This week I am away on an offline vacation. Rather than let the blog be dormant or rerunning old posts I decided to give some other people a chance to share their experiences and ideas with you. I hope you enjoy the posts.
seem to be all the rage these days. Cool graphic designs blend images
and words to create an informative story or graphic about a specific
topic. There are a multitude of InfoGraphics available to use as
teaching tools to disseminate information. For example, an InfoGraphic I
found online about the Death Penalty
was very impressionable and informative to share with my Speech and
Debate students who were preparing for a debate activity. Finding
infoGraphics is not that difficult with websites like Daily InfoGraphics and InfoGraphic-a-day, which share new InfoGraphics daily.
InfoGraphics is a craft all unto its own. InfoGraphics combine graphic
design and textual information. Thus, a really good infoGraphic is not
overly graphic or too text heavy. There must be a balance between the
two, and if the graphics are not appealing to the eye, the effectiveness
diminishes. The key is to marry the images and text in a creative and
unique design that draws attention to itself like a beautiful piece of
After finding an InfoGraphic about Factors that go into Choosing a Career
for my 7th and 8th grade Career Exploration elective course, I wanted
my students to make their own InfoGraphic about their own career
interests and map out how they plan to achieve their target career.
Think of a resume for oneself fifteen years from now (a project that I
had assigned in the past) but spin it on its side with the visual factor
to create a Graphic Info-Resume. On our class wiki, I posted the project assignment with additional resources to help students get started.
completed the project during class time. While working on the
InfoGraphics project, I began each class period by posting an
InfoGraphic on the SmartBoard for students to read and analyze. Students
were to note what the designers did well in regards to visualizing
information and disseminating knowledge. The students also pointed out
any weaknesses in the InfoGraphic presented. Sometimes students wrote
in their journals; at other times, small group or whole class discussion
ensued. The idea was to show as many InfoGraphics as possible and
offer models for students’ own InfoGraphic designs and layouts. The
variety of the InfoGraphics that I shared helped students broaden their
ideas for layout and design.
who were not strong graphic designers used GlogsterEDU to help build
their InfoGraphic. Having used GlogsterEDU before, students were
familiar with the program and could use the prefab graphics already
available on GlogsterEDU. Whereas InfoGraphic making websites like Piktochart and easel.y
offer templates and graphics for making InfoGraphics, students need to
register with these sites to create. (Due to our school’s Internet
Policy, I am unable to require my students to create accounts with
online web applications that require registration and email accounts. I
already had classroom account in GlogsterEDU.)
the students sketch out their designs before they went online allowed
for more creative and thoughtful InfoGraphics versus students who made
them up as they were online. Creating the InfoGraphics using GlogsterEDU
was a bit more challenging for some students who wanted to create a
“cleaner” layout seen on many of the published InfoGraphics online.
Websites like Piktochart and easel.ly offer better templates for
creating these types of InfoGraphics. In rethinking the InfoGraphic
assignment for next year, I might try out the other InfoGraphic websites
mentioned above, spend more time teaching about the different genres of
InfoGraphics (comparison, resource, evolution), and help students gain a
deeper understanding the key elements of InfoGraphic design.
Have you done an InfoGraphic project with your students? Please share your experience with us :)
Haiken, Ed.D. is currently a teacher at Rye Middle School in Rye, NY
and adjunct professor at Manhattanville College in Purchase, NY. For
more teaching ideas utilizing technology and literacy you can visit her
blog www.theteachingfactor.com and follow on twitter @teachingfactor.
For more on Using and Creating InfoGraphics, check out:
ISTE SIGMS and SIGILT 1 Tool at a Time Webinar Series Carolyn Jo Starkey’s archived webinar on InfoGraphics as well as Starkey’s Livebinder with a myriad of resources on InfoGraphics.
Kathy Schrock’s Guide to InfoGraphics as Creative Assessment
New York Times’ Learning Network Lesson Plan on Data Visualization
Teaching with InfoGraphics: A Student Project Model
The Anatomy of An Infographic