Create, collaborate and share with flexible, cloud-based design tool

Learning rating

Community rating

Based on 37 reviews

Privacy rating

Expert evaluation by Common Sense



Subjects & Skills

Arts, Creativity

Great for

Assessment, Creating Media, Media Literacy, Presentation

Price: Free, Paid
Platforms: Android, iPad, iPhone, iPod Touch, Chrome

Pros: Tons of free templates plus great guidance can help anyone design beautiful images and infographics.

Cons: More skilled designers might feel limited by this scaffolded approach, and templates are limited without a premium (or qualifying educator) account.

Bottom Line: With stable internet access and especially with free teacher access to the premium features, this is a powerful, accessible way to create beautiful designs.

For your students, use Canva as your go-to creation tool for class projects. Consider having students use the poster and presentation templates to create their own attractive, original art to enhance their in-class presentations. If everyone has their own device and there's reliable wifi, use Canva's collaboration tools to invite students to collaborate in real time, perhaps brainstorming for a project, creating a new design, adding feedback to an image, or answering questions in real time. For your own purposes, use these design tools to bring extra verve and pizzazz to your course documents, class website, or social media presence. There are great graph templates built in, too, which could be solid tools to help math and science classes display data; plus, students could use chart templates like the Venn diagram tool to help illustrate what they've learned in class. Check out the Canva website's Education section for inspiration and free resources for teachers and students.

Canva is a graphic design tool for the web, Android, iOS, Mac, and Windows. Users create an account (with an email address or by linking their Google or Facebook account) and then follow a tutorial that shows them how to get started and how to use the tool's many features. Users can upload their own images and create their own layouts or choose from a selection of thousands of built-in images and design templates (some of which are available for in-app purchase). Features abound: You can adjust brightness and contrast, resize images, overlay images with text and colors, and more. Once users have finished creating, their designs are automatically saved to the cloud and are accessible from the user's homepage in the app or on the website. Users can then export their creations via email, as Facebook posts, or via Twitter, and they can download their images in JPEG, PNG, or PDF format. You'll need a stable internet connection to use Canva successfully. 

Canva's premium features are available for free to verified teachers (who register with their school email address) and their students. Plus, Canva has special content geared toward educators, including blog posts from teachers and students, special tutorials and templates geared toward teachers, plus ideas for using Canva in the classroom. Teachers can add students to their classrooms, create assignments, receive assignments, and review and approve work. Students within a classroom can collaborate on designs in real time (again, with a stable internet connection).

Canva is especially great for novices who want to create eye-catching graphics to print or post online but don't have much (or any!) graphic design experience. advanced users might look elsewhere. Helpful pop-ups walk users through the features, and it's appealing to discover how to use the app's many features to do (and undo) things with ease. This is definitely graphic design with very stylish training wheels, which might be all you need. It's a great way to make something that looks good fast, and it seems like the perfect tool for adding captions to images for simple sharing via social media. The flexible features for creation and for export make this an excellent tool for helping even the most novice designer create and share slick, simple graphic design. As a teaching tool for graphic design, look elsewhere: Canva doesn't have as many tools or as much flexibility as Photoshop or Illustrator, and users won't get in-depth instruction about principles of what makes good design. That being said, this is an engaging, powerful tool for making stellar images for print and digital use.

Learning Rating

Overall Rating

The interface is gorgeous, and using the tool is fun and intuitive. Built-in designs are slick and attractive and should appeal to students (and their teachers, too).


Students won't learn much about graphic design principles, but intuitive features empower them to focus on organizing and presenting information effectively.


The opening tutorial is excellent, and lots of helpful hints along the way make it easy to create a design from scratch or from a template. Teacher-focused tutorials can help teachers make the most of built-in features.

Common Sense reviewer

Community Rating

Great creativity tool

Canva is a great tool for students for helping their imagination coming to life. Creating banners, posters, and putting together projects on this website is easy and free. Users on Canva are able to choose through a large variety of premade designs, and tailor it with their own touches (such as their own pictures, phrases, designs, colors, etc.)

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Privacy Rating

Data Safety How safe is this product?

  • Users can interact with trusted users.
  • Users can interact with untrusted users, including strangers and/or adults.
  • Profile information must be shared for social interactions.

Data Rights What rights do I have to the data?

  • Users can create or upload content.
  • Users retain ownership of their data.
  • Processes to access or review user data are available.

Ads & Tracking Are there advertisements or tracking?

  • Personal information is not shared for third-party marketing.
  • Traditional or contextual advertisements are displayed.
  • Personalised advertising is displayed.

Continue reading about this tool's privacy practices, including data collection, sharing, and security.

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