Type of technology: Creative Media
SAMR Model Rating: Redefinition, Modification
Grade level: All Levels
Subject area: All Subjects
A new app that I have recently come across is Adobe Spark. Adobe Spark (formerly Adobe Voice) was created to help make your ideas look amazing and stand out. Their claim is “to encourage Spark creators to spread their work far and wide” and encourages people from all perspectives to share their work and ideas. They have a few “community guidelines,” which are perfect for a school setting and invite teachers and students to enter and continue the conversation around what is appropriate internet content and use. They ask users to Be Respectful as they welcome people from all ages and backgrounds – so obviously appropriate content is a key aspect to their site. Interestingly enough, a website that encourages free expression of art through images, videos, and text still requires appropriate content or else Abode Spark will delete the work from their site – I find this to fit perfectly with our mission as educators. As creative individuals, they encourage everyone to share their work with the world through their site and the web and ask that users use the “appreciate” button on projects that catch your eye and inspire you.
Adobe Spark claims to have “beautiful typography” where users can select from a wide variety of professionally designed fonts for any occasion. They offer thousands of photos on the web or allow you to pick from your own collections using Adobe Creative Cloud, Abode Lightroom, Dropbox, or Google photos. They have professional themes and invite users to explore their huge variety of incredible layouts, colors, and fonts. They are simple to tweak with the text, photos, and icons that suit one’s personal needs or ideas. All of these offerings allow students and teachers to make a greater impact on their classes.
You can create what they call “Social Graphics” with Spark Photo. You simply pick a photo, add text and apply design filters to instantly start a “viral phenomenon.” Social posts and graphics are an excellent manner to capture more than simply a word or a picture, but combine the two with inspirational quotes where the quote and photo complement one another in astonishing ways. You can also create inspirational, powerful, meaningful or any other type of emotion within an announcement or invitation for any occasion or purpose. Finally, “Social Graphics” are an excellent way to capture “memes” or elements of culture (school or otherwise) or systems of behavior that are passed from one creator or individual to another through create imitation. It can be a humorous video, image, or a piece of text that is copied (often with slight variations) and spread virally on the internet. All these can effectively brand oneself, impress your co-workers, just for fun, and promote something important, to teach and inspire individuals, or simply to tell a story.
The important and meaningful way this app works is that students and teachers can use both images and texts in new and innovative ways to tell a story. They can both tell and create stories to get their ideas across and promote, argue, or capture a process. For example, if students are writing a narrative essay, Spark allows them to capture the story between their pictures. They can begin with either text or a photo and as you scroll through their creation, they infuse text throughout. One assignment I used this for was to create and capture one aspect of the story from The Great Gatsby. This could be a side story that the reader is never privileged to read. One example might be the scene between Gatsby and Jordan in his office. Students could recreate this story from either perspective and use images from the internet, Spark photo page, or they can take and use their own photos. In addition, students can create videos, posts with images and quotes, travel journals and all of these projects can incorporate both videos and photos in addition to text.
Other cool features Adobe Spark offers are Art, Causes, Education, Food, Lifestyle, Photography, Small Business, Sports, and finally Travel. Under each category Adobe Spark offer posts, pages, and videos which have been professionally created and inspire students and teachers to create their own. If you want to use Adobe Spark for personal reasons, professional educational purposes, or to help facilitate student inspiration these stunning social graphics, amazing web stories, or compelling animated videos are an incredibly innovative way to add to any curriculum. They are fun to check out, simple to create, and exciting to watch. Have fun creating.
Here are two examples of student projects about The Great Gatsby made with Adobe Spark. Each image is a link to the project.