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Digital Tools for Teaching and Learning

Canva

Canva is a graphic design platform that allows users to create social media graphics, presentations, posters and other visual content. Canva provides a wide array of templates, colour schemes and images that will bring a creative edge to presentations and graphics. Includes drag and drop features. 

With a free account, users have access to:

  • 8,000+ free templates
  • 100+ design types (social media posts, presentations, letters, and more)
  • Free photos and graphics
  • Team sharing and collaboration

Canva is best for

  • Beginners to design who are looking for more visually compelling presentations.
  • Creating customizable graphs, prints, social media posts and presentation slides: 
    • Includes professional layouts, templates, frames, and voice icons.

Limitations

  • Limited freedom once using a specific theme.
  • Less features in comparison to traditional PowerPoint.
  • Specifically sized templates might print out in an undesirable size from an average printer
    • ie. Canva sells printers, so a lot of their templates are made to print from their own products. 

Accessibility

Using Canva

It would be very difficult for someone to use Canva to create anything relying solely on assistive devices. 

Creating an Accessible Document

While creating your infographic, you will need to consider

  • Colour contrast
  • Font (sans serif) and sizing 
  • Layout 

Canva allows users to export as a PNG, JPEG or PDF. If you have access to Adobe Acrobat, you can edit your infographic or document to make it accessible. Another option would be to provide the information in another format. Some options include

More help on creating accessible infographics

Support

  • Canva is supported by the library Media Studio. 
  • Need help? Book an appointment with a staff member. 

Resources

Piktochart

Piktochart is a web-based info graphic application which allows users without intensive experience as graphic designers to easily create info graphics and visuals using themed templates.

With a free account, users have access to:

  • Up to 5 active visuals
  • 40MB image uploads
  • Standard quality image exports
  • Pre-defined color schemes

Piktochart is best for

  • Beginners to graphic design looking to create professional info graphics very easily:
    • Simple features.
    • Easy-to-use templates.

Limitations

  • Can only download as PNG in the free account
  • Lacks the possibility of adding some animations:
    • Cannot add films and motion pictures. 

Accessibility

Using Piktochart

It would be very difficult for someone to create an infographic using Piktochart relying solely on assistive devices. 

Creating an Accessible Infographic

While creating your infographic, you will need to consider

  • colour contrast
  • Font (sans serif) and sizing 
  • layout 

Piktochart does not produce accessible infographics. Because it only exports to a PNG, you need to think about how to provide an alternative format to provide the information. Some options include

More help on creating accessible infographics

Support

  • Piktochart is supported by the library Media Studio. 
  • Need help? Book an appointment with a staff member. 

Resources

Google Slides

Google Slides is a presentation program included as part of a free, web-based software office suite offered by Google within its Google Drive service. Create and edit polished presentations in your browser—no software required. Multiple people can work at the same time so everyone always has the latest version.

Google slides is an open source tool and free for anyone to use.

Google Slides is best for

  • Interactive slides creation.
  • Collaborative presentations
  • Interactive online learning.

Limitations

  • Animations and transitions are limited in comparison to other formats like PowerPoint.

Accessibility

  • Supports screen readers and Braille displays.
  • Supports alt text on images.
  • Supports keyboard shortcuts. Open a list of shortcuts any time by pressing Ctrl + / (Windows, Chrome OS) or Command + / (Mac).

General information about using Google Slides with a screen reader can be found on Google’s Get started in Google Slides with a screen reader page. 

While screen readers assist with the usability of Google Slides, some issues may still occur. Users should consider the following when using their screen readers, in order to have the best experience:

  • Apple VoiceOver: Chrome is the recommended browser for using VoiceOver. For the best experience, turn off VoiceOver’s Quick Nav feature by pressing the left and right arrows at the same time.
  • NVDA: If using NVDA, Firefox will provide the best functionality.
  • JAWS: NVDA is recommended for Windows users; however, if you are using JAWS, Firefox is the recommended browser.

If you use a Braille display, you can enable Braille support in Google Slides to read and enter text. This option is currently available for Google Chrome and Internet Explorer. Find instructions for using a Braille display on Google’s use a Braille display page. 

Resources

Swipe

Swipe is a presentation tool that turns presentations into conversations. It's live and interactive. Upload an existing presentation or create one in swipe, share the link and start presenting live anytime, anywhere.

With a free account, users have access to:

  • Up to 5 presentations
  • Unlimited collaborators
  • Private presentations
  • Export to PDF

Swipe is best for

  • Interactive presentations.
  • Online classes
    • Class polls and participation.
    • Class discussions
    • Online quizzes in real time.

Limitations

  • Must have internet connection to use.
  • No app (but works well in browser).

Resources

Visme

Visme is a data presentation and visualization tool that helps users make their content compelling and presentable by transforming it into visually appealing presentations and info graphics. It's web-based and can also run offline. Visme is great for collaborating in teams and in classes.

With a free account, users have access to 

  • Up to 5 Projects
  • 100 MB Storage
  • Download as JPG
  • Some Charts & Widgets
  • Public Projects

Visme is best for

  • Interactive presentations. 
  • Class participation and discussions. 
  • Collaborative presentation building 
  • Creating info graphics.
  • Offline use.

Limitations

  • Bit of a learning curve:
    • Better for people already familiar with presentation and visualization tools.
  • Paid plans charge in USD.

Resources

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