What is it?
Piktochart is a web-based tool for designing visuals including infographics and posters. Students can create an account with their email, or link to their Google or Facebook accounts to alleviate password management challenges (great for schools who use G-Suite for Education).
What is the cost?
Piktochart is free to use and share graphics, but premium services including animated images, a large catalogue of pre-made templates, and removal of the Piktochart watermark are available through their "Pro" account: $39.99 USD/year for education users. (My students use the free version and have not felt limited). For users not in education, a Pro account is priced at $24.17 USD/month.
Ties to pedagogical practice:
---Students apply their learning to a new context to aid in processing
---Students exercise creativity
---Students share their graphics to teach others and become the 'expert' of their content.
Any other strengths?
---Piktochart has recently updated their platform with collaboration tools for multiple users to edit the same graphics simultaneously.
---Visuals created with digital tools can be less intimidating (and look more professional) than work traditionally done on paper for students who are not confident in their artistic skills.
---Visuals can be shared with a link outside of the classroom to bring students' learning to a wider audience.
Curricular examples from my own practice:
Before beginning:Anytime I use Piktochart in any subject area for the first time, I give my students something I refer to as "sandbox time". I will briefly demonstrate how to create an account and use the tool, and then allow students free time to play and experiment with the app to familiarize themselves without the pressure of an assignment or deadline.
Grade 11 ELA:During a unit on goal-setting and grit, I have students create an infographic which features their experiences in the previous grade, their short-term goals, long-term goals, how they would like me (the teacher) to help them, and three potential ideas to use for a 30-day challenge we do later in the semester.
Student examples (selected sections):
Intended outcomes:---Students communicate visually, using elements of design
---Students set personal and learning goals
---Students are reflective
Grade 9 Social Studies (Civics):
During a unit on demographics, I have students dig into statistical data by viewing the Canada census website and reports by Manitoba Health. After selecting at least 10 interesting facts from their time browsing data, students will create infographics to illustrate 3-4 statistics that they thought were the most interesting or important.
Intended outcomes:---Scaffolding of students' research skills
---Students cite sources
---Students understand topics that affect Canadian communities.
Because Piktochart is a creative tool, its effectiveness is only as good as the way it is implemented in the classroom. However, with nearly every subject area having points in curriculum and learning where making learning visual is an effective strategy, it can be a terrific tool in the hands of students. It is cost-effective and easy to set-up making it a great tool for use in K12 settings where teachers are often pressed for time.