every course, or every view of teaching.
- Content Knowledge (CK) – “Teachers’ knowledge about the subject matter to be learned or taught. The content to be covered in middle school science or history is different from the content to be covered in an undergraduate course on art appreciation or a graduate seminar on astrophysics… As Shulman (1986) noted, this knowledge would include knowledge of concepts, theories, ideas, organizational frameworks, knowledge of evidence and proof, as well as established practices and approaches toward developing such knowledge” (Koehler & Mishra, 2009).
- Pedagogical Knowledge (PK) – “Teachers’ deep knowledge about the processes and practices or methods of teaching and learning. They encompass, among other things, overall educational purposes, values, and aims. This generic form of knowledge applies to understanding how students learn, general classroom management skills, lesson planning, and student assessment.” (Koehler & Mishra, 2009).
- Technology Knowledge (TK) – Knowledge about certain ways of thinking about, and working with technology, tools and resources. and working with technology can apply to all technology tools and resources. This includes understanding information technology broadly enough to apply it productively at work and in everyday life, being able to recognize when information technology can assist or impede the achievement of a goal, and being able continually adapt to changes in information technology (Koehler & Mishra, 2009).
- Pedagogical Content Knowledge (PCK) – “Consistent with and similar to Shulman’s idea of knowledge of pedagogy that is applicable to the teaching of specific content. Central to Shulman’s conceptualization of PCK is the notion of the transformation of the subject matter for teaching. Specifically, according to Shulman (1986), this transformation occurs as the teacher interprets the subject matter, finds multiple ways to represent it, and adapts and tailors the instructional materials to alternative conceptions and students’ prior knowledge. PCK covers the core business of teaching, learning, curriculum, assessment and reporting, such as the conditions that promote learning and the links among curriculum, assessment, and pedagogy” (Koehler & Mishra, 2009).
- Technological Content Knowledge (TCK) – “An understanding of the manner in which technology and content influence and constrain one another. Teachers need to master more than the subject matter they teach; they must also have a deep understanding of the manner in which the subject matter (or the kinds of representations that can be constructed) can be changed by the application of particular technologies. Teachers need to understand which specific technologies are best suited for addressing subject-matter learning in their domains and how the content dictates or perhaps even changes the technology—or vice versa” (Koehler & Mishra, 2009).
- Technological Pedagogical Knowledge (TPK) – “An understanding of how teaching and learning can change when particular technologies are used in particular ways. This includes knowing the pedagogical affordances and constraints of a range of technological tools as they relate to disciplinarily and developmentally appropriate pedagogical designs and strategies” (Koehler & Mishra, 2009).
- Technological Pedagogical Content Knowledge (TPACK) – “Underlying truly meaningful and deeply skilled teaching with technology, TPACK is different from knowledge of all three concepts individually. Instead, TPACK is the basis of effective teaching with technology, requiring an understanding of the representation of concepts using technologies; pedagogical techniques that use technologies in constructive ways to teach content; knowledge of what makes concepts difficult or easy to learn and how technology can help redress some of the problems that students face; knowledge of students’ prior knowledge and theories of epistemology; and knowledge of how technologies can be used to build on existing knowledge to develop new epistemologies or strengthen old ones” (Koehler & Mishra, 2009).
4 Types of Cloud Computing Services
“The cloud” refers to servers that are accessed over the Internet, and the software and databases that run on those servers. Cloud servers are located in data centers all over the world. By using cloud computing, users and companies don’t have to manage physical servers themselves or run software applications on their own machines.
Cloud technologies have transformed how organizations procure and manage infrastructure. With every organization today entering the cloud world, it is essential to understand the different types of services cloud computing offers. Although there are many types of cloud computing services, all these services have a few basic features and advantages in common and can be categorized into four basic cloud service offerings. Organizations can fly their business, small or big, to the cloud with these four different types of cloud computing services.
1. Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS)
The lower end of managed cloud computing services where hardware resources are provided by an external provider and managed for you. IaaS provides users access to computing resources such as networking, processing power and data storage capacity. The lower end of managed cloud computing services where hardware resources are provided by an external provider and managed for you. IaaS provides users access to computing resources such as networking, processing power and data storage capacity.
Examples of IaaS: Amazon EC2, Windows Azure, Rackspace, Google Compute Engine.
2. Platform as a Service (PaaS)
This cloud computing service is an advanced version of IaaS. Apart from just providing the IT infrastructure, PaaS also provides the computing platform and solution stack as a service. PaaS is a cloud computing service that provides developers with a framework that can be used for building custom applications. Platform as a Service lets software developers build custom applications online without having to worry about data storage, data serving, and management.
A typical Platform as a Service offering consists of –
- Hosting Solutions
- Software tools for design and development.
- Environment for server-side scripting
- Network Access
- Server Software
Examples of PaaS solutions include Microsoft Azure, AWS Elastic Beanstalk, Force.com. by Salesforce, Google App Engine, Rackspace Cloud Sites, OpenShift, and Apache Stratos
3. Software as a Service (SaaS)
A special cloud computing service that incorporates both IaaS and PaaS service offerings. SaaS is a cloud computing service that provides application-level services tailored to diverse business needs such as business analytics, CRM, or marketing automation. SaaS is a cloud computing service offering that provides web-based software applications to customers on-demand. SaaS providers host a fully-functional application through a browser-based interface and make it accessible to the users through the Internet.
SaaS offerings allows the cloud to be leveraged for software architecture thereby reducing the overhead of support, maintenance, and operations as the applications run on systems belonging to the vendor. SaaS is the most familiar cloud computing service offering as users most often interact directly with SaaS applications like Netflix, Gmail, JIRA, Dropbox, or Salesforce.
Examples of SaaS solutions include SAP Business ByDesign, Zoho CRM, AppDynamics, Microsoft Office 365, Pardot Marketing Automation.
4. Functions as a Service (FaaS)
Before we understand Functions as a Service, it is important to understand the most popular tech term associated with FaaS – serverless computing. Serverless computing is a cloud computing model that takes away low-level infrastructure decisions and server management from the developers. The application architect need not deal with the allocation of resources as it is managed by the cloud service provider.
FaaS is a brand-new and very young cloud computing service acting as a game-changer for many businesses. It is a serverless computing concept that lets software developers develop applications and deploy an individual “function”, piece of business logic, or an action without maintaining a server. It increases the efficiency as developers need not to consider server operations because they are hosted externally.
Examples of FaaS include Google Cloud Function, Microsoft Azure Functions, Webtask.io, Iron.io , Open Whisk, and AWS Lambda.
10 Podcast Tools You Should Know About
Podcasts are a great way to build a genuine connection with your audience. Instead of the fractured connection you make through social media, podcasts allow you to engage your audience with unique long-form content. Podcasts are more convenient than blog posts; people can listen to podcasts while driving, working out, or just doing chores around the house.
There is a lot of unexplored space in the podcasting industry. There are at least 600 million blogs, 23 million YouTube channels, but only 800,000 podcasts in Apple Podcasts.
That means for every podcast, there are 750 blogs and 29 YouTube channels.
Zoom is an excellent free option. You can easily record right in the program, by clicking the “Record” button and choosing where you’d like to save your audio file. Zoom splits both sides of the call, giving you two separate audio tracks. This is helpful when it comes to cutting and editing in post-production.
Recording a podcast using Skype offers both pros and cons. Of these pros includes the ability to record using the built in call recorder feature. Also, Skype has become a household name with caters to its popularity in the video conferencing and recording realm of technology. The cons of utilizing Skype is that all users have to have username and password to access the podcast features. The call is recorded over the internet, as opposed to ‘double-ender.’ ‘Double-ender’ call recording has become the default demand of remote podcasters in recent years. It basically means that both sides of a conversation are recorded on separate tracks, locally on the computer of each participant and saved directly to the cloud.
Although this service is mainly for music, spoken-word podcasts are welcome here too. Unlike the other hosting types, though, Soundcloud requires listeners to have an account to download material. People will also need to search for your content in order to find it, meaning you need to create awareness elsewhere.
Buzzsprout is another great podcast tool to which can be used on mobile devices. To learn more about this tool, check out the How To Get Started video on Youtube by clicking the photo below:
Audacity is an excellent free option for editing your podcast. It’s especially easy if you plan to use only one take, with few cuts. This option is great for beginners because of the simple cut, copy, and paste functionality. It isn’t the highest quality sound, but it gets the job done.
Ardour is a digital workstation software suitable for marketers working within tight budgets. All you have to do is arrange for a quality audio interface, plug in a microphone or keyboard, and record an audio track. Besides, if you already have an audio file, import it from your hard drive.
An all-in-one FREE podcasting solution, Podbean is ideal if you don’t have any programming knowledge but still want to build a profitable podcast. Incorporate your corporate branding and customize the theme of your podcasting site.
8. Facebook LIVE
Free online recording session. Facebook is easily accessible through Android and Apple mobile devices. Podcasters will need to create an account to access the online recording feature.
9. Garage Band
Garage Band is a free editing software that is available on and comes with most Mac computers. It’s mostly used as a beginner editing program, but is capable of mixing up to 255 audio tracks. It comes with basic editing features including volume levels, cut, copy, and paste. It also features a sound library with effects that you can include in your podcast.
Podomatic allows you to play your podcast directly from Facebook and Twitter feeds, and you can embed your episodes on the website or share it on social media to maximize visibility. Besides, you can attract listeners to fund your podcast via Patreon, and add your podcast to AdvertiseCast’s marketplace and run ads on Advertisecast. If you don’t have a podcasting site yet, you can make one using a drag-and-drop website building CMS, Weebly or Blogger.