Piktochart - infographics made easy
It is concern raised by researchers and education policymakers and school practitioners, who tend to agree that we are a visually illiterate society.
Visual literacy is defined by the International Society for Technology in Education (ISTE) as "the ability to understand, interpret, and evaluate visual messages". In short, visual literacy is all about accurately reading information presented in pictures, images, symbols, objects, and other forms of graphical presentations.
Like any other kind of literacy, visual literacy must be taught, and one strategy being currently used by teachers across the world in the incorporation of information graphics (infographics) into classroom activities.
An infographic is information, data, and knowledge presented in the form of images and graphics (with very limited text) in order to facilitate quick and clear understanding. One good tool that can help teachers to use infographics in the classroom is Piktochart.
WHAT IS IT?
Piktochart is a Web-based software used to create and edit infographics, presentations, posters, and other forms of visual information. The Malaysia-based company began in 2012 and today boasts over two million users worldwide. Most users access a free account, but approximately one-tenth of Piktochart users are registered as paying customers.
HOW DO YOU ACCESS IT?
This tool can be accessed by logging on to piktochart.com. Sign up for a free or paid account and instantly, you will have access to thousands of templates that you can use to create infographics, presentations, posters, charts, reports, and flyers.
HOW DO YOU USE IT?
When you have logged in, you will be prompted to choose the type of product you want to create, whether it is an infographic, a poster, etc. Once you have selected the product type, you are provided with a number of templates to choose from based on the productions of other Piktochart users.
You are able to modify the templates to include text, images, and graphics from the Piktochart library or from your own computer.
You can also share your Piktochart infographic via Facebook and Twitter or download in high resolution for scaled and large printing.
Your Piktochart can also be shared online with specific persons, or you can set your privacy options to ensure that only you can see your work. Users also have access to help features which, include live chat with a Piktochart representative and a large database of frequently asked questions and answers.
WHY SHOULD YOU USE IT?
It is obvious that Piktochart infographics are great for content sharing not just in the classroom, but in other contexts as well.
However, teachers around the world are using Piktochart and other software like it to create infographics that enhance the teaching and learning experience.
Infographics can be used to introduce lessons, stimulate discussions on specific topics, and as a starting point for student-led research. By themselves infographics have high engagement value, and given that Piktochart gives access to so many visually appealing templates, it is the perfect tool to 'jazz up' your classroom.
Older students can also be allowed to create their own Piktocharts, facilitating assessment. Teachers of younger children have found that Piktochart infographics help to develop visual literacy, and the response of the students validates the theory that children are more visual learners. Among older learners, the use of infographics is said to aid memory and improve cognition as well as develop critical thinking.
Classification: Data Visualisation and Presentation Tool Location:
Visual literacy development
Memory and cognition aid
Cost: Free - US$40
- Gen Clacken is an educational technologist with 15 years' experience in online education.
She can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org.