30 Edtech Tools in 30 Days

30 Tools in 30 Days: Day 4 Adobe Spark Post

Day 4 Adobe Spark Post

If you have been on any form of social media today, chances are you have seen them. Those inspirational quotes set on an ethereal photo background. Chances are you might have even shared one. It’s OK. I don’t judge. How would you like to make your very own?

Magic between the busy
Photo Quote created using Adobe Spark Post. Photo credit, Kristin Brynteson (me!)

I’ve been having a lot of fun creating my own picture quotes using Adobe Spark‘s Post app. Adobe Spark is a free suite of visual storytelling tools from Adobe. The web-based version has three tools for creating and sharing posts, videos, and web pages. On iOS devices, each feature is a separate app. I’m going to focus on Post for now. We’ll look at the other two apps in a later post.

Adobe Spark Post makes creating visually appealing graphics quick and easy. A username and password are necessary to use this app. You can log-in with an Adobe ID, Google login, your Facebook credentials or create a new account using your email address. Personally, I use my Adobe ID so it seamlessly connects to my Adobe Creative Cloud.

All of my featured images on this blog have been created using Adobe Spark Post. to get started, you first write your quote. From there, Spark assembles an initial image that includes text formatting and a background image. Let me step you through a creation. We’ll edit the image above and change things up a bit.

Once you enter your favorite quote, the visual fun begins. Using the Design tab, you can select a pre-created design that best fits the feel of your quote. Use the design as is or continue to make it your own using the other tabs.

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Select from a variety of design styles. Us as is or as a place to start customizing.

The Layout tab lets you change the size and shape of your graphic. It also gives you the ability to create multi-image graphics.

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Use the Layout tab to change the size of your image. Chose from popular presets.

Change the color scheme of your design using the Palette tab. You can randomly assign colors to different elements of your graphic and customize the color scheme by selecting your own colors.

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Change your color scheme.

Adobe Spark will initially select a background image from a library of openly licensed images. You can change the image to a different stock photo or use one of your own masterpieces for complete creative control. I love that all the images and graphics used in Adobe Spark are openly licensed. If you are using this with students, it is the perfect time to have that conversation about copyrighted images and being a good digital citizen. Read this blog post about copyright and digital citizenship from Common Sense Media.

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Change the background image using openly licensed images or your own.

There are also many options customizing text. From different fonts to shape overlays – good luck not spending at least an hour making your text look just right.

Text Tab
Edit Text using the Text menu.

There are additional customization tools that can help you create beautiful graphics that are completely tweetable! Projects are autosaved and you can go back and edit a project at any time.

Speaking of tweeting, when you are done with your image, you can share it through your favorite social media channels or download it to use elsewhere. Like on your blog.  Adobe also has a public user gallery. You choose if your image is discoverable through their gallery or turn of the option and keep your images private.

In the Classroom

There are so many ways you can use Spark Post in your classroom. All of the customization features make it the perfect tool for building visual literacy skills. As students adjust the look of their graphic, talk with them about how those visual changes impact the overall message. The background image, font style, and color choices are all part of what their graphic says to a viewer. Have them play around with different elements to change the meaning of their text.

Here are a few additional ideas for how to use Post with your students.

  • Create visual poetry
  • Two sentence visual horror stories
  • Create a visual quote that reflects who they are (personal mottos)
  • Create visual quotes from a book they are reading that fits the mood of the character
  • Motivational posters
  • Posters of vocabulary words

The list is only limited by your imagination. Since the final products can be downloaded as images, you can import them into a video app (such as Adobe Spark Video) to create movies or music videos. Or print the images and hang them around your classroom. Again, the possibilities are endless.

If you are using Post with students, be sure to take a look at the Guide for Educators. Adobe does a nice job walking you some best practices for using this with students of all ages. When I use any of the tools from this suite in the classroom I approach it in one of two ways depending on my learners. If they already have Google accounts, we use those. This gives each learner their own project space. If I am doing a quick workshop, I use one login. I’ve created an account for this purpose. Everyone uses that login and works within the same project gallery. This has advantages and disadvantages. On the plus side, you can access all of the projects with one log-in. On the downside, the students can access all of the projects. This can be good but could also be bad if you have a mischievous student.

There are a couple other negatives (that is really a harsh word for a such a solid app). Becuase it autosaves, it is easy to over edit an existing design. There is not a revert function that I have found. Since I am usually demoing how this app works, I have gone into completed projects and ruined them by showcasing editing features and losing my original design. Granted, if I have already downloaded the graphic, it still lives on.

The final negative is that as of right now, there is no Android app. Only the web-based tool and the three iOS apps. Since all of my work tablets are Android, that makes me sad. However, there may be hope. Last I heard, Adobe is working on apps for us Android users. Yay! Hurry up, please!! 🙂

Despite the few negatives, I love Adobe Spark Post more than I can say. It has so many uses. With Post, anyone can create amazing graphics that will make their viral quote photo dreams come true.

Have you created graphics using Adobe Spark Post? Share them in the comments!

 

 

 

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