Reaching all learners with design in Freeform.

Freeform is an amazing app and as educators we have been using it for a while in planning, collaborating, design and more but last week was one of the first weeks a lot of us would have had it in our classrooms since it's launch. I was an early adaptor of the app and have so many boards to date but was excited when the opportunity to use it came up.

A teacher I was working with had SEN students plan out some charity awareness infographics and given our past activities thought students might create infographics in Keynote. A task that was possible in an app that students were familiar with. I agreed but then wondered if we should try Freeform which I believed could achieve the same task goal. What I was not expecting were the results.

Keynote is wonderful and a big hit with our classes with students enjoying shapes, images, text and more but for an SEN student there are sometimes too many buttons are places to get lost.

Comparing Freeform there is a lot of familiarity for students but within a much easier to navigate UI. Students can use the shapes they are familiar with as well as text, post-it's and images. Because the top navigation bar is so visual students do not need to go to a paintbrush symbol or + symbol.

This was massively beneficial when working with this group of SEN students. While I am confident the same task would have been achieved in Keynote this allowed students to create more independently and we didn't have anyone get lost in the settings. It was a definite 💡moment for me.

For this lesson and for these students this was not only an opportunity to create but a class where every student was able to illustrate their own task in their own way and when finished they were very proud to share their results with the class.

Below are some examples (the student examples were much better!!!)

Infographic 1 - some facts compiled about MS.  

 

Overview of MS Ireland and the work they do
 

Infographic 2 - some information about the ISPCA.

 

Overview of ISPCA
   

Infographic 3 - some information about ADHD. This student wanted to change the background colour of the Freeform and found their own solution with a shape.

All Comments

Posted on January 17, 2023

Thanks so much for sharing your exploration and student results comparing Keynote and Freeform, Miriam! Certainly something to consider from a UI perspective for students. Super infographics - thanks for the examples!

Posted on January 19, 2023

These examples are wonderful, Miriam! I appreciate your comparison of the UI in Keynote and Freeform. I've been playing around with the idea of adding Freeform to some of the sketchnoting activities in one of my online courses -- your post makes me think I'm going to go for it!

Posted on January 28, 2023

It was an unexpected discovery. We actually experience similar results in a different class this week.

Posted on January 29, 2023

Such rich, creative student examples, Miriam! Thanks for sharing!

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