Welcome to Day Eleven of Digital January. Today we're going to take a look at Lucidchart, a great tool to help create diagrams, flowcharts, mindmaps and more.
If you've got a moment and you're enjoying Digital January - or even if you're not - why not give us some feedback on our Padlet (and see Day Three for an introduction to Padlet).
What does it do?
Lucidchart allows you to create anything from flow charts for work activity to plans for your furniture layout.
The publisher desctibes it as an alternative to expensive industry-standard tools like Visio or Omnigraffle, but it would appear that this free product does actually have a lot of features to back up that claim. It is a powerful but accessible tool that can help you to organise, plan and visualise your thoughts or activities, and makes it easy to share and collaborate on projects with others (which, as you'll have gathered from the last few weeks of Digital January, is a common feature among the tools we've featured - if you can't share and collaborate then you may not find the tool as useful as others).
Lucidchart works 'in the cloud' so all users can collaborate on a diagram and potentially develop team skills and project management skills.
Click here for an example of using Lucidchart for drawing up a flowchart
Click here for an example of using it for Mind-mapping
When would you use it?
Tech & Learning provide a good article on uses of Lucidchart in the classroom, ranging from brainstorming using the mind-map function to acting as a presentation or groupwork tool through to learning about logic using Venn Diagrams
The key advantage of Lucidchart is that it offers so many different types of diagram and is therefore suitable for many different topics - electronics, computing, planning and design, mathematics, business & finance and many others. It also integrates with the more expensive and in-depth tools such as Visio.
Here's a simple and short introduction on using Lucidchart in an educational context from Princeton University
And something a little more in-depth (13 minutes);
How do you access it?
The free version does limit you to a certain number of files but that’s often enough for most people. To find out more, go to their website and sign up for a free account.
Lucidchart is also available as an App for smart devices (Android and Apple).
Where can you get help to use it?
In addition to the videos above, there's a well-established community of users and a good 'knowledge base' to help you get started and get advice from fellow-students and staff. Click here to access it.
What Digital Literacy skills will Lucidchart help you to develop?
The University of Dundee has a Digital Literacies Framework which sets out what sort of digital skills you should have, whether you're a student or a staff member. It's unlikely you'll have all the skills contained in the Framework (yet!), but this project can help you get started in developing some new ones. To see the Framework click here and click on Digital Literacies Framework at Dundee University to download a copy.
Using a digital flowcharting/mapping tool is an aspect of DIMENSION 4 - Manage & communicate information and DIMENSION 5 - Collaborate and share digital content as outlined in the Framework.
COME BACK TOMORROW AND THROUGHOUT JANUARY TO LEARN MORE ABOUT GOING DIGITAL