Visual Literacy Tool – PictLits

Recently, I was contacted by Carrie Lightner from She said:

I came across your blog and I thought you might be interested in our new web site, It is a fun and new site that can be a great online teaching tool for educators. It helps get students interested in writing and serves up a fresh image and custom list of words each day.

After checking it out, I agree. I think that the site has the potential to engage visual learners. In particular, I am interested in the idea that you can have students drag and drop words on top of images, and they
could develop haiku-like poems or statements with an image to supplement it. In a sense, it is like using layers in Photoshop to add text to a picture, yet much more user friendly and easily embeddable.

I wonder what kinds of assignments we could ask our students to do using a tool like this?

Author: Troy Hicks

Dr. Troy Hicks is a professor of English and education at Central Michigan University. He directs both the Chippewa River Writing Project and the Master of Arts in Educational Technology degree program. A former middle school teacher, Dr. Hicks has authored numerous books, articles, chapters, blog posts, and other resources broadly related to the teaching of literacy in our digital age. Follow him on Twitter: @hickstro

3 thoughts on “Visual Literacy Tool – PictLits”

  1. I think you are asking the wrong question.

    Instead of asking “what kinds of assignments we could ask our students to do using a tool like this,” you should ask “could this tool be used to accomplish one of my course objectives?”

    For effective, efficient teaching, begin by setting out what you want to achieve. Then look for procedures and technologies to help you. For more on this topic, see

    Linda Aragoni


  2. Yikes! Are the two propositions really mutually exclusive?
    I don’t think this would be the first time a revolution in tooling inspired a new objective.


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