For this particular assignment I chose to explore the digital tool “Piktochart”. There was no particular reason why I chose to use this one rather than the canvas tool other than it was the first one I typed into the web address bar. As I quickly came to realize, using Piktochart is a lot more difficult than the tech review in this week’s readings would have you think. At first I was excited because there were so many online templates to choose from which simplifies the learning and usage process immensely when you are unfamiliar with a tool, but then I discovered that ninety percent (arbitrary number) of the templates were only available if you had shelled out money for the “pro membership”. Luckily, there was a filter that allowed me to look only at the free templates which narrowed my choices to around eight options.
Since the website suggested that I use one of their templates to practice with and turn into my first graphic, that is what I did. My first attempt was a rough mock-up of a poster for a club event. Since I am a member of the Social Science Club at Chadron State, I used our annual Back-to-School Bash as the inspiration. I chose a template and then began to play around with the capabilities. The site seemed to function much like Adobe InDesign where you arrange pieces with it rather than trying to create them using it. Therefore, for anyone who decides to stick with Piktochart I would recommend using Photoshop, or something similar, to fix up and compress any images you decide to use before uploading them into the software for arrangement.
Once I was done, I went to save the project and download it to my laptop. The matter of saving the project was easy as Piktochart allows you to sign up with a free account. However, unless you have the aforementioned pro membership, you are only able to download your projects as a PNG or a JPEG. You are not allowed to save it as a PDF.
After that, I utilized the software to create the graphic for my independent learning project included here.
I think this software, and others like it, are very beneficial to the classrooms of today. One great use would be to make classroom posters and infographics to match what you are doing and what your students are interested rather than settling for something that only kind of fits. Another great use would be to have the students make the infographics either for class, a club, or because they are passionate about something. Not only are the students presenting great information, but they are connecting with other students and community members that share their interests, learning new skills, and being creative. Additionally, in today’s world where everything is saturated with a combination of information and advertisement, infographics best meet the visual needs of the people. The information is made to be clear and concise while the images are carefully chosen to accurately represent and emphasize that text (and vice versa).