14 January 2013

0 Love Infographics Con't!

I wrote a post about infographics in November, mentioning that I recruited some teachers to let me work with their students to create infographics. I meet with a few 3rd grade students and all of my 5th grade students.  With each class, I went over what infographics were,  examples for them to view as well as how to utilize the online program, Piktochart. (As mentioned in my previous post, I did purchase the educator's account for $39.99 a year - still, I believe, a great investment! 

The 3rd grade students decided to work in groups and they created a infographic from a level reader they were reading in ELAR about Gemstones. Below is one example of their work....Not too bad!

My 5th grade students were assigned to choose an article from three National Geographic Explorer Student magazines:
  • Deadliest Predators which also included Volcanoes or Leaves
  • No Bones About It which also included Bare Bones and Hurricanes
  • Panda Mania which also included Mirror Images and Neighbors in Space
Prior to beginning this project in the computer labs, students were assigned homework to preview the site, Piktochart and choose their template. A few students (with parent's permission) signed up for the free version to obtain "hands-on" experience with the program. Once they chose their template, one teacher had her students sketch a rough template on paper as a guide while they were researching. 

Once the projects were completed, the teachers reviewed each project and students either had to add/edit their information before the infographics were downloaded. I converted the graphics to a pdf so they may be sent to our print center to make colored copies. According to the teachers, their students were so excited and loved this project. Below is an example of a student product. I thought she did a terrific job!

Please click below to view more student examples.  I cannot wait to do my next project with these kiddos!
Few Notes:
  • Since Piktochart is relatively new, I had to add each graphic individually - very time consuming! Supposedly, with the updated version (not sure when) they will have a batch upload. You are only allotted 100 uploaded graphics. Once this project is complete, I will delete the graphics and student infographics to make room for future projects in the Spring.
  • We did experienced problems with the graphics not showing up (boxes with a red X) once they were added to the infographics. Changing browsers helped but this was not consistent. Hopefully, they will fix this bug.
  • All students had access to the username and password for the site.
  • I contacted the company and suggested adding bullet options, option to bold one word within a paragraph and a preview button. (Let us see if they listen to their consumers.)
  • The company did suggest using Piktochart with Firefox or Safari. We did use Chrome in the labs and this worked much better than IE.
  • Please do not hesitate to contact me should you have any questions!

08 January 2013

0 Inspired to Write: PicLits

PicLits.com is a creative writing site which provides images (unfortunately, you cannot upload your own pictures) and word banks to generate sentences about the picture.  According to the site, “The object is to put the right words in the right place and the right order to capture the essence, story, and meaning of the picture.” 

Students have the option to choose words from the word bank - by dragging/dropping them into the photo - or composing/ “freestyling” their own words.

As the words are dragged/dropped onto the picture, the site allow for the option of capitalization as well as various tenses of the word. It even has end punctuation! How cool is that! 

It is amazing to me that this site has been around since 2008 and I just now stumbled upon it. I cannot wait to share this with my teachers!

Classroom Applications: