Canva + ThingLink = Awesome

Earlier this week I led a Tech Sandbox on these two tools for everyone in our library. The session went pretty well despite some running into issues with the computers in the labs. Everyone seemed to really latch onto the usefulness of ThingLink in their work. Here is an instructional example I created using both tools to explain what to look for in database results.

Canva was a little more difficult for some to connect to their work, which I’m not totally surprised by. Prticipants seem to think that others are better at taking care of graphic design and they don’t think that they produce much graphic content. In the future I will try to find ways to highlight some of the graphic work that they are already doing. Maybe I can even find examples for each participant from their LibGuides and other materials. If I knew who was going to participate in advance. Then we could focus on revising these works with Canva. My session plan included directions for working on work-related graphics for the activity, but most were playing without much direction. I’d like to harness that playfulness, but find authentic ways to give it some direction.

With that in mind, my emerging thought is to put together post-session activities that require participants to apply their skills to a graphic project that actually could be used in their work. I will also offer digital badges for completion of these activities. There is some rising interest in badges on our campus and in our library, but badges are still a bit mysterious to many. This will let us see them in action. Plus the Tech Sandboxes will be a low stakes way for me to work out the kinks of badging for professional development and workshops. I hope this will lead to build out a badging ecosystem offered through the library and our Learning Commons partners for students, faculty and staff.

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