As eLearning Integrator at St Andrew’s College my primary role is to encourage innovation in classrooms across the College. One aspect that I particularly like is when a staff member brings an idea, or new product that they have heard about, and want to implement it in their classrooms.
On her return from the 2016 New Zealand Association of Language Teachers Conference one of our French teachers, Mrs Angela Marshall, introduced me to Adobe Spark.
‘I had not come across this product before, and I was instantly hooked on its potential to allow students to create great looking content easily, quickly and effectively.’ – Mrs Marshall
In the first weeks of term, Mrs Marshall found time to further investigate the possibility of using Spark in class. She remained impressed.
‘I was excited by how easy-to-use it was; particularly the speed in which a good product could be produced, the quality of the sound recording, and the sheer number of photo resources that were available for practically any subject’
Canva vs Spark: Easy Web Creation
Only a few months earlier I had been introduce to Canva, and it quickly became my favourite content creation tool. It was not without its limitations, however, particularly around the quantity of images available for free use.
At the Term Two Teachmeet, hosted here at St Andrew’s, I gave a presentation, tellingly made with Spark, in which I compared the merits of Canva and Spark. I concluded, that in a classroom setting, I felt that Spark was the best product for teachers to use with their students.
Spark in the classroom
While I have not had the opportunity to use Spark in my own classroom yet, it was pleasing to see that Mrs Marshall’s enthusiasm towards Spark continued into a classroom setting. She set both her Year 9 classes the task of creating a 30 second narrated video that explained 8 prescribed aspects of the life of a person they admire.
Students were given 1 1/2 periods of class time to complete this activity. This class-time included finding the information to include in the presentation, mastering the pronunciation and vocabulary necessarily, and learning how to use the presentation tool. Mrs Marshall was pleased with the results. Pleasingly, students too could clearly see the benefits of using this great tool.
‘This task went smoothly – Spark exceeded my expectations. It was really easy to add images and text, and the microphone clarity was good’ – Jack
‘Spark is like PowerPoint, but with better options. It was particularly easy to use and I could add music, change the layout. I will definitely use it again!’ – Hannah
Spark – A tool I recommend
In the same way that I finished my Teachmeet presentation, I will end here with a strong recommendation to teachers to investigate Adobe Spark. It is a great tool that you, and your students, will enjoy.