Beautiful Web Pages Made Easy With Adobe Spark Page

This is not the first time I have written about Adobe Spark. For last year’s 30 tools in 30 days, I reviewed both Spark Post and Spark Video. You can read my review of Post and Video by following the links. However, I did not review the final tool in this suite – Spark Page.

Visual Portfolios and Digital Stories

Adobe Spark Page gives you the same simple tools you find in Post and Video. In a short time, you can create visually stunning web pages. Like Post and Video, Spark Page’s main focus is on the images. There are several tools to help you create a page that highlights your images.

Here are a couple of examples of pages made using Adobe Page.

The first I created for the STEM Read Podcast to display pictures we took while recording an episode with author/illustrator Tom Lichtenheld and Dr. Rhonda Robinson. (Here is a link to the episode if you would like to give it a listen.) The second is a sample of my photography and the third is my daughter’s art portfolio.

You can see from the examples that the pages you create are more than just static web pages. There are some nice scrolling and image display features. Want to see more, check out their inspiration gallery.

Key Features

Make Images  Videos and Web Stories for Free in Minutes   Adobe Spark.png
Adobe Spark Page – Easy Editing

Adobe page has a ton of features that make this an easy tool for building a visual web page.

  • Formatted blocks – You build your web page in blocks. You can select the type of block you want and then add your images, text, video, or buttons.
  • Embed videos – You can add videos easily to your site. Create videos with Spark video and then add them to your page. with a simple click.
  • Upload images from anywhere – Not only can you upload images from your computer, Spark Pages also connects to Lightbox, Dropbox, Google Photos, and Google Drive. If you don’t have your own images, you can search through Adobe’s bank of stock images.
  • Apply Themes – Change the look and feel of your page by applying different themes. If you have a paid account, you can set up a custom theme using your brand management settings.
  • Free – Just like the other Spark tools, Page is free. However, you can upgrade to the premium account if you want to manage the look and feel of your brand and remove any Adobe branding. Read more about the pricing on their Pricing Page.
  • Adobe Hosting – Adobe hosts all of the pages you create using page. You do not need an external host.
  • Sharing – When you publish your page, you get a shareable link. You can also share your page through Facebook, Twitter, Google Classroom, or email.
  • Link updating – If you update or modify your page, you can update the link to push out the changes. No new URL needed.

In the Classroom

All of the Adobe Apps are wonderful tools for the classroom. With Spark Page, your students can create amazing visual stories that look like they have years of training. Here are just a few ideas for how to use this with your students.

  • Art portfolios – As you can see from the example above, Page is a fantastic tool for creating visual portfolios. I like the combination of text and images that allows your artists to write captions and artist’s statements about their work.
  • Informational web page – Instead of having them write a research report, have them put together an information page about a topic they researched.
  • Visual resume – Have students create a visual about me page. Focus on different audiences. What would a professional page look like versus a personal page? This is also a good time to talk about what you should and should not share online.
  • Science journal – Create a science journal that documents an inquiry project through text and image.
  • Reflective journal – In my visual literacy class, I do a Photo A Week challenge. Having my students create a reflection journal using their images would be a great way to capture their learning.
  • Digital Stories – Whether your students are creating works of fiction or non-fiction narratives, have them tell their story through building a page.
  • Class magazine – Turn your students into journalists and have them create a class magazine. Assing different content sections to different teams and let them work together to publish a magazine. Create multiple pages and pull them together into a Google site or other website tool.

There are so many other ways you could use Spark Page in your classroom. You could even create your own visual resume to highlight some of your own professional wins.

If you do not have a free account yet, go sign up for one today and start playing with the amazing set of tools!

Track Your Daily Mood through Color with Year in Pixels

I’m in a grumpy mood today.  Maybe it’s the lack of sunshine on this cloudy November day. Maybe it’s the fact that my vacation is almost over and I have to come back to reality. Maybe it’s because all of the apps I want to review are iPhone apps and my iPhone died a couple months back. Whatever the cause, I’m feeling a kind of blah. I’m feeling a bit grey.

That got me thinking about the connection between mood and color. One of my favorite books to read to my kids when they were little was My Many Colored Days by Dr. Suess. A wonderful story about the many colors of our moods. Somedays I’m happy pink, or busy buzzy yellow, or sad and lonely purple. Today. today is a grey day.

Today, because of my colorless mood, I found an app to help you and your students track the color of your days – Year in Pixels.

The Year in Pixels Movement

For all you Bullet Journalers out there, Year in Pixels is not new. It is something that many of you probably already do in your envy-inducing, organized Bullet Journals. (I’ve tried it. I want to get better at it. I bow to all of you who do it.)

The concept of Year in Pixels is simple. Create a grid that represents every day of the year. Each square is a pixel. Create a color key for your moods. Color the square, or pixel, for each day the color that represents your mood. When the year is over you have a visual representation of your mood that year. To learn more about the concept, you can read this tutorial on the Bullet Journal site. You can also read more about this technique on this post by the Little Coffe Fox.

As someone who is fascinated by color, and data, and art, I really like the idea of seeing how my mood changed over time as represented by color.

The App

Enter your daily mood.
Enter your daily mood.

If a hard copy IRL Year in Pixels seems a bit more than you are ready to commit to, try the Year in Pixels Android app by Teo Vogel or the iOS app by Bullet Journal. I (obviously) took a look at the Android version.

The app is straightforward. You have a grid of pixels. One pixel represents one day. Every day you open the app, select your color, add some emotions, and if you are feeling really chatty, write a journal entry. This information is saved and displayed on your grid.

I like the inclusion of the emotions and a place where you can write. It adds some details to your mood color. You can customize the emotion vocabulary just in case you are feeling uniquely you on that day. You can even customize your color choices. You can set up your own emotion color library.

There is not much more to this app beyond color and journal entry. However, seeing your moods track by color can be a power self-reflection tool.

In the Classroom

Day one
Day one of tracking.

Whether you are using the app or the marker and paper technique, Year in Pixels is an excellent is an excellent social emotional strategy for your students. Not only are you helping them reflect on their daily mood and the cause of that mood, you are also building visual literacy skills as you connect color to emotion.

Have your students track their mood for a week then have them review their gid and discuss or write about their mood that week. They can also discuss what caused their mood that week. Have them track another week and compare. What trends do they see? This technique could lead to some powerful discussions about happiness and emotion.

All this talk of color and mood is starting to brighten mine just a little bit. I think I need to go color. I hope the rest of your day is pink!