Canva and the 21st Century Student

For a Gen Z student raised on computers and social media, I identify as one of many whose exposure to technology at an early age has not translated into tech-savviness. I struggle to troubleshoot the most basic computer or phone related issues, and my knowledge of coding or the use of graphic editing applications is minimal at best.

But every year, it seems future employees are expected to have more advanced technical know-how when it comes to working in digital spaces– and perhaps the lockdown has ramped up these expectations.

As a student taking up a Juris Doctor degree, while juggling multiple part-time jobs ranging from environmental conservation to paralegal volunteering, it seems many times the only common thread between these diverse fields is the expectation that one must know how to present things in a visually appealing manner– from pubs and infographics to presentations and videos. Being able to create and edit the aforementioned is quickly becoming a must-know in order to be able to compete for positions in the job market of the 21st century.

For me, and many others like myself, the application Canva has been a godsend.

Canva is an online graphic design platform geared towards beginners and novices in the field of visual editing, providing access to thousands of editable templates for pitch decks, presentations, documents, infographics, and any other kind of visual document under the sun.

Canva was founded in 2013 by Filipina-Australian tech entrepreneur Melanie Perkins. Today, more than 30 million people avail of Canva’s free online services every month, making Perkins the 3rd wealthiest woman in Australia. Despite Canva’s success, it has not neglected its Filipino roots. In November 2020, Canva partnered with the Office of Vice President Leni Robredo to provide relief packs to over 2,000 households.

But beyond Pinoy Pride and its heart of service, Canva is my preferred option when it comes to simple visual editing, for a litany of reasons!

1. It’s easy & accessible on any device. Through Canva, I’m able to access documents I’m working on on both my phone and my laptop! This accessibility also allows multiple users on different devices to be able to edit the same project in real time, much like a Google Docs for visuals.

2. Its key functions are free! While Canva has launched its Canva Pro function, giving paid access to even more templates, Canva itself already provides access to thousands of resources that can be utilized at your fingertips. While Canva provides ready-made templates for free, it still allows you to experiment with and unleash your creative side, mixing and matching different designs to produce truly custom outputs.

3. Making use of Canva is also extremely time-efficient. From the booting up process to edits, there’s no comparison when it’s pitted alongside more professional graphic editing applications– Canva is the simplest solution when pressed for time, as most students are in this day and age.

Javi Vilchez

is a second year student at the UP College of Law. He also serves as Vice President of the UP Marine Biological Society, which champions environmental and marine conservation. In his spare time, Javi enjoys SCUBA Diving, reading, and taking care of his exotic pets.

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