Showing posts with label Online Diagrams. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Online Diagrams. Show all posts

Thursday, April 3, 2014

7 Online Tools for Creating Charts & Diagrams

Through the Free Technology for Teachers Facebook page I recently received a request for some suggested online chart creation tools.


Lucidchart is an easy tool to use to create flowcharts, mindmaps, and graphic organizers. Lucidchart offers a simple drag and drop interface for creating flow charts, organizational charts, mind maps, and other types of diagrams. To create with Lucidchart just select elements from the menus and drag them to the canvas. You can re-size any element and type text within elements on your chart. Arrows and connecting lines can be re-sized, repositioned, and labeled to bring clarity to your diagrams.


Lucidchart offers Google Drive integration through a Chrome web app. If your school uses Google Apps for Education, you can add Lucidchart to your domain. Both of these options make it easy for students to save and share their work online. Lucidchart charges business customers, but makes all of their tools free for teachers and students.

Google Fusion Tables is a neat spreadsheet application that makes it easy to create visualizations of data sets. Fusion Tables can also be used to create visualizations of data set comparisons. At its most basic level Fusion Tables can be used to visualize existing data sets with one click. At a deeper level, Fusion Tables can be used to compare your own data sets and create visualizations of those comparisons. The types of visualizations available include tables, maps, charts, and graphs. As a Social Studies teacher, I really like the map visualization options.

Hohli Online Charts Builder is a nice tool for creating a variety of charts for online display. Using the Hohli Online Charts Builder you can create bar graphs, line graphs, pie charts, Venn diagrams, scatter plots, and radar charts. To use create your chart first select the type and size of display that you desire. Then fill in the corresponding form with the information that you want displayed. Your chart will be generated as you enter information so that you can see how each piece of information influences the chart. When you're satisfied with your chart just click on it to save it to your computer or to grab the embed code to use on your blog or website.

Infogr.am is an online tool for creating interactive charts and graphs to use in interactive infographics. There are four basic chart types that you can create on Infogr.am; bar, pie, line, and matrix. Each chart type can be edited to use any spreadsheet information that you want to upload to your Infogr.am account. The information in that spreadsheet will be displayed in your customized chart. When you place your cursor over your completed chart the spreadsheet information will appear in small pop-up window. Your Infogr.am charts can be embedded into your blog, website, or wiki.

Better World Flux is a free data visualization development tool that was created for the World Bank's Apps for Development Challenge. The purpose of the challenge was to encourage app developers to create products that could be used to highlight the development data hosted by the World BankBetter World Flux allows users to create animated visualizations of development data. To use Better World Flux (no registration required) all you have to do is select a data set from the menu provided and select a country or countries from the menu provided. From there Better World Flux creates an animated data visualization for you. The visualization will change as the years on the timeline at the bottom of the visualization change. This way users can see growth and recession of a statistic over time.

Gapminder is a great tool for creating data visualizations. Gapminder gives users the ability to create graphs of hundreds of demographic and economic indicators. I like Gapminder because it provides a good way for visual learners to see data sets in a context that is significantly different from standard data sets. Gapminder has a page for educators on which they can find thematic animations, graphs, quizzes, model lessons, and a PDF guide to using Gapminder. For teachers working in schools with slow Internet connections or very strict filtering, Gapminder has a desktop application that you can download and install for Mac or Windows computers.

Haiku Deck's web application is a great tool for designing visually-appealing slideshows. The latest update to the Haiku Deck web app includes support for charts and graphs. Now in your Haiku Deck slides you can create bar graphs, pie charts, and stat charts. You can adjust the values in bar graphs by clicking and dragging each column. Pie charts are made by typing percentages. Stat charts are simply captioned columns of statistics.

Thursday, November 24, 2011

11 Free Online Drawing Tools

As long as there has been a mouse connected to a computer there have been tools for making drawings on a computer. Here are five drawing tools that you might consider the next time you or your students need a free and easy drawing tool.

Sketchpad is a free, feature-rich, online drawing tablet that I recently came across in my stumbling around the Internet. Sketchpad offers users the ability to quickly create drawings. Sketchpad doesn't require you to create an account in order to create and save your drawings. All of the drawing tools that you would expect to find like brushes, pencils, and a large range of colors are offered by Sketchpad. Additionally, Sketchpad offers some unique tools for creating patterns, swatches, and blends of colors.














Art Pad and Sketch Pad (different from the Sketch Pad above) are both blank slate drawing utilities. Art Pad and Sketch Pad allow users to select from a variety of drawing tools and painting tools. Art Pad has a neat playback feature that shows you the steps you took in creating your images. Both Art Pad and Sketch Pad allow you to share your drawings via email or in a public gallery.

Graffiti Creator is best described not as a drawing tool, but a text editor. Users type select a font style, enter a word, then edit the look of the word to make it look like graffiti. This would be useful for students that are looking for a way to customize the font of words that they use in a slide show presentation.

Bomomo is an interesting drawing utility that creates images out of controlled chaos. Users select a drawing utility then the Bomomo program begins randomly drawing. Users can determine where the drawing starts with their computer's mouse. Users can also select general shapes and patterns to be drawn.


Crayola's online drawing canvas provides students with a blank canvas on which they can draw using virtual markers, crayons, pencils, and paints. Drawings cannot be saved online, but they can be printed. Pre-K Teachers looking for coloring pages can create their own or have students create their own using Crayola's Create & Color tool. Create & Color provides templates for creating custom coloring pages. You can pick a background template and modify it by adding speech bubbles and pictures. Coloring pages cannot be saved online, but they can be printed.

Odosketch is a free online sketchpad that, like many similar sites, provides a blank canvas on which you can create drawings from scratch. You can save your work to a free Odosketch account, share it online, or download it. Odosketch's niche appears to be creating drawings with "charcoal pencil" effects. Odosketch is well suited to use on touch screen computers and interactive whiteboards.

Draw It Live is a nice little website and Chrome Web App that I discovered in the Chrome Web Store. Draw It Live offers a free space for you to instantly create a collaborative whiteboard to use with anyone you like. To use Draw It Live just go to the site, click the "collaborative whiteboard" link, enter any nickname you want, then start drawing. You can invite people to draw with you by sending them the url assigned to your whiteboard. Draw It Live provides a chat box that you can use to talk to your collaborators about what each of you is doing on the screen. Draw It Live offers a Chrome Web App called Simple Whiteboard that can be used offline. Of course, when you're using it offline you cannot collaborate with anyone.


Coloring 4 All offers free printable coloring pages, online puzzles, and an online drawing board. The online drawing board can be used as a blank slate or children can select a picture to color. If puzzles are what you're after, Coloring 4 All offers customizable online jigsaw puzzles. To use the puzzles just select a picture then select the number of pieces you want the picture divided into. For the webmasters out there, Coloring 4 All makes many of their coloring pages and puzzles available for free re-use.

Draw Island is a free online tool for creating drawings and simple GIF animations. Draw Island offers you your choice of four canvas sizes on which you can draw. Draw Island offers two canvas sizes for creating simple GIF animations. To use Draw Island just head to the site and select a drawing tool. You can draw free hand (or should I say free mouse?) or select pre-defined shapes to use in your images. When you're done drawing just click the save button to download your drawing or animation.

FlockDraw is a simple service that allows people to quickly and easily collaborate on the creation of a drawing. To use FlockDraw simply visit the site, click the "start drawing" button, and start drawing. To invite other people to draw with you, just send them the url assigned to your drawing board. What's really neat is that anyone who visits the url after the drawing has started will see all of the drawing motions they missed unfold in front of them. In the future you will be able to embed your drawing board into your blog or website.

Wednesday, March 9, 2011

Diagram.ly - Drag & Drop Diagram Creation

JGraph is a UK company that develops and supports graph visualization software and web services. One of the free services they offer is a diagram creation tool called Diagram.ly. Diagram.ly offers a drag and drop interface for creating diagrams using clip art and pre-drawn shapes. Using the service does not require registration and all of your diagrams can be saved to your local computer in your choice of four formats (xml, png, jpg, or svg).
Applications for Education
Diagram.ly could be a good tool for students to use to create flowcharts of a process or concept. Students could also use Diagram.ly to create mindmaps that use images instead of just words and lines. As registration is not required in order to use the service you can have students using it quickly without losing instructional time to walking students through a registration process.

Saturday, February 12, 2011

GE Imagination Cubed - Online Collaborative Drawing

Update May 26, 2011 this resource appears to have gone offline.

General Electric's Imagination Cubed website provides a clear canvas on which you and your friends can draw and type. You can use the site as to start a drawing on your own and then invite others to join you in the drawing process. If you choose, you can enable the chat feature to talk about the drawing while you're drawing.

Imagination Cubed offers shapes and "stamps" that you can add to your drawings. You can also change the background color of your drawing and choose from a wide array of drawing colors. When you're done with your drawing you can save it to your local computer. Should you want to see how the drawing was developed, you can hit the replay button to watch every stroke of the drawing process.

Applications for Education
I've become a big fan of Dan Roam's Unfolding the Napkinmethods for demonstrating and solving problems. His basic idea is that if you can draw the problem you can solve the problem. A site like Imagination Cubed allows students to work together to develop a picture of a problem and then work together to picture the solutions.

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

Grapholite - Online Diagramming Tool

Grapholite is a new online service for creating diagrams. Grapholite features a drag and drop interface for creating flowcharts, organization charts, and more. You can create new diagrams from scratch or use the sample templates provided by Grapholite.

If you choose to create from a sample template you can edit the arrangement of elements, rename elements, and edit the colors of elements. To create a diagram from scratch choose "new" from the file menu then begin dragging elements onto your canvas from the menus provided. You can then label the elements of your chart, add colors, resize elements, connect elements, and arrange elements with a simple drag and drop system.

Applications for Education
Grapholite could be used by students to create cause and effect charts, story webs, or perhaps models of elements from the periodic table.

Here are some related items that may be of interest to you:
Simple Diagrams - Free Diagram Creation Tool
Cloud Canvas - Create and Edit Images Online
Nine Tools for Collaboratively Creating Mind Maps