Diagram.ly – an engaging tool


A recent tweet, alerted me to the existence of diagram.ly Always looking for a new tool to try towards the end of a year 9/10 Information Technology double class, I introduced this tool to these students (note that this group has disengaged students amongst it, a mix of literacy and numeracy skills). This concept was inspired by Debbie Nicole (of Dubai) and her Embers of the World presentation at a recent eT@lking webinar.

Lesson Approach:

  1. Class instructions on my class blog post
  2. Students opened post, clicked on url to diagramly and were instructed to build a tower using any of its features
  3. Set an online timer (projected via data projector onto wall) for 10 minutes
  4. Saved their tower as a jpg image
  5. Each student then wrote a blog post, providing a link to the tool,  their image and a description of their tower in three words.

Reflections on activity

Next time

  • time limit was too short
  • would ask them to add themselves (via a clip art) to the tower and note with interest where and how they put themselves onto the tower.
Highlights
  • At no stage were students given any instructions on how to use the tool
  • Any questions from the class were answered by other students
  • Students were fully engaged
  •  a time limit worked well (but was too short)
Constraints
  • 10 mins was too short a time, should have been 15 – 20 mins
  • software has a limited variety of clip art and shapes
Advantages of software
  • free and online
  • suitable for all ages
  • simple drag and drop features
  • no registration required
  • students of all ages can use without giving emails, usernames, passwords etc
  • enables conversion to jpg etc
  • easily shared online using twitter, facebook etc
  • a variety of shapes, clip art etc to complete diagrams of all types
  • Some students independently started another diagram
Application to other subjects:-
  • Great for use in maths – variety of shapes etc
  • Useful for design stage in IT or technology  subjects
  • All subject areas – create unique and effective images
  •  visual data
Some student samples:- skippy, hailey, tom 
Have you used diagram.ly? What is your opinion? How would you use it or how did you use it? Do you have any samples of students work completed with it?
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2 responses to “Diagram.ly – an engaging tool

  1. To really engage students, I’ve noticed that collaboration is key. We use Lucid Charts which is like Diagramly (also free for K-12) but let’s students work on the same document at the same time, like Google Docs.

  2. Thanks for sharing, Anne! I am definitely going to try this with my junior highers. I love how you explained what you did and what you would do differently. Now, I am off to see what your students did!

    Thanks,
    Denise

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