Product Review of Venn Diagram
Venn Diagram lets learners create Venn diagram graphic organizers on a mobile device and share them via email or by printing them. Multiple user accounts can be set up on each device, so kids start by selecting or creating a profile and then naming the project. Two circles pop up by default, but a third can be added. Circle sizes can be adjusted, and colors can be customized. To add an item to a diagram, learners hit +New Item, add the label and optional description, choose font size from small, medium, or large, and then hit the check mark. The label appears on the screen and can be dragged to the right spot on the diagram. Listed items can be dragged and dropped anywhere on-screen — within circles, within the overlap, or outside the circles — but once placed, the labels naming the circles can’t be moved. When finished, the diagram can be saved as a draft (and continued later), saved as a final PDF, or shared as a PDF via email. The saved PDF is kept in the camera roll and can be printed. The completed Venn diagram page includes the logos for ReadWriteThink, NCTE, Thinkfinity by Verizon, and the International Reading Association at the bottom of the document.
Use Venn Diagram, the app, as you would use printed Venn diagrams. In math, use the diagrams for finding GCF and LCM; in ELA and other content areas, use them for comparing and contrasting and as a graphic organizer for pre-writing. Venn Diagram is good for demonstration and whole-class brainstorming using a SmartBoard. You can type in an item and then discuss and think aloud about where in the diagram the item should go. The process of entering each item slows down the creation process, so giving kids the option of using the app or pen and paper when they create their own Venn diagrams would be more empowering. Detailed lesson plans showing how educators use the app in class are on the app’s page at ReadWriteThink.
Venn Diagram creates attractive diagrams that can be shared or printed, but the process, although easy, is still more cumbersome than just using pen and paper. Graphic organizers are wonderful tools for pre-writing and for organizing ideas for writing and other content areas, and diagrams created with Venn Diagram work the same as traditional Venn diagrams. For learners who are motivated by working with technology or those with learning or handwriting issues, or when paper use is an issue, the app might be a better choice than the traditional pen-and-paper option. For most, Venn Diagram may seem like an unnecessary use of technology.
Overall User Consensus About the App
Kids can select the colors of their Venn diagram circles, but not much choice is available beyond that. This straightforward tool relies on the content put into the diagrams to engage learners.
Curriculum and Instruction
Venn diagrams are a well-used learning tool in many content areas; this iPad version is simply an electronic way to create the classic organizer.
ReadWriteThink includes lesson plan ideas using Venn Diagram. Written instructions explain the commands, although the interface is intuitive.