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Episode twenty two

The Virtual Staffroom Podcast

Episode 22 – Creating with Canva

 

Joachim Cohen:

Welcome to the Virtual Staff Room. A podcast made for teachers by teachers and all with a dash of educational technology thrown in. My name is Joachim Cohen. And today, like every day I'm joined by two rather awesome members of the Technology 4 Learning team, Linda Lazenby and Yvette Poshoglian. Welcome team.

Yvette Poshoglian:

Great to be here.

Linda Lazenby:

Hi. So looking forward to this episode, Joe.

Joachim Cohen:

Have you created a graphic for your social media profile? A picture to enhance your Facebook post? How about an electronic poster to promote your event? Website graphics? These are the new tools for work and school, but in the past, creating them well, it's been hidden behind the veil of complex tools. But this process is now much more accessible and that is in no small part to an Australian company powered by Australian innovators. That is now a global phenomenon. So in today's episode, we will chat to the driving force behind this digital disruptor and then provide the tools to inspire your students, to get creating digitally. Today we are lucky enough to be joined by someone whose company has democratised the creation of creative content. A team who asked the question, why does creating digitally have to be so hard? And a group whose could we was grounded in solving a problem for one of their founders mums, a primary school teacher, Australian entrepreneur, and co-founder of online creativity House Canva, Cameron Adams. Welcome to the Virtual Staff Room.

Cameron Adams:

It's an absolute pleasure. Thanks Joe, for having me.

Yvette Poshoglian:

Cameron, it's Yvette. I can tell you we're a little bit starstruck here. We're all Canva users. We love the tool. We're inspired by your mission. Put the design in the hands of people who weren't able to design before. For the uninitiated tell us a little bit about Canva. You probably need not much introduction for our teachers who are listening.

Cameron Adams:

Sure. I think my favorite one sentence sum up of it is that Canva is a design tool for people who can't design. We were inspired very early on to bring design to people who hadn't thought they could access it before. And we really strongly believe that design brings great communication to anyone. And often people are communicating without design things, and that puts them in a bit of a handicap. So we wanted to put a tool in the hands of people that let them design great things, get their message out, communicate much better and achieve greater things through the usage of design. So you can access Canva through the website, canva.com or you can access it through our mobile apps and it lets you design pretty much anything. We've slowly been expanding it over the last nine years from social media posts to presentations and flyers and business cards and T-shirts, and now you can even make videos on Canva. So pretty much anything you need to design and communicate can be done on Canva.

Linda Lazenby:

That's fantastic, Cameron. Can I ask? It's not where your little story began with Canva. We know you've had an exciting journey starting with reinventing email at Google and beginning your own startup. Can you tell us a bit about your journey?

Cameron Adams:

Yeah, so I actually ran a very small design agency, which was basically me down in Melbourne for six years. And as part of that, I built up a few clients and eventually got introduced to someone at Google and went to work on a project there that was very top secret. I remember walking in my first day on Google. I had no idea what I was going to work on. And they introduced me to one of the founders of Google maps, who is Lars Rasmussen. And the four of them were in a very tiny, hidden room. It was blocked off from everyone else in the office. And they were working on this little product called Google Wave, which was their take on what communication and collaboration would be like in the modern world. So they wanted to take email and document writing and bring it into the new world of the internet.

Cameron Adams:

And they had this idea and they'd pitched it to the CEO and the founders of Google. And they said, "Go away, build a prototype and come back to us when you've got it." And that's where I was. I was coming in to help them out with the prototype. They'd been building it for a while, but hadn't had a lot of design thinking behind it. So I came in. I was a UI and UX designer at the time and help them polish it up, figure out how to get people to use it, how they could make it more efficient and work better. And we took that prototype to Larry, Sergey and Eric who are the people that led Google at the time and they said, "This looks awesome. We're going to give you a team." And we went from about five people to a team of 60 people in the space of two weeks, which was quite a rapid growth.

Cameron Adams:

We spent the next four years actually building out Google Wave and went through a bit of a roller coaster. There was lots of internal fights and politics. And eventually we launched it. Wasn't quite the stellar success that we thought it might be and we struggled along for probably about a year trying to try all these different ways to actually have a good go of it. But eventually it was decided to actually shut it down. And I wandered around Google in a bit of a daze after that for probably six months, trying to find something that I was really passionate about and eventually ended up leaving Google with a couple of other Google engineers. And we started a startup called Fluent and we hadn't really learned that lesson by that stage. So we tried to tackle email again, and we built a new email client that wasn't quite as futuristic as Google Wave, but tried to make email a little better.

Cameron Adams:

And we actually ended up building what we thought was a pretty good product. And we had quite a few people using it and went on this whole journey of what a startup is like trying to get your product and then trying to get investment for it. We flew to San Francisco, did 40 different presentations in the course of two weeks and desperately tried to get someone to back us. Almost got over the line, had the contract pulled out at the last moment. So it was a very chaotic and stressful time, but that was all condensed down into one year. And at the end of all that I came back to Sydney and got an introduction to a couple of people called Melanie Perkins and Cliff Obrecht. And they told me what their idea was for Canva and it sounded really brilliant. Something that resonated with me in terms of bringing creativity to people who hadn't been able to experience it before and creating this amazing new tool. So I thought I'd throw my hat in with them. And the three of us started creating Canva in 2012.

Linda Lazenby:

Wow. You know what this is one of those circumstances where I'm going I'm so, so pleased that what you did in the beginning didn't work because otherwise we wouldn't have the amazing tool that is Canva. And on that we've been doing our research Cameron and hearing this story about you coming back and receiving this problem from Melanie and being an impetus from a school teacher, a problem faced with yearbooks, tell us about Fusion Books.

Cameron Adams:

Yes. So Mel and Cliff used to live in Perth and obviously they grew up there and they started quite a few businesses over there during their early days. The one that they finally landed on was Fusion Books, which developed out of this need they saw with schools, creating their yearbooks. So every year school had to create a yearbook and sometimes it would be driven by the teachers. Sometimes it'd be driven by the students and everyone would have to figure out exactly how they were going to do this. So they had to find some layouting software, gather all the content, learn about printing, send it off to the printer, make all these decisions about the paper that you're going to use and how are you going to bind all the pages and all this kind of stuff. And it's a really complex process, and their mum and teachers they talked to were crying out for something that would make this easier.

Cameron Adams:

And A, let teachers and students collaborate on it and B just being easy to use design tool that let them get their content in and express themselves as easily as possible. So they started building this. They actually used contractors to start with and a couple of digital agencies and it ended up getting it built. And I think they ran Fusion Books for four or five years and really staked out a good market in the yearbook market. They dominated the Australian space. They're also in New Zealand. They also had a Fusion Books office in France as well. But through this process, they learned a lot about helping people create things, creating software, and they had a bigger vision than just yearbooks. And that's where Canva came in, moving from yearbooks to pretty much anything you ever want to create and how to offer that to people in a really simple manner that made it accessible to the 99% of people who had never experienced design before.

Yvette Poshoglian:

Never under underestimated power of mums. Hey. I love it. Two of the things Cameron that drove Canva in the beginning are things that are close to our hearts are browser and something like Photoshop, which teachers do come into contact with. We love the power of both, but I'm an English teacher and things like Photoshop are out of my league but yet I love Canva and I can really get into that creativity that it allows and all the new features, particularly are things I think teachers are just going to really sink their teeth into. is the power of tech right now that it has the capacity to turn all of these great ideas that our teachers have, that our students have into a reality? How exciting is that from your perspective to see?

Cameron Adams:

Okay. Yeah, I was talking about this with someone the other day and about the role of technology in shaping the products that we use. And there's so much technology that we build on top of now. So you mentioned the browser, everything that goes into the browser from HTML and JavaScript to CSS, the idea of designing ,experience that someone can use on their mobile phone and their laptop. There's all these building blocks that we use to create digital things now. And there's pretty much no horizon for what you can actually build. So you can assemble all those different technologies in a bunch of different ways and get them to do fantastic things.

Cameron Adams:

Fantastic things that you can stretch your imagination for. And I think that's probably one of the key things that I learnt through building Canva is that when you have an understanding of those technological building blocks, and you also have a vision of something that you're incredibly passionate about some way that you want to change the world and have an impact on other people, when you merge those two things together, you get a great product and you get a great company.

Cameron Adams:

And that's what we've built here at Canva. We've taken these blocks that are very... There's lots of them. Some of them are simple. Some of them are complex, but you assemble them into something that creates this vision for something that you want people to have. And basically the world's your oyster. You can build something like Canva, you can build something like Instagram, you can build umpteen different things. And it's amazing what you can do when that technological power is within your reach.

Linda Lazenby:

I just love how simple you make it sound Cameron that we can go and create the next Instagram tomorrow. And it is such a brilliant story. The Canva story. And I know that teachers, as well as budding ed tech entrepreneurs are interested to hear how you got there, but I'm really keen to learn about some of the challenges that you might've faced along the way in that between 2012 and now with Canva.

Cameron Adams:

There's definitely been quite a few hurdles. You know, even just getting the first people to start working on Canva. There's a lot of work to convince people that it was a good idea, that it was worth their time to work on it. That we're a team they actually wanted to work with and they could trust us. So it took us probably four months to land our very first full-time engineer, someone that could actually help build the product with us. And then there was the investors. So we started out with no funding and we needed to pay the people that we're actually going to employ. So finding investors who also believed in us as people that we could actually do something, believed in the product that we wanted to build, and believe that we could even do it from Sydney, Australia was a real struggle.

Cameron Adams:

And it took us a while to find the right investors who believed in us and believed in where we wanted to go. Over the years, growing that team, finding the right people at the right time, and finding those little trigger points that you need to grow both the product and the company has been really important. There's been quite a few inflection points throughout Canva's journey. Points where I can look back and say, yes, that is a time when we made a great decision that helped us really scale. Stuff like translating into our first language. Canva was just in English for a very long time, which meant that it was great for the Australian market. It was great for the US market. But if we wanted to reach someone in Kenya or Indonesia or Russia, it was really hard for us to do that because they had to speak English.

Cameron Adams:

And it was a massive goal that we actually set ourselves in 2016, but we wanted to get Canva from just one language into at least five different languages. And we set out that year. It was a goal that we set ourselves, but we didn't quite exactly know how we're going to do it, but we knew the first few steps that we're going to take to get there. And we started with a team of two people working on this, and it ended up actually taking over pretty much the whole company, which is about 60 people at the time. So they all worked on translating and internationalising and getting our application into different languages and our emails into different languages. And it took the whole year but by the end of the year, we actually translated Canva into eight different languages.

Cameron Adams:

And the following year we translated the Canva into a hundred different languages and that just opened up a totally different market to us. People who previously couldn't access Canva, they can now access it on their mobile phones in the middle of Brazil and use it for totally different use cases than we were used to, than we were thinking of when we were building a product for the Australian or the US markets. So yeah, there's been heaps those moments along the way, which have been both challenging, but also massive opportunities for growth and massive ways for Canva to innovate and change.

Joachim Cohen:

Mm-mm. That's a pretty amazing story, Cameron. I think what inspires me in hearing that is how the goals that you've had are not just driven by, as you say growth, but really driven around equity for everybody. And that's something that's close to all educators hearts. I know it's fantastic to hear. And I guess I want to build on that what you were talking about with your small team and you are... From what I've heard, there's a core group of three of you there. And one thing that I suppose we do in classrooms today is we really do a big focus on teamwork. And as one of three, you're very different people. What kind of different skills did you bring to that initial startup of Canva and even where it is today?

Cameron Adams:

Yeah, I think we're still very different people today. And I think it was one of the great things that came out of my previous failures was that I got to know myself a bit better, know what I was good at and also what I was bad at, and what I needed in the partners that I worked with. So when I came across Mel and Cliff, it just all clicked together for me because I knew that I could bring the technology and product building aspects, but the ability for Mel and Cliff to build a business, one that was bringing in millions of dollars of revenue already and could lead a team, find the people to come with them and have a really big vision for what they wanted to do. Those are all the things that fit really well together with me.

Cameron Adams:

So the three of us worked really well together back then and still do. And I remember we had this sheet of A4 paper that Mel had drawn up and it had all the departments of a big company that we thought we might need. So we had a marketing department, engineering department, a design department, and we all carved it up between us, even though there was only three of us. So I would be the design department and the engineering department and Mel would be the marketing department and Cliff would be the HR department and we'd go off and try and hit our goals through there. Eventually we filled in the gaps with a bunch of more people, but the lines are still pretty much there. They're the areas we focus on and they're our passion areas and what we're good at so we still stay involved in them.

Yvette Poshoglian:

Cameron, as the company's evolved and changed and grown we've got lots of teachers that are teaching entrepreneurship to students and I'm fascinated by your story, as your role has changed and you've gone from being all things to all people what does a day look like for you now, or is it still a really different deal each day? What are you focusing on?

Cameron Adams:

It is so different each day and it has changed drastically over the last nine years. So I think I've gone through a bunch of personal growth from being someone who was an individual contributor, someone who made something with their own hands. Well not carving wood, but typing on a keyboard. And I was used to being the executor, the person who did things and push stuff out. And over the years we've had to grow the team. We now have a team of close to 2000 people spread out across the world and they all help build the product and make decisions and do the marketing and build our customer support inquiries. So it's not like we can just dive in and do all that ourselves anymore. And learning that, learning how to bring a team together, inspire them to set their own goals, inspire them to work with their teammates and collaborate effectively and help them grow from being their own individual contributors to their own team leaders and their own big group leaders that's been a real journey for me.

Cameron Adams:

But one that I think I've definitely improved on and I've learnt a bunch of skills through. And nowadays I spend a lot of my time advising other people at the company about how they can lead and how they can build product. Still looking a lot at the products and little interactions and features that we're launching, brainstorming ideas with people, helping them get clarity on the next steps they should take. So it's a lot more meetings and a little less like actually drawing icons and that type of stuff, but it's still pretty fulfilling. And seeing people grow, get their first team, work with a bunch of other people and ship these features that go out to tens of millions of people around the world is still pretty exciting.

Linda Lazenby:

Gosh, it sounds like a very inspiring workplace. That's for sure. We have a huge focus in the work that we do on STEM as a future career pathway for our young people. I'd be keen to know what your thoughts are about creativity and design and how our young people should be thinking about career progression.

Cameron Adams:

I think creativity is definitely going to be one of the most in demand skills for the future, particularly as automation and computers and machine learning becomes more integrated into everything that we do. Creativity, isn't something that's just assigned to people that can draw well. I have a background as both a designer and an engineer. As a designer, I'm a terrible artist. I can't draw anything. If I tried to draw a frog, you'd probably think it was a stone. But I still think of myself as creative person. So someone who can problem solve, who can come up with new ideas, can look at things from different perspectives and bring something new to the table. And it's something that we value a lot in the people that work at Canva and in the way that they work together as a team, because no one in Canva does something just by themselves. There's no one that creates something and ships it just as a one person show.

Cameron Adams:

It's always about sharing your ideas with people, building on top of other people's ideas, bringing new perspectives, looking at things through a different lens. And to me, that's really what creativity is about. It's being open to new ideas and being flexible to adapt and iterate. And no matter what you're good at, whether you're a business person or someone who loves coding, or indeed someone who loves to pick up a paint brush and create something, you can be creative and you can think in different ways and you can include other people in that act of creation. And I think that's the biggest thing we can teach people.

Joachim Cohen:

Mm-mm. Well, I think you've somewhat summed up what I was going to ask you next, but I think this idea of design, is it a little bit like STEM in the way that really, no matter what career pathway students choose, they're probably going to need to have those kind of creativity and design skills no matter where they actually end up in their future careers?

Cameron Adams:

Yeah. I think the workforce changes so dramatically. My wife does a lot of thinking about this, about how to adapt to different environments and adapt to the way that work is changing. I think that a lot of the jobs that we have now didn't exist 10 years ago, and a lot of the ways that people think now about how work should be and how you're meant to work with your colleagues and work in teams didn't exist 20 years ago. So we're constantly evolving and changing and technology aids that and changes what it is that we do.

Cameron Adams:

30 years ago most of us would not have worked on a computer. We didn't send emails, we didn't write documents. And now that's a lot of what we spend our time on. So you need to be able to adapt to that and in thinking about how we can best serve students and kids, it's about instilling in them that flexibility and that lifelong learning that they want to have to continuously learn new things, adapt and be really curious about the world around them, because that is the skill that we see is most in demand across everyone that works at Canva.

Cameron Adams:

So no matter, whether you're writing code or you're sketching out a wire frame, or you're determining, looking at some data to determine what feature we should build next. That curiosity, that willingness to learn new tools and methodologies and ways of working is super important. And that's the primary skill, I think that will hold you in good stead for the future.

Yvette Poshoglian:

Cameron, I love that it's education week and the theme this year is lifelong learning. So I think you've touched on a nerve there for all of our listeners. And I think the advice you've given for students around creativity is just absolutely gold and the flexibility too. But if you could go back in time to your 16 year old self, what did you want to be at that age?

Cameron Adams:

At 16 I probably wanted to be a rollerblading star or else I would be a... I had a split personality. I either wanted to be a lawyer. I was doing legal studies at the age of 16, or I did want to be an artist. And I was actually a better drawer back then than I am now. So I could draw a decent Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtle. But I didn't flex my artistic muscles for a long time and they withered. So back then it was either probably would have said an artistic lawyer is what I wanted to be

Linda Lazenby:

Specialising in Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, maybe.

Cameron Adams:

Yeah.

Linda Lazenby:

So I know we've had some exciting news in the last couple of weeks about New South Wales Public Schools and how our educators can use Canva. Do you want to share with everyone, our listeners what the news is?

Cameron Adams:

It has been an amazing partnership with the Department of Education, and we're so pleased to see it roll out now that every teacher and every student in New South Wales can use Canva for Education entirely for free. We're super excited about that and super excited to be able to partner with you and bring design to classrooms all over New South Wales.

Joachim Cohen:

It is fantastic. And for all you listeners out there, we'll make sure we put links in the show notes so you can go and find out how to access Canva as a teacher, and then invite your students along. That is for sure. And I'll tell you, Cameron, I was so excited to hear you speak about the innovations that seem to always be on the boil at Canva. And we've seen video, we've seen presentations come on board. What's next?

Cameron Adams:

Oh, I'm not sure I can tell you what's the next Joe but we are constantly thinking about new ways of communicating at Canva. Because essentially, that's what it boils down to for us. What design is, is about ways of communicating. And the world has changed drastically over the last nine years with Canva, sharing videos. You wouldn't have thought about it in 2012. And now it's an everyday part of our life that we share videos of ourselves teaching, videos of kids explaining new concepts. So a developments in creating a video design tool and Canva was a response to that. And we're constantly looking for ways in which people are looking to communicate new ways. AR and virtual reality are just round the corner. So who knows that might be an area that we have to dive into to actually start figuring out how people can create great virtual reality experiences.

Linda Lazenby:

Oh, well that sounds particularly exciting, Cameron. That's for sure. Look, we're getting towards the end of our time with you, what message would you like to pass on to our listeners, the teachers of our New South Wales Public Schools, as they start to engage the next generation of our creators and makers?

Cameron Adams:

I think you had to return to what we were saying before, inspire that creativity in your students, no matter what they might on the outside be good at. You need to find how they can harness those skills, work collaboratively and come up with unique solutions to things because that's what the world needs right now is solutions to some of the big problems that we're experiencing. And I think the kids that are going through school today will be the ones that have to A, deal with the problem and B, find solutions for them. So arming them with the tools and the mindset to be able to do that is probably the most important thing you can do.

Joachim Cohen:

Oh. Gee Whizz. What an amazing way to finish. That's for sure. And it makes me really curious. I don't know if you've listened into any of our podcast episodes, Cameron, but at the end of every podcast, we have one question that we haven't prepared you for.

Cameron Adams:

Uh-uh.

Joachim Cohen:

Yes, indeed. Uh-uh. This one is called rocket ship robots. Now you might've heard of a podcast, a famous one over in the UK called desert island discs. And you need to tell the... It's a big presentation about what are those tunes you're going to take you with you to a desert island, but we're a technology podcast we're flying into outer space in our rocket ship. What piece of technology would you take with you?

Cameron Adams:

I would have to say it would actually be Spotify or my turntables because I'm a big fan of music. I love making music and listening to music. So it either have to be something where I can just access all the music humankind has ever created or create some amazing music myself. So one of those things.

Joachim Cohen:

Uh uh. I love that answer. That is fantastic and something that certainly... I think I will. So I might think I might miss my phone for a day. I would miss my music for a week, a month and a year after I'd hit into outer space. So thank you so much, Cameron. Your story will be an inspiration to many. I think that you might be getting a few job applications view through from teachers and students and everybody who listens to this podcast. It sounds like a magical place to work. That's for sure. And the tool set you and your team have created is really going to make digital classrooms pop in schools all around the globe. Thank you so much for joining us here on the Virtual Staff Room.

Cameron Adams:

Fantastic to hear, Joe. Really happy to be here. And I hope the teachers of New South Wales enjoy their new Canva accounts.

Linda Lazenby:

So, Joe and Yvette what an interview. Canva clearly is one of the new tools for school and work. Can you tell us about what some of the awesome features are for teachers and students in Canva for education?

Yvette Poshoglian:

Yeah, Linda. I think you're right. I think lots of us already have accounts with Canva but there's a really great reason to upgrade to the Department of Education login and to use the premium edition of Canva for Education. It's been created with teachers in mind. And that means you don't have to reinvent the wheel. There are loads and loads of templates in there that are suited to your classroom that you just need minor tweaks to in a lot of cases. And especially right now, if teachers are time poor, if they're teaching from home or kids are learning online, you don't have time to go in and do that all the time. So even people that don't, and aren't blessed with great design skills can make something look fantastic with the smallest amount of effort. And the thing I like about Canva is that I find it quite an intuitive product to use.

Yvette Poshoglian:

So you just need to have a little fiddle with it, a little play and you will actually come out with something that looks good. So I think one of the other things that I really like about the edition for teachers is access to creative commons and copyright free images. There's lots and lots of galleries for teachers to use. So it's very easy to drag and drop things because I don't know. I always have the same 50 pictures to choose from. So that's, to me is a bit of a win. Joe, what do you like about it?

Joachim Cohen:

Oh, look Yvette, I want to touch on the first thing you said, which is just get in there and have a play. You cannot break these new technology tools. So get in there, have a go, see what you can create, use the template, adjust the templates. So there's so many as you were saying, but I've been doing a little bit of exploring and I created a presentation in Canva. I was thinking, "Oh, this is really groovy." But then I noticed a little button that said that you could actually record your presentation within Canva.

Joachim Cohen:

So that really excited me. I can actually go in, play my presentation and get a link to a video of me talking through my presentation. So there are so many features as part of the Canva tool. So, go and explore. Make sure you look at our Canva signup page where all the details are, the signup link is. And of course, if you're using this tool with students who are under 13 years of age, you do need to get parental permission. So all those details, all the details of the service, because it's optional. You don't have to use this tool, but it is pretty groovy on our Canva for Education web page. So go and check it out.

Joachim Cohen:

So, we have these inspirational tool set but how do we meaningfully incorporate them into the classroom? Ideas people. And to get us started, I'm going to start us out. And I've got this fantastic resource I found on the department's website. It's called design thinking across the curriculum. It is a step-by-step process that walks students through the design thinking process and I'm thinking they could have an amazing entrepreneurial idea in commerce, in business studies or something they need to communicate, know about entrepreneurship in English. And then they can use Canva's amazing tool set to develop their pitch, develop their promotional materials and all sorts of things like that. So combine Canva with an idea you've got in your classroom and this design thinking tool set. And I think that sounds like a pretty good recipe. All right Linda, what have you got?

Linda Lazenby:

Well, I love what you've come up with Joe. I've been looking at T4L Kids, the science issue, where we asked students to look at an issue in their community, environmental or otherwise that they might be able to support, do some research and really share with their audience how they might be able to engage them in supporting their cause. And I thought Canva would be a really good link. They can really make some great graphics and documents to support their cause and work through the information in that issue.

Yvette Poshoglian:

Linda, I love that too, because the Science teacher has that real approach of creating a campaign and pushing it out there. And these are just the real world skills we're expecting, not only of ourselves, but also our students. And they are already doing this sophisticated campaigning on their own behalf. And as we move deeper into online learning as well, they're becoming better and better at it. I love the power of Canva and the power of the graphics driven style comms. I think there are some strong links to visual storytelling and picture books. And it just... Once again, I can highlight the Everyone's an Author Program, which we've got, which really does get deep into storytelling using pictures, using sounds and all the different ways to communicate a narrative. So I think there are some really strong links there with the way you can create on Canva and also how students might pull together a message and with whatever they are creating.

Joachim Cohen:

I know in the early part of lockdown event, I had a little bit of a go myself for creating a book using Canva and those really great, easy to use templates. It is a fantastic tool. I agree. Jump into Everyone's an Author and then combine that with Canva. So we've come to the end of another episode of the Virtual Staff Room and jto see us out, we have an awesome tip of techno wizardry wisdom, and we are lucky enough today to hear from Robyn, a teacher librarian and digital classroom officer from Dubbo Public school.

Robyn:

One of the ways I've been using technology in my top tip, if you like is with Google Earth. And I put a tour together on Google Earth or a presentation together, looking at places like the Sydney Opera House and the Melbourne Cricket Ground and Parliament House in Canberra and various other constructed landmarks that the children would be familiar with or should be familiar with. And they chose one of those landmarks to construct in Minecraft I linked the tour to their Google Classroom, which I use with them. And then they've been working for the last few weeks in constructing that landmark using Minecraft. And they keep going back and forth between the Google tour to have a look at what the landmark looks like from different viewpoints.

Robyn:

So with the Opera House, they can get down on the water to have a look at it from Sydney Harbour or they can stand in the forecourt or they can look at it from above to see the shape of it. And then they're having a go at constructing that in Minecraft and their takeup of... Their interest level is just sky high because they're using Minecraft but they're also obviously learning something important about Australian geography.

Joachim Cohen:

Robyn, you are an inspiration. So Yvette and Linda can I expect to see some craftily created social media graphics on your profiles or a stunning invitation to our next staff morning tea?

Yvette Poshoglian:

Making morning tea is a bit hard at the moment, but I tell you what I can do is create a virtual backdrop of it and that's what I'm going to work on.

Joachim Cohen:

Oh. That is the best idea. I love it. This podcast has been produced by the masterful Jacob Druce, with the assistance and supreme coordination of many more awesome members of a T4L team.

Speaker 6:

Just a little note, please be aware that all views expressed by the podcast presenters, that's us, our personal opinions are not representative of the New South Wales Department of Education. Discussions aren't endorsements of third party products, services or events. And please note that as much as we sound like it, we are not experts in legal ease, tech speak or anything in between. We're just passionate people keen to boost technology for learning in the classroom and to help build the skills in your students and for you to solve the problems of tomorrow. Do your due diligence. Read further. And if we've got something wrong, let us know. We too are always learning and always improving.

Joachim Cohen:

Before we go, please make sure you send us through your comments, your word of techno wizardry wisdom and your thoughts for new guests and segments. And if you liked the podcast, give us a rating so more and more educators find us and be inspired to get a little techie in the classroom. Stay inspired, stay safe, stay compassionate everyone. Get creating and thanks for joining us.