As young learners are getting more digitally savvy by the day, educators are struggling to keep up. No student is really excited to write paper after paper and read yet another chapter from a boring textbook with grainy pictures in it. Using multimedia educational strategies is no longer something optional. Good luck sparking the enthusiasm of students without them.
Luckily, software developers understand the effects of digital disruption on students just as well as teachers do. They are constantly working to accommodate learners’ needs and make educators’ lives easier. One of the great educational programs that can help teachers bring creativity into the classroom is Adobe Spark. It consists of three web-based tools:
— Adobe Video
— Adobe Page
— Adobe Post Graphic
They are true salvation for K-12 teachers who want to make their students’ schoolwork not just educational but also interesting.
Add a Visual Twist to Standard Essay Writing: As one of the oldest and most widely used types of assignments in the public education system, essay writing can lack excitement, especially for younger students. But there is no denying that writing an essay is an incredible exercise and an assessment tool. Students learn how to express their ideas clearly and coherently, while the teacher gets to see if they have actually done the readings. Adobe Video is a great way to make essay writing more interactive. Because of the growth of digital content, especially social media, today’s youth are much better (and more excited about) pictures than they are about words. With Adobe Video, it is easy to use both words and visuals to communicate one’s ideas in writing. Offer your students an opportunity to present their essays using both words and images of their choice. Throw in extra credit for creativity (for example, if a student uses the photos they made by themselves).
Task Students with Creating a Spark Video Story: Spark Video Story is a great tool for the youngest learners. One of the reasons why many parents and teachers struggle with teaching kids how to read is that a whole page of text looks intimidating. Even if there are only a couple of sentences on it, a student can feel like getting to the end is too much trouble. One of the time and workload management techniques is to break large chunks of work into smaller, easily manageable ones. The same can be done with reading using Adobe Spark.
Take an engaging story suitable for children learning how to read. Then, create a Spark Video Story with words appearing one by one on the screen (one word per page). This way, young learners will be slowly getting through the story without feeling overwhelmed by the amount of text.
Promote Teamwork with a Collaborative Storytelling Assignment: Teamwork is easily one of the most crucial skills a person needs to succeed professionally. Sadly, there are not nearly enough school assignments that help students develop their collaboration skills. Sure, they are assigned a group project every once in a while, but such projects are rare and far in between. Besides, they are rarely exciting enough to inspire students to truly share ideas and learn how to align different group members’ visions.
Spark Video is an amazing educational tool that can easily change this. One of the assignments that the creators recommend to K-12 educators is collaborative storytelling. It is exactly what it sounds like. Students are asked to record themselves saying a sentence of a story and pass the task on to the next member of their team. For an additional challenge, offer them to discuss the story in advance to practice their teamwork skills. Little by little, a story takes shape. Children have loads of fun in the process.
Offer Students to Create Their Own Spark Post Posters to Decorate the Classroom: Elementary and middle school teachers know how much the interior of the classroom matters. Well-designed visual materials put children in the right mood for learning and can help them memorise information better. Most teachers opt for student artwork and ready-made educational posters when choosing decor for the classroom. But it is way more interesting to ask children to design their own posters instead. Spark Post is a great, easy-to-use program for learning new things while also designing graphics. No actual design skills are necessary to use it.
You can then organise an exhibit of all posters and turn it into a friendly competition to choose which ones to hand in the classroom. This will tickle students’ competitive spirit and make the assignment even more engaging for them.
Initiate Spark Page Class Projects for Special Occasions: Most schools have events timed to certain memorable dates. For example, 22 April is international Earth Day. So, the entire month can be dedicated to learning about the environment and climate change. Typically, students are assigned traditional boring essays or classroom presentations to ‘celebrate.’ No wonder it is hard to make them genuinely excited about alternative energy or innovative ways of waste management.
How about using Spark Page instead? Thanks to this tool, even not very computer-savvy children can create beautiful and well-thought-out web pages. You can ask students to choose a theme for their project related to the event (say, Earth Day) and create a web page about it. First, this is a great opportunity for students to work on their digital literacy and practice the skills they learn in informatics class. Also, unlike oral presentations, getting the audience to see all students’ Spark Page projects does not take much time. As time is always a concern in public education, it is a great solution.
Final Thoughts: Adobe Spark is an excellent tool that can help teachers spark their students’ interest and make the learning process both exciting and productive. Adobe Video, Adobe Page, and Adobe Post work well with typical assignments used in K-12 settings. They simply take old, well-familiar things like essay writing or group projects and improve them in an engaging and exciting way.