When prepping a lesson, these are my tried-and-true favorite creative incubators. While there are plenty of tech savvy students who like to use these design programs, they can get pretty wonky and time intensive, so I tend to steer students away from them when possible.


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Smore

Most teachers and administrators dream of sending up-to-date newsletters to parents and students, and Smore makes those dreams a reality. It is simple, fast way to turn pictures and short captions into a professional looking newsletter for parents and students that they can read on their phones.


Screencastify

Being able to capture what happens on my computer screen has been empowering. I am able to plan video tutorials and take my time modeling a complicated process. I can then edit the video and add markings to make sure that student eyes are focused on the most important parts of the screen. It is funny how many times in a week I think to myself, "Oh! I should Screencastify this!" 


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MagCloud

I have found MagCloud to be a classy way to spread digital publications, especially literary magazines, newsletters, or classroom books. The products can be as professional looking as you want, and you can even order physical copies of your digital publication. I also deeply appreciate that you can set your MagCloud store to have free digital downloads. Again, this is very classy.


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Prezi

I am enthralled by the storytelling potential that exists in the way Prezi transitions. I have spent countless hours retooling transitions in Prezi to capture the smoothest swoop and zaniest zoom. Personally, my loyalty remains with Google Slides, but I have thoroughly enjoyed spending far too long preparing Prezis.  


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Photoshop

Photoshop is a verb for a reason. This powerful design engine can take a creative mind anywhere. I often use it for mundane tasks that I could probably do easier in less ambitious programs, but when it comes to the big visual project, nothing works like Photoshop.


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Premiere

There are plenty of movie editors that work well, but once you learn Premiere, it is hard to unlearn Premiere. Yet another sterling Adobe product is an industry leader for a reason.


Illustrator

I had largely ignored vector design until I yielded to the pressure of students who were interested in designing their own logos or graphics. Once you become versed in Illustrator, you feel ready to design anything, and now I am enthusiastic about this being the number one design program that artistic students should learn for their future careers.


InDesign

This is probably my most used program in the Adobe Creative Cloud Suite, because I turn to it so often when designing posters, newsletters, magazines, and notecards. InDesign makes previously unimaginable projects possible.


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SquareSpace

This website is made with SquareSpace, so I am a bit biased, but once I signed up to create my first classroom website, I have never looked back. In the age of Google Classroom, I am finding it less and less necessary to have a teacher website for day-to-day operations, but I am continually flabbergasted by what SquareSpace makes possible.