4 Ways to Supercharge Learning with Creativity Using Adobe Spark
Immerse students in creative, effective learning with this free suite of tools.
Image source: Adobe Stock / Monkey Business.
by Matt Miller
posted on 11-20-2019
I hear the grumbles. I see the doubting look on their faces.
Creative work? I don’t have time for creativity in my class. We have too much to cover.
I’m confronted by this notion by the well-meaning teachers I work with all over the United States. They already feel like a hamster on a wheel. They ask, how will I ever get it done?
Creative work and learning aren’t polar opposites.
In fact, infusing some creativity and be the jolt you and your students need to supercharge learning.
Doing creative kind of work is powerful! When we express ourselves in our creative outlets, people see our uniqueness. They benefit from our work AND we are known as individuals in the process.
Plenty of theories and research back the benefits of creative work:
Our creative work is often visual, the kind that makes the brain jump for joy. Ideas are better recognized as images instead of words, according to
Students learn deeply by creating a construct of what the world is like in their minds, according to
. Our creative work can help students build that.
Creative work is likely to make an emotional connection. Research shows that
That’s what I love about using Adobe Spark in the classroom. Teachers and students can get down to creative work quickly. Its intuitive controls mean less time on learning tech — and more time just learning.
Educators already have so many demands on their time. Spark lets you and your students spend time doing what matters because students can dream, create, share and collaborate easily.
In Adobe Spark, students have several options for showcasing their learning creatively:
- Adobe Spark Page gives students’ ideas some real estate. They can create stunning web page designs by stacking photos, text, videos and more. And when they’re done, they can share their work with an authentic audience.
- Adobe Spark Post lets visual thinking live in full color. Students can mix images, colors, design and text on a canvas to create a gorgeous image that speaks louder than their words.
- Adobe Spark Video brings students ideas and dreams to life. Combine images, video clips, text and more into a compelling video. The built-in storytelling frameworks guide students in best practices for writing and creating.
The cost? Adobe Spark is FREE for schools, and that includes educator resources and professional development materials to guide your teaching.
So … What could this creativity look like in a classroom? Here are four ideas you can try …
1. Field trip recaps with photo and video
Getting outside the four walls of the school can be a formative experience. Make the most of it by having students create a Spark Page or Spark Video to crystalize what they’ve learned. With students’ cell phones or school-provided devices, students capture images and video of their experience. When they return, they can organize it into a beautiful webpage or video. Using their device’s webcam, they can capture video post-trip reflections, helping them to think about what they learned and why it’s so important.
Turn travel into learning! Students can turn pictures and videos from field trips and family travel into an Adobe Spark Video or Adobe Spark Page to share with others.
Learning about history, current events, literature and short stories can teach us valuable life lessons. Summarizing it makes us go deeper because we have to explain it in our own words. Riffing on it — like a jazz musician — helps us breathe our own lives into our learning. Use Spark Video to create a news report. Students can shoot head-and-shoulders videos as if they were anchormen and anchorwomen on a newscast. Other students can record video as if they’re reporters on the scene. Add images ethically with Creative Commons licenses. The students’ viewers will feel like they’re really there!
Students can demonstrate their learning like a news anchor with Adobe Spark. By blending images, videos, audio and text, they’re also flexing their creative muscles!
Blend the physical and the digital
There’s something about manipulating materials with our hands. It’s a rich experience we don’t get if we go fully digital. Empower students to create with physical materials, like aluminum foil, Play D’oh, Legos and others. Students can add images of their creations to a Spark Post image, creating an infographic where they describe their physical models and integrate them with what they’ve learned in class.
Free reading is one of the most powerful things students can do outside of school to grow as learners. It shows benefits in vocabulary, reading comprehension and content knowledge. How can students find books they love? One effective way is from fellow students. Students can create book trailers using Spark Video. They can integrate video of themselves talking about the book. They can add images from and inspired by the book. They can add narration — just like a professional movie trailer would! Spark Videos are easily shared with a link. Library media specialists can create bulletin boards or other visuals with QR codes or short links to the video, making it easy for students to view each other’s work.
Looking for more ways to infuse creativity into your classroom?
Check out this document — “Got Spark? Now What? Teacher Lesson Plans” — by Adobe Education Evangelist Tanya Avrith. It’s full of more ideas you can plug into your class right away.
We have failed to mention an important source of creative learning ideas — the students! Once they’re familiar with creative tools like those in Adobe Spark, they start making their own connections. When teachers and students work together to create memorable experiences, fun and meaningful learning are just around the corner!
We partnered with Matt Miller to create this blog post. As such, this should be considered sponsored content.
Topics: Industry, Education