I recently needed to make a video to send out to our school community. The last thing I wanted to do was narrate a boring old traditional slide presentation, but I didn’t really have time to work with a more fully-featured video editor. After a quick Google search, I found Adobe Spark.
Adobe Spark is a combination of three prior Adobe apps into one neat little package. In Spark, you can make social media posts, pages, or videos.
The Post option lets you make social media posts, and lets you tailor the size and shape for different social media outlets (Instagram, Facebook, etc.). You can choose from different themes, backgrounds, and style options. You can choose from a wide variety of free-to-use photos for backgrounds as well, or upload your own. I made the post below in less than 5 minutes:
The Page option lets you make small one-page websites where you can insert text, photos, videos from YouTube or ones that you make in Adobe Spark, photo slideshows, and what they call “Glideshows” that are basically photo slideshows where, as you glide over the pictures, your inserted photos, videos, or text glide over the top. I made a small page that you can see here; below is what you would see in the glideshow I (very quickly) created for the page.
The Video feature, obviously, allows you to make videos quickly and easily. This was exactly the tool I needed to make a professional-looking video in a short amount of time.
Here’s what I really liked about the video editor:
- It was easy to insert text, photos, music, and clip-art (called icons in Adobe Spark). You can upload your own photos or do a search for free-to-use photos. If you do use any images from the image search, it automagically inserts credits for you.
- You can record one slide at a time. As someone who has screencasted a lot, this feature was awesome. There’s nothing more frustrating when you’re recording an entire screencast only to have something interrupt you at the very end (in my case, things like the hubbs starting up the tractor right outside my office window or the dogs deciding to bark at something only they can see) and you have to re-record the whole thing over again. By only recording one slide at a time, you can re-record just that slide as many times as you’d like-just press and hold the record button at the bottom of the slide.
- Overall, I like how it simplifies the video-making process without compromising the quality of the video. This makes it ideal to work with students of all ages – I can easily see our elementary, middle, and high school students using this easily to create evidence of understanding, with the learning curve of the program being very minimal for students and teachers.
So, how can all of the features of Adobe Spark be used in the classroom? Here are some quick ideas:
- Use the Post feature to develop visual summaries of texts and videos.
- In Social Studies, use the Post feature teach students about propaganda used during times of war (or election years…) by having them create “propaganda” around a cause or theme.
- In Math class, use the Post feature or the Video feature to have students make connections between mathematical models and the standard algorithm.
- Use the Page feature for students to develop portfolios to display their understanding over a unit, a semester, or an entire school year.
- Use the Page feature for short-term projects. For example, in science I can see students using this to display the results of their self-designed labs or display models they have developed to explain phenomena. In ELA, I can see students creating a glideshow that represents the symbolism in a fiction text or a glideshow that displays the development of the author’s argument in a nonfiction text. The glideshow, really, is what makes the page feature useful for me in education – that is something that can be used across all content areas for something, in my opinion.
- Use the Video feature for students to explain understanding of learning targets, as a synthesis activity for end-of-semester exams or to have students make connections between concepts in two or more units, or have students present their solutions in a problem-based unit of study.
Have any other ideas concerning using Adobe Spark? Have you already used Adobe Spark with your students? If so, please feel free to share in the comments!