Graphics Galore!

Tuesday night’s class brought even more cool technology to incorporate into my teaching 🙂 Learning about and watching a few examples from Vlog brothers, Crash CourseSmarter Every Day, and maybe even a few others had me taking notes on where to check them out and in which classes I think they would best fit.

The assignment for this week is to check out and play around with an app or site that is listed on our schedule or another one that we find on our own.  The only one on the long list that I had ever experienced before was Animoto!  I love that app as it is so easy to use and free and I ended up with these beautiful little themed slide shows complete with music in a matter of a few minutes, all from my phone!  If you have never used it before, I would highly recommend it!

I was first interested in Smore, which is a flyer creator and as I got exploring around on there, I came across easel.ly 

I was instantly interested as I am currently teaching Social Studies and we are looking at timelines. I saw this and thought the students would be likely more engaged to create their timelines on something like this rather than just using paper and markers!

The old way of doing timelines!

The old way of doing timelines!

Photo Credit: petmyrhino Flickr via Compfight cc

easel.ly has over 2 million templates to create or adapt to make your own customized graphic organizer of any kind.  You can take ones that are already created and customize font, colors, or move things around to make it your own, or, you can clear off all that is on the original graphic and completely create your own graphic.

Getting set up was fast, and free.  At first, I wasn’t sure on how to change the text in existing graphics but went over to YouTube and found many how-to videos like the one I’ve posted.  There is also a free E-book found off to the side of the main page, so I found the site to be quite user- friendly overall.  I made some changes to text and graphics of an existing timeline and was very happy with how it easy it was to be able to save and show the start to my own timeline here in my blog.

As a teacher, I plan on using this tool right away in my classroom as I think it will quickly engage my students as they get much more enjoyment playing around with new tools rather than doing the same old paper and pen activities.  How might others incorporate this into their classrooms?

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5 thoughts on “Graphics Galore!

  1. Super cool! I have never heard of this app and will definitely be using it in the future. I often ask my students to make infographics as a summary task in my social studies classes and love the outcome but am curious how my students will surprise me when they are given a digital option! Thanks!

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  2. Good blog. It looks interesting to me to try to use this. I like that it is user friendly. Maybe works for people like me that can get challenged with technologies at times.

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  3. What an awesome tool Jess! I hadn’t heard of Smore before either and I was really interested it it. I’ve never heard of easel.ly either but it seems like it is user friendly and has so many options to choose from. Can’t wait to give it a try! The number of tools out there seems to be truly endless which can be a good thing but also a bad thing when you want to try the all out haha.

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  4. I’ve used SMORE once before and I really liked it. I mostly explored it and then allowed students to create a poster rather than doing it on paper. I will say that the kids absolutely loved it. Many of them went above and beyond. The only thing I really wanted was to print off each poster in color. I couldn’t figure it out and eventually gave up on the idea. But this may be something that I take the time to revisit now and incorporate into my module.

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