Piktochart

Piktochart

http://piktochart.com/

Tool Category: Communication Tool & Productivity Tool

Description: So what is an infographic? An infographic is a visual representation of data or information. It is meant to take complex data/information and present it in a visually appealing manner that can be understood by all. Dailyinforgraphic.com is a site the provides infographics on a daily basis and also categorizes them.

Infographics are typically created by graphic designers but the beauty of Piktochart is that you don’t have to be a graphic designer to create one. The service is a web-based tool and is free to use.  You can upgrade to a Pro account to unlock more themes and more tools.

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Big Data is trending in health care and infographics serve as a valuable tool to help the regular joe make sense of the data and infographics help to paint a clearer picture.

Need to Know:  You need to have your data and information organized so that you build your infographic in a manner that makes sense. You don’t have to install any applications as it is a web-based tool.  The pro account is $29 a month or $290 a year. Piktochart has a support page if you get overwhelmed.

What You Need: All you need is a keyboard, a mouse, an internet connection, and your creativity.

The Steps:

  1. Go to http://piktochart.com/ and click on the button labeled “START FREE TRIAL” or the “SIGN UP” button at the top right corner.
  2. You can sign in with your Google+ or Facebook account or you can create a username and password.
  3. Once you have created an account or signed in, you will be brought to a page that gives you four formats for your infographic:
    1. Infographic: Create longform infographics to draw pageviews to your blog or website.
    2. Report: Designed to fit snuggly in two A4 sheets of paper – use infographics to bring dry reports to life.
    3. Banner: Spreading information in a glance. Make your shoutouts and announcements in an infographic.
    4. Presentation: Pitches and briefings are fun with infographics. Block size is fixed for a 4:3 aspect ratio.
      Format
  4. After you select a format, you can choose from a variety of themes or create your own infographic on a blank canvas. Rolling over a theme will allow you to preview the theme and if satisfied, create an infographic using that theme.
    Themes
  5. You will be prompted to name your Piktochart and then press the “CREATE” button.
  6. The infographic you selected will open up in a canvas to edit. The infographic is broken up into blocks and you can add, delete and edit the individual blocks.
    Canvas

    1. The buttons on the left (Graphics, Uploads, Background, Text, Styles & Tools) allows you to add content to your blocks. When you click on one of the buttons, options for that tool appear to the right of the toolbar.
    2. The buttons above the inforgraphic let you Undo, Redo, Copy, Cut, Paste, Delete and Align with other objects.
    3. The buttons immediately to the left of the block you are editing allows you to Add Block, Delete Block, Clone Block, Move Up (block), Move Down (block), and Settings which allows you to set the size of the infographic and individual blocks.
    4. When you are done editing your infographic, the buttons at the top right corner of the canvas allow you to Save, Preview, Download, Publish and Share your infographic.

Educational Resource:
Piktochart posted a blog about how infographics are being used in education. It’s a great read and shows how educators are using infographics in the classroom. Link

These were the responses from the educators.
Jon:  I have mainly used infographics to support teacher training.
Urvi:  The infographics were for a project in World Issues class about Genocide.
Vance:  I’ve had students create infographics on topics such as controversies in public health, the American obesity epidemic, STDs, and the environmental impact of their purchases.
Mia:  Students used infographics on a crowdsourcing project in Ethics and any other presentation, I use them to explain work flow and assignments.
Shayne:  We are taking a thematic approach and looking at hunger, homelessness and poverty in 8 subgroups. Students will report the using an infographic.

In the Teaching Environment:
The blog post above gives many instances in which infographics were being used in the teaching environment but I also see a great use for it in SBMI’s master’s program.

SBMI offers a course on data visualization which is pretty much the definition of an infographic. As part of a project, the students can be assigned to visually represent health specific data/information. The grad students can use Piktochart, since it is free, to create the infographics.

Also the professor can teach a class by building an infographic with the lesson of the day. Rather than giving a presentation in powerpoint, the professor can start the class with a blank canvas and build the infographic, during class time, with the content of his/her lesson.

Advantages
Free web-based application
Easy to use by anyone, no graphic designer abilities necessary
Available for mobile devices
Community of support that helps in learning the tools

Disadvantages
$29 a month for the pro account
Free account has several limitations

Recommend
Yes. A graphic designer charges up to $100 per hour. This tool will save you money and help to make data visually appealing. Educators can use it in the classroom to engage learners.

Video Review

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