Today, we are going to discuss another tool that I came across during the first two weeks of my Grad School experience at Michigan State.  Until I was exposed to this tool, I had never had any interest in creating infographics, or introducing them into the classroom.  

With that said, Piktochart is obviously a tool that can be used to make infographics (and a presentation as an unexpected bonus). The interface is fairly intuitive.  There are also a vast number of free templates that actually look good (which if we are honest with ourselves is sometimes rare). You can also upgrade to get even more templates.

Piktochart 2

My experience with the tool revolved around using a blank slate, so my observations will be based off of that experience.  As you can see in the picture, the menu is to the right, and there is not ambiguity in what each one does.

Under graphics, you choose between stock shapes, icons, and images. You can upload an image or search for stock photos.  You can also choose a photo frame, which offers a wide variety of choices. 

Piktochart 3

You can also add charts, tools, and videos with varying degrees of ease through the interface.  The videos just take a link.

Additionally, as you are making the infographic you can add additional blocks to extend its length.  When you share the infographic, it can be presented (full screen) in a presentation mode that puts each of those blocks as its own slide.

The program also can create presentations, posters, and reports.  I didn’t test these features, so I can’t give feedback on their usefulness.

While there are quite a few affordances, it does have a few constraints.  The text options aren’t as fleshed out as some of the other features.  It is a series of different heading choices.  You can change the font and color, but not the shape as in Microsoft Publisher.

The backgrounds available are also less than inspiring.  They are mostly just geometric shapes.  It also appears that you can’t upload a photo to use for this purpose.

piktochart 4

All in all, it is a fantastic tool that students can use for a variety of purposes (as can teachers).  Students could use an infographic to explain the underlying themes of colonialism and compare it to what is happening in the world to draw parallels.  Have you had students create infographics to show their understanding of a learning objective?  Feel free to share in the comments.

All photos are screenshots from http://www.piktochart.com

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