ReadWriteThink, a site provided by NCTE and the International Reading Association, is packed with ideas for ELAR instruction. This month I noticed a new online interactive tool for Venn Diagrams (it requires Adobe Flash software to run) and decided to give it a spin.
Now, I should mention for those who don’t read my blog, like, ever? that I use tools without reading any how-tos or watching any videos. I want to find out how easy it is to stumble around and create a final product that looks something like it should. If I struggle to figure out what button does what and where, chances are, my students will, too.
And thus I merrily clicked on the link and was presented with a screen where I had to type in my name and a project title (this is important for student work, since both the title and the name appear on the final PDF of the diagram). Then I was given a canvas with two circles already in place. Options are clear, with “New Circle” and “New Item” really the only choices. “New Item” launches a pop-up that allows you to add tags to either circle or the overlap in the center. Simple X and ✔ options in the pop-up let you cancel or accept the tag, which then can be dragged around the diagram into place. Size, color, and labels of the circles can be adjusted by double-clicking.
- You have many options for colors and can resize the circles.
- You can have multiple circles (ex. a diagram comparing the three branches of the U.S. federal government or four different characters in a novel).
- If you hit the “restart button,” the system asks if you really want to do that and erase your project.
- You can save your work to a hard drive or flash drive to come back and work on it later.
- You can save a final copy as a PDF file to email to a teacher or classmate.
- The software insisted on capitalizing the first letter of many of my tags, and I had to go back to change to lowercase.
- You do have to remember to hit the X button to get out of a window.
Here is the diagram I put together comparing the assignments and student populations of two classes that I taught last fall. It is interesting to see the overlap — resumes and online group presentations. Why don’t I use blogs in 1143 / Tech Writing or memos in 3043 / Professional Writing for eMedia? Questions to ponder…