Monday, August 21, 2017

Electrify Explanations with Piktochart

Do you want to save time, money, and classroom wall space while addressing important common core standards? Of course you do! You can make this a reality with Piktochart, free web-based infographic creation tool.

Sample Piktochart Using Piktochart to Explain

An infographic describing the synthesis phase of the research process.
The Research Process as Synthesis,
created using Piktochart.
Most teachers are practiced and insightful explainers. Part of our job is to make things make sense when they don’t. We need to show relationships, bridge connections, and fill in the gaps, all in record amounts of time. By creating your own infographics with Piktochart, you can make difficult content more accessible and visually stimulating. Infographics can be shared on a class website, in Google Classroom, or on a blog for students to access at any time. Piktochart's “presentation mode” even allows you to view an infographic piece by piece, making Piktochart a souped up presentation tool to replace Google Slides or Microsoft Powerpoint. Want to see what we mean? Check out the Piktochart class syllabi featured on Piktochart's Education blog or this representation of the synthesis phase of the research process featured to the right.

Student Infographics and Common Core

Common Core literacy standards call for students to integrate visual and textual information in digital formats to express their understanding of relationships between complex ideas. Standards also suggest that digital media should be produced and published on the internet. So much more than just posters, infographics require the creator to find, interpret, and evaluate information. Infographics can come alive with images, icons, links, charts, maps, and videos that immerse the viewer in the content.
"Integrate and evaluate content presented in diverse media and formats, including visually and quantitatively, as well as in words." CCSS.ELA-LITERACY.CCRA.R.7
Common Core Language Arts
Anchor Standard for Reading,
Integration of Knowledge and Ideas. 

Getting Started with Piktochart

If you are already convinced this web tool is worthwhile, head over to Piktochart.com and get started. With one-step signup, you can use Google credentials to quickly create a free account. Students at least thirteen years of age can sign up in the same fashion, without any additional permissions. Scroll down and select one of the free templates, and click create. Don’t worry if the template is largely unrelated to your content. All templates are fully customizable!
Save the progress you are making on your infographic as you go, and come back at any time to continue working. Once you are finished, you have the option to download your work as a JPEG or PNG, publish it and share with a link, share it to social media like Twitter or Google+, or even secure the embed code to insert it into a website. For step-by-step video tutorials, visit the Piktochart YouTube channel.

Resources and Examples

Still need ideas? Check out some of the sample Piktocharts I’ve rounded up below, or visit the Featured Piktochart Gallery to see infographics created by users around the world.

Imagine your students are collecting data related to your content. The data could be observations and calculations from an experiment, dates from a historical event, or even evidence from a text. Students painstakingly collect information, draw insightful conclusions, and identify relationships. The problem is, these relationships and conclusions are stuck inside their heads. We want them to share, we want other students in the class to understand what they are sharing, and we want to be able to read it. Here's where Piktochart comes in. The easy (and did we mention FREE) interface makes creating and sharing professional quality explanatory masterpieces a breeze.


Lisha Brunache

Lisha Brunache currently serves as Ed Tech Specialist, on special assignment from her high school humanities teaching position at Mission Hills High School in San Marcos, CA. She is a Google for Education Certified Trainer and a Leading Edge Digital Educator. Lisha Brunache, an Educational Technology Specialist (TOSA) at San Marcos Unified School District, is a former high school English and Social Science teacher with a passion for technology and creativity. Lisha is a Google for Education Certified Trainer, a Leading Edge Digital Educator, and holds an M.A. from San Diego State University in Learning Design and Technology. Find her on Twitter @LishaBrunache.

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