Tag Archives: Infographics

Using Piktochart in Class

Being a keen follower of twitter I was very pleased to spot a couple of tweets by  @ictevangelist about using infographics and in class.

I had toyed with using Adobe publisher for creating infographics and written about it in an earlier post, and if you want a vast variety of tools and colours and complete control over the layout, then that is the program for you. It is, however, a very technical program and it does take time to produce results. Unless you have a class with very strong design skills using a program of this nature is probably a step too far.

I enjoy pottering around with tech and trying new programs but I did find Illustrator tricky to get going and it took a long time, great if you have the time, but probably not ideal for a lesson.

I have a Y9 group who I see twice a fortnight, as a result, I do additional tasks with them that support the main teacher. The unit we are doing at the moment is Blood Brothers, building up to an exam later in the year. As it is the start of a new term, I am in the position that the main teacher hasn’t seen the group yet, and I am not covering the text with them, so I needed to think of something linked to the text for the two lessons I have with them this week. The obvious choice was some background research into some of the key elements of the play.

However, the prospect of watching a group copy and paste chunks from wikipedia or some other site, was not what I was looking for. To create a really effective piece of research, I wanted the group to select material carefully and think of ways to present the information in a more interesting way. That is where infographics seemed to fit the bill.

Having read about it on @ictevangelist’s blog, I decided to give Piktochart a go. I was a little concerned as there is sometimes a difference between what I can access as a teacher and what the students can. To cover this eventuality, I gave the group a choice of programs. The topics the students were to look at were: the 1960s – 1980s, Liverpool and Skelmersdale and the theme of fate. I showed the group several examples of infographics from the site 40coolinfographics to give the class a chance to see what they could look like. I then showed them the Piktochart site via the whiteboard and showed them an example I had made that morning. I showed them where the tools were and how to access them, and also how to move items and change colours, then they were off on the task.I hadn’t been aware that there was a limit of 1 image that could be uploaded, but that is really a bonus as it means they have to select their image carefully.

The vast majority of the group decided to try Piktochart, the remainder chose to make a Prezi instead. There was much more focus on the program than on copying chunks of text and some of the pieces in progress are looking pretty good. The group complete their work and printed it out to stick into their English books with their main teacher.

Definitely a real win, they class enjoyed using the program and it was very simple for them to use with minimal support.

Infographics

It has been hard to ignore the rise of the infographic on the web. The colourful and exciting presentation of information turns data into an art form. There are plenty of sites that you can search to find examples that would help in your teaching, for example visual.ly:

Many infographics are designed to be viewed on the web, but they can also make interesting posters to introduce or revise a topic.
How Easy is it to Make an Infographic?
While there are hundreds of fantastic examples available online, sometimes I can’t find exactly what I was looking for. So the obvious solution was to try to make one myself.
I decided to make a revision infographic for my Year 10 and 11 classes who are studying ‘Of Mice and Men’ for the OCR A663 exam. This was a bigger task than Word could cope with, so I chose to use Adobe Illustrator – the only problem, I had never used the program before. A little web-surfing turned up a helpful tutorial to use as a starting point. From there, it was a matter of trial and error. It has taken a few hours to get to this point, some of which is down to my lack of familiarity with Illustrator, but overall I am happy with what I have produced so far.

Partially Completed Infographic

I’ll upload the finished piece when I have completed it – I need to decide what to put in the final sections.