The COVID-19 pandemic has changed the way we operate across the globe, which is especially evident in the educational sector. Pre-COVID-19, most of the schools in the Philippines followed a traditional face-to-face classroom arrangement, however, nowadays, educators around the country have had to find opportunities and urgent solutions to teach their students remotely. With the new school year, classes have commenced digitally, and Filipino educators have worked double time to upskill and equip themselves with the digital tools needed to offer their students a seamless and innovative learning environment. Despite the limited time and resources, many are still 110% committed to their vocation and are excited to prepare the next generation for the future, through good education.
Canva for Education is a free product offering for educational institutions catering to K-12. It offers thousands of templates and a library of “premium” royalty-free images, as well as features intended to facilitate simultaneous collaboration between students and teachers in the classroom or remotely.
Yani Hornilla-Donato, Canva Philippines’ Country Manager, explained empowering Filipino educators was core to the organization’s goal for 2020.
“Our mission is to bring Canva for Education to every K-12 teacher and student in the country, becoming their creativity and productivity partner of choice during this unprecedented time. We will continue to reach out to schools and teachers across the country as we roll out Canva for Education, providing as much support as we possibly can to make their experience easy,” said Hornilla-Donato.
Canva Philippines partnered with the Office of the Vice President (OVP) as it rolled out Bayanihan e-Skwela, an online educational platform empowering teachers and parents as children shifted to distance learning. Canva curated templates for some episodes, created posters, and provided the OVP access to the Canva library. In its effort to expand its reach, Canva Philippines also partnered with the Knowledge Channel Foundation and trained teachers in selected schools across the South Cotabato region on how to best use the platform for all their virtual classroom needs.
With its intuitive user-friendly features and a wide variety of classroom templates relevant to specific learning goals, Canva for Education serves as every teacher’s ‘one-stop-shop’ for creating learning materials for their classes and collaborating in the classroom.
Sarah Mae Columnas, a teacher from Mansasa National High School in Bohol explained even though the current environment still provides a level of uncertainty, Canva for Education supports, enables and empowers teachers to be more creative and innovative, whether they’re in the classroom, or teaching remotely.
“Being equipped with the right tools to teach 21st century learners is the responsibility of every teacher across the country, as this is our sworn obligation to uphold our nation’s goals and create a better future for our next generations.
“I encouraged one of my colleagues to use Canva for Education as well and walked her through the process. We have come to realize that it is truly a gift to Filipino teachers,” furthered Ms Columnas.
One of the biggest changes educators face today is the need to migrate everything they use in their classroom to a digital setting. In addition to that, teachers also acknowledge the challenge of adding variety to their teaching repertoire and curriculum, to ensure their lessons remain just as engaging as a physical setting.
Michelle Brabante, School Director of Minido Preschool in Marinduque said she uses Canva for Education to create video lessons for her students, by using the platform’s talking presentations feature.
“The students really respond well to our talking presentations; it makes them happy, they feel more connected to us as educators and they’re certainly more engaged with the content we go through,” said Ms Brabante.
In an effort to further empower teachers with the resources needed to heighten engagement with students in a virtual world, Canva for Education has developed a range of Classroom Kits, inspired by real-life physical classroom set-ups. These themed kits come with templates, illustrations, and photos collection that will inspire Filipino teachers to bring more life and energy to their learning materials as classes resume remotely.
Canva for Education also includes an all-new collaboration space, a review workflow, access to content from Google Drive, Dropbox, Folders, version history and SSO with Clever and Google.
“Canva for Education has helped our team enormously in terms of collaboration. We like working together, and we love that Canva for Education allows us to do our tasks as a team,” added Brabante.
Canva for Education also includes add-ons such as education-specific content, the ability to create captivating videos, plus every ingredient to bring designs to life with Giphys, over 2 million images, 800k icons and illustrations, 700+ fonts, YouTube integrations and QR codes.
Ryan Alvin Torrejos, teacher from German European School Manila explained how Canva for Education has helped him now and will continue to be an invaluable tool for the future.
“I know I will still be using Canva for Education for many years to come, even when students are allowed back into their physical classrooms.“I cannot rate Canva for Education highly enough, and am always recommending it to all my co-teachers, and all the other teachers I know,” said Mr Torrejos.
Recognizing the dedication of the educators in the Philippines, Canva Philippines in partnership with the Department of Education (DepEd), has also held webinars for Filipino teachers to share with them the gift of Canva for Education. The webinars were so well received, Canva launched a Facebook Community for Filipino Teachers that serves as a space for professional support and training for teachers to learn and adapt to the modalities of virtual teaching. With the request and feedback of Filipino teachers in the group, Canva for Education also released localized illustrations, assets, templates, and photos in August in line with the celebration of Buwan ng Wika.
If you are a K-12 teacher in the Philippines, you may visit https://www.canva.com/education/ to sign-up for your free Canva for Education account.