Thursday, December 8, 2011

Deconstructing Infographics

Lately it seems like every week a new infographic makes the rounds through the various social media circles of Twitter, Google+, and blogs. This afternoon as I was looking at another infographic that seemed to be making statements that were a little hard to believe, this time it was one about germs found on computer keyboards, I started to think about deconstructing infographics.

The problem I have with some infographics is that they present statistics or statements taken out of context. Some infographics include links to their sources and others do not. I think that a good exercise in research for students could be to investigate the statements and statistics presented on infographics. In the process of doing that our students might begin to see how an individual or organization can skew a story depending upon which statements or statistics they take out of context. Of course, as an exercise in identifying bias you can have students investigate the organization publishing a particular infographic. 

For the inverse of what I'm proposing, see Kathy Schrock's Infographics as a Creative Assessment

What do you think about infographics? Are they useful for classrooms or not?