Product Review of Lucidchart
Lucidchart is a visual design tool for creating and collaborating on diagrams, charts, and other similar visual maps. It’s available on web, iOS, and Android, and users can create from scratch or from a wide variety of templates. The templates as well as features vary depending on whether or not you have a free or paid version, but either way, there are a lot of graphic organizers, mind maps, concept maps, and organizational diagrams to address learning or teaching goals or just help manage the classroom. For those who want social features, the platform offers real-time collaboration via sharing, editing, commenting, and chat features.
Visual creation can offer an excellent supplement to learning content, or offer a creative avenue for demonstrating and assessing learning. In this sense, educators and learners can use Lucidchart for any number of purposes, including organization, multi-modality presentations, sequencing ideas, and making connections among concepts. In science, show learners visual representations of the phases of mitosis or the moon, or demonstrate the water or rock cycles using images connected by text and arrows. For social studies, ask learners to present a timeline of events leading up to the Civil War. Then, have learners work collaboratively to create visual study guides to show connections among events. In ELA, share a plot diagram or storyboard where learners can demonstrate their understanding of sequencing of events in a story or memoir. And to teach the writing process in any subject area, consider using flow charts or graphic organizers to help learners manage their outlines and essays.
The platform is versatile enough to create organizational diagrams, such as task boards, for group collaboration to keep everyone on track. It’s also possible to amp up your PBL using real-life scenarios, such as crime scene investigations or aircraft layouts, to help learners develop needed critical thinking skills. Just be aware that you’ll need to spend some time learning the ins and outs of the platform if you want to ensure effective classroom use.
Lucidchart encourages non-linear thinking, and learners can explore scientific and mathematical processes or even grammatical conventions via flow charts or concept maps. Plus, it supports learners who may need a breakdown of complex systems into images and bite-sized pieces of information, allowing them to work up to the bigger picture. Long-term learning skills come into play here, too. When learners understand how diagrams can assist in workflow, graphic organizers, and the writing process, they’ll be more prepared to replicate the planning process in the future. While there’s sure to be a learning curve — not just in getting up to speed with the tool but in creating effective diagrams — the long-term benefits will be worth the time spent.
The platform is a little busy, and while the diagrams are relatively easy to create, educators will need to spend some time learning all of the different customization, collaboration, and sharing features in order to take full advantage of the platform’s capabilities. It’s easy to get lost in the library of templates, so be sure to have a plan for what you want learners to accomplish. But if you want to learn how to do something, you’ll be able to find out how. Support is accessible throughout the site. With all that said, the education-specific materials — assignment templates and lesson plans — are helpful but could use a bit more detail and pizazz. Despite this, ready-made, editable material in addition to integration with a huge number of platforms make Lucidchart a great fit for classroom use.
Overall User Consensus About the App
Creating diagrams equally challenges learners creatively and critically. Using the tool feels less like school and more like authentic creation. Learners will also like the multitude of customization features.
Curriculum and Instruction
Whether it’s used as an organizational tool or a creative one, learners can create high-quality diagrams that offer endless, excellent learning opportunities.
There’s no lack of support on the site. With some creative thought, educators can use diagrams both to scaffold and to differentiate instruction. The classroom-specific materials could be a bit better.