The 8-Bit Instructor: Spark Creativity with Adobe (EP031)

Download the episode here.

Episode 31

This week on the show, I look at how you can use Adobe Spark apps to allow your students some creative freedom. Plus, there’s news and updates from Formative, Google, and Microsoft.

News & Updates

  • Formative
    • Partner school/districts: Record a video to add to a question or content block (in beta)
    • See your students’ activity in Formative: when open & submit, answer questions, etc.
    • Enhance pdf files: switch out an updated version without losing the attached questions
      • Also drag and drop questions onto other pdf pages
    • Undo student submissions without erasing answers
      • Click on a student’s name, in the 3 dots menu click undo submission
    • Drag & drop images
  • Google
    • Chrome Spaces
      • Revamped Chrome profiles
      • Everyone who’s sharing a computer (or your multiple Google accounts)
      • Customize color schemes, backgrounds, bookmarks, saved passwords
      • New feature: reading list
      • Syncs across devices
    • Tools to make children’s books easier to read
      • Read & Listen: listen to the book read aloud; choose whether pages turn automatically or manually
      • Tap to Read and Kid Friendly Dictionary: tap a word to hear it; get kid-friendly definitions with illustrations
      • In the Google Play store or Google Books, look for books designated 0-8, the majority of which have these tools enabled
    • Sign in to RSVP via hyperlinks in Google Calendar email invitations
      • You’ll have to be logged in to RSVP to Calendar events
  • Microsoft Teams
    • Dynamic View: intelligently arranges content and participants during a class
      • Makes it easier to see everything important
    • Presenter Mode
      • Educators have the option of how to arrange video & content
        • Standout mode: video in front of shared content
        • Reporter: content as a visual aid above the shoulder
        • Side-by-side: video and content next to each other
    • PowerPoint Live
      • Content, slides, notes, students all in a single view
      • Students can navigate content at their own pace or use the screen reader to access the content
    • View Switcher
      • Allows you to change views
      • Together mode, focus, gallery at top, full screen
    • Live reactions available for students
    • Download attendance reports after class
    • Invite-only option
      • New lobby setting only allows participants who were explicitly invited
    • Disable video to remove distractions
    • Meeting chat moderation
      • Disabled, during meeting, enabled
    • Assignments in Teams
      • Link thumbnails preview in Assignments
      • Support for large file sizes

Treasure Chest: Wisdom from The Twilight Princess

  • “A sword wields no strength unless the hands that hold it has courage.”
    • Don’t just give students tools and information
    • Encourage and empower them to use them confidently

Boss Battle: Spark Creativity with Adobe

Adobe Spark – 3 main products full of pre-built, customizable templates

Spark post – Create beautiful graphics
  • Social media posts: facebook, Twitter, Instagram
  • Print media: posters, flyers, business cards
  • Ads
  • Templates
    • Click and edit (Remix)
      • If you can click on it, you can edit it
      • Text, colors, images, icons, backgrounds, etc.
      • Images: Creative Commons
      • Icons from Noun Project
      • Design assets: illustrations, brushes, frames, textures, overlays
  • Right-hand menu
    • Color scheme options
    • Animate text or image
    • Background layouts
    • Resize to different pre-built sizes
    • Designs – create other variations of designs in a single click
  • Create a library to share with a class to use
  • Add brand logos, colors, fonts, etc.
Spark video – create beautiful videos from scratch or with templates
  • Can pick from a story template
    • Example: Teach a Lesson
      • Overview, Concept, Example, Explanation, You Try It, Summary
      • Add in videos, text, photos, or icons for each
      • Record audio voiceovers
      • Layout options: fullscreen, split screen, caption, title and text
  • Choose theme for color and text
  • Resize to widescreen or square
  • Add some background music
Spark page – create web pages that look great
  • Create a web page from templates to embed anywhere
    • Photo journal, newsletter, portfolio
  • Add a title and image, then scroll down to add more content
    • Button to link to other sites
    • Embed videos
    • Photo grids
    • Add a glideshow (images and text as you scroll)
    • Split layout
  • Choose from different themes
  • Automatically adds licensing information at the bottom
  • Publish and share
  • Print
  • Send to Google Drive
Spark for Education
  • Free education account – allows you to create classes and assign projects to students
    • .edu and accounts sign up easily
    • Other domains, get your IT admin to set it up
  • Safe search
  • Coppa & FERPA compliant
  • Premium features are free
  • Education Exchange – pre-done lessons that you can download into Google Docs

Crew Members’ Board (#8BitCrew)

QOTW: What’s one way you could use Adobe Spark to add a little creativity in your classroom?

Use #8BitCrew on Twitter, tag me @comicsocks, or post longer stories in the comments section here.

Get connected

Check out my Google Classroom Udemy course.


Music by David Fesliyan (

  • Intro/Outro: “Retro Platforming”
  • Boss Battle: “Boss Battle Rock”
  • Crew Member’s Board: “Pirate Dance”
  • Wrap up: “Game Over” by Patrick de Arteaga

Disclaimer: This post may contain affiliate links to products or services. I may receive commissions or bonuses from your actions on such links.

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