I have always found it easier to communicate through images and have used doodles, sketch notes, mind maps to help me work through thoughts and complex ideas. I encourage my students to do the same. Recently, I found a tool that helps me communicate more effectively and helps me empower my students to do the same. I use Visme for all my new graphics because it is easy to use and comes with tutorial videos that explain graphic design concepts to help me communicate more effectively.
I use it for a range of purposes from simple Twitter introduction cards to entire presentations. This has become unexpectedly useful during remote learning to increase engagement with students and parents. I use social media templates for Instagram to create animated posts that get attention and have improved student engagement by 200% for my daily update posts.
Engagement with social media does not always translate to classroom participation. What does work, is empowering students to use their voice to communicate learning through multiple outlets. In 2016 ISTE announced the standard for students; these include being empowered learners, digital citizens, knowledge constructors, innovative designers, and creative communicators. Visme’s intuitive platform helps with all of these. For example: Human Anatomy and Physiology students are asked to research and coordinate a public health fair. They determine which topics are relevant to our community and how best to communicate their information outside of school. It was not so long ago that students would have worked on expensive cardboard trifold posters that took hours to assemble and got little attention partnered with printed trifold pamphlets that were jam-packed with valuable information that no one read because of text-heavy the presentation. With Visme, students create visually stunning infographics that attract visitors and professional-quality posters that clearly communicate student research while graphics help to make the complicated health data easy to understand. This year, we were unable to hold the face-to-face health fair exposition. While students were disappointed to not be able to share their work widely, they were able to share publicly using social media graphics that they shared with their networks of friends and family.
I have also decided to use Visme to create my session presentation for a state conference. I have used Google Slides in the past because of its portability and ease of use. Now that conferences are moving to online delivery for this year, I am certain that Visme is the best choice for this because of its vast library of themed templates that are totally editable. I will also be able to add elements such as images, icons, and videos along with animated characters. Best of all, presentations can be shared by publishing to the web, embedding on a website, or downloading in an HTML5 file so I will not be worried about internet access the day of the presentation.