I am a big fan of the “piktochart” for displaying information, but also as a creation tool for students. I have not only created infographics on piktochart to illustrate information such as “how to make an inference” and “how to tell a story with narrative plot elements”, I’ve also asked students to use piktochart to create instructional images that utilize sequence, in order to produce simple “how-to” guides.
I use Canva as well. However, I usually use Canva to make digital book club posters to post on my educational social media accounts, to promote our school’s book club, which I sponsor.
Because I had already used both piktocharts and Canva, I decided to try out easel.ly. I tend to get started by choosing a template that I think I can modify to suit my audience and purpose. I have tried starting with a blank canvas, but I usually find that I can get lost, or overwhelmed, when I design from scratch . The templates are helpful in providing initial structure and organization for content. These templates make infographics fairly idiot proof, or if you are like me, distraction proof. With too much freedom, I tend to play too much, getting distracted by all the different design elements, rather than keeping it simple and straight forward. A template allows me to “color within the lines”, but with enough room for modification and “tailoring”.
Easel.ly proved to be very user-friendly, maybe even more so than pikotcharts, however, piktocharts offer more choice in design, especially when it comes to available images, shapes, and icons that are free to use in your infographic. I also think the templates from Piktochart are more attractive. Still, manipulating my infographic within the easel.ly platform was simple and easy. I especially appreciated the automatic placement guides for lining up images and text, as well as the clone feature, for copying elements you want to use throughout the graphic.
At our school, much to my enthusiasm, we are moving towards practices that foster a love for reading in the classroom. Increasingly, teachers are utilizing student choice and independent reading to drive reading achievement, and increase engagement. Throughout the process of reading independently students reflect on their reading in a variety of ways, including: response journals, discussion, and book talks. My infographic gives some basic advice on how to create meaningful book talks. While slightly modified, the content from my infographic comes almost directly from the work of Irene Fountas and Gay Su Pinnell (see citation on infographic), the creators of the Reading Response Journal template, that we recently adopted at my school.