This is a story done about one of my students, after working with Piktochart and participating in their user story last year, thought hearing from students about the benefits of Piktochart and other tools in the classroom. Thank you to Jacqueline Jensen and Piktochart for this great post, originally posted on Medium.
User Story: Students Using Piktochart
In this user story, we talk with Dana Grover, a high school student in Pittsburgh, about how she uses Piktochart inside and outside the classroom, why she thinks visual storytelling is important for her generation, and her favorite EdTech tools.
The fast pace of technology advancement is affecting students outside andinside the classroom. At Piktochart, we often talk to teachers about how they are using Piktochart in the classroom. Uses range from creating a new visual take of the traditional syllabus to utilizing one of our 500 templates to quickly turn text-based material into engaging visuals for the classroom.
But we felt like we were missing an important voice in the conversation. What do students think about Piktochart? Do they think that visual storytelling is a trend that will stick for their generation?
Meet Dana Grover
Dana Grover lives in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania and is a student at Riverview High School.
“I am a theatre enthusiast who is involved with the marching and concert bands, orchestra, and chorus, along with the Spanish, drama, cinema, and Model United Nations clubs at Riverview,” she told me. “If someone were to look for me outside of school, they would find me in the kitchen, listening to my extensive music collection, or just relaxing.”
Dana first learned about Piktochart about a year ago. In fact, a big part of her discovery of Piktochart was thanks to her Spanish teacher, Rachelle Poth, who we profiled recently in our video user story series. Check out how Rachelle uses Piktochart in her classroom. Video on Youtube of User Story
“Technology is a big part of our Spanish curriculum,” said Dana. “We find new and interesting ways to use it, and showcase our knowledge through it. When I started taking Spanish, all of our projects had to be created using some sort of digital presentation application.”
Dana said when Ms. Poth discovered Piktochart as a tool for students to use to create their presentations, she was quick to share it with all of her students, “as she is prone to do with all great tools,” recalled Dana.
Dana said the way class projects are set up leads students to use new websites each time something is created. “So when I had already used Visme, Sway,Glogster, and others, I decided to try Piktochart,” she said.
“What made me want to explore Piktochart more was when my peers presented in class and I saw how organized and aesthetically pleasing their projects were,” Dana said.
When she thought about what she and her peers needed in an EdTech tool, Dana pointed to one must-have:
“We need to be able to express ourselves in creative ways. Piktochart lends itself to this perfectly,” said Dana.
“Everyone wants technology to be fast and easy to use,” she continued. “Teenagers want lots of choices when creating projects, because we are our own projects, and we want to be able to have choices and create ourselves in creative ways.”
Dana’s Work on Piktochart
When I asked Dana to share her favorite project on Piktochart with me, she was quick to point to an infographic she made about one of her favorite shows — HBO’s The Leftovers.
“Piktochart was the perfect tool to use for this project,” she said. “The Leftoversis such a good, well thought-out, creative show, and I needed a website that was going to be able to do it justice. I was really pleased with all of the options I had when making this project. I felt like I was able to create exactly what I had envisioned it to be, which is not the case for a lot of tools.”
Dana’s Tips and Tricks for Using Piktochart
Dana knows what’s it’s like being new to using Piktochart, so I was curious to hear some of her tips and tricks for newbies.
“The first thing I would show them would be text features, photo options, and background choices,” she said. “Not only are those the basics to creating an infographic, but Piktochart does a really nice job of making these features accessible, easy to use, and extensive in their range of creativity.”
Dana said that when she first started making infographics, she wanted to make the visual longer. The problem, she recalled, was that she couldn’t figure out how to add blocks to build on to her visual.
“It probably took me a good 10 minutes before I realized that when I had a block selected, in the upper left hand corner was a button to add more blocks,” she said. “And below, there is the option to re-size them, which is really helpful.”
For those who are new to using Piktochart, this is what Dana is talking about. This is how to add more blocks!
Dana told me she loves how many symbols, shapes, and colors can be put into visuals she creates using Piktochart.
“Lots of applications have options, but not nearly as many as Piktochart for creative purposes,” she said. “My presentations don’t have to be dry when I use Piktochart. Whatever I envision for my project, odds are I can create it with Piktochart.”
Dana’s Favorite EdTech Tools
When she’s not creating on Piktochart, Dana said she loves using Storybird. Storybird lets anyone make visual stories in seconds. The team curates artwork from illustrators and animators around the world and inspires writers of any age to turn those images into fresh stories.
“Storybird is another great website because it is fun to use and really simple,” said Dana. “I love that people are able to write their own stories and use professional artwork to accompany it. The best part is that you can order your story as a hard or soft cover book. Everyone who worked on it is cited — the author, the illustrator, and the website.”
Another tool in Dana’s toolbox is Sway. Sway, a digital storytelling app, was recently released by Microsoft and is part of Microsoft Office.
“Sway’s layout is very interesting, with options to make a beautiful cover page and online poster-style infographics,” explained Dana. “There are a lot of options on Sway when it comes to pictures, so when I created mine, I only used images from the website, which was really helpful to save time and citation effort.”
Looking for more ways to utilize Piktochart to make students excited in the classroom? Or maybe you’re looking for ways you can use infographics to make your next school assignment shine? Take a look at how teachers and students alike are using Piktochart in the classroom!