Infographics show what our brains are programmed to see. They are bright and colorful visual representations of information presented in e-posters, printed, and digital documents that grab student attention. Additionally, they provide a creative way to assess student learning while incorporating the 4C's: collaboration, communication, critical thinking, and curation. Check out a wall in your classroom or your bulletin board. That area in your classroom is presenting information in one place, with cutouts, colors, letters and artwork. Think of the infographic in the same way, as an informational bulletin board.
Infographics are a great instructional/learning tool.Infographics can be great instructional tools but they work best as learning tools as they incorporate most of the traditional teaching elements of research, planning, writing, and process. Teachers can create their own or find an array of infographics online to share with students on interactive boards, via class blogs or websites, or as a part of an assignment. Some ways that an infographic can be used as an instructional/learning tool:
- Students make interpretations based on statistics presented in the infographic
- Students answer questions about the information presented.
- Students discuss why certain elements were included (critical thinking, anyone?)
- Students can visualize what might not be the most exciting information in an exciting way.
- Complex ideas and concepts are presented visually, making it easier to understand.
Infographics are inviting. Invite your students to create one.
Allowing students to create infographics is a great creative project and provides the teacher with a way to assess a student's thorough knowledge and understanding of a topic. Getting students involved in the creation of this product addresses all levels of Blooms in addition to providing the students the opportunity to:
- Collaborate/Communicate - working together students discuss ideas on what is the best representation of graphics, fonts, colors, and ideas to relay information in a visually appealing format.
- Critically think - students must decide what information will go into the project and why it should be included.
- Create - students decide how the information will be displayed. Will they use PowerPoint? An app with templates?
- Curation - students must sift through and collect information for their infographic then organize it in a way to effectively communicate the objective.
- Use Creative Commons as a means to find images to reproduce, share, and modify.
Steps to Create an Infographic
Before assigning this project to students, the teacher first must determine what will be assessed and communicate to the student what information must be included. Providing a rubric to students is a helpful way for them to keep on track. Here is a sample rubric from Kathy Schrock as an example to get you started. If you want to create your own, try Rubistar4Teachers which provides a simple way to make your own customized rubric.
- Look at rubric samples of all types: informational, data driven, etc. Discuss the features of all different types. For sample infographics, click here.
- Investigate and Research - Research and gather the information, data, images and tools needed to relay the information.
- Create a rough draft. Draw out on paper (low-tech) to organize thoughts and decide what goes where.
- Choose a tool to create your infographic. There are apps and websites available to make the process simple or programs like Photoshop or PowerPoint could be used.
- Follow a few simple rules:
- Keep it simple. Help the audience know your topic with a large headline.
- Color, font, and layout are important. Decide on a color scheme and fonts that best represent the message you wish to communicate.
- Flow is important. The most important facts first then minor, supporting elements follow.
- Use graphics such as arrows, lines, and color blocks to help your audience navigate the infographic with ease.
- The five-second rule: The audience should be able to know what your infographic is about and a few facts in just five seconds. Try it out on a classmate. If they get the basics in five seconds, you are on the right track.
- Dont be afraid to make an interactive infographic. Incorporate other sites such as Thinglink or add QR Codes.
Apps, Sites and Resources to Get Started
The Anatomy of an InfoGraphic
Some apps and web based sites that were favorites of Heritage Middle School teacher, Kelli Mann's class:
AppiVi Touch Lite
Comment below with questions or answers. How can you use infographics in your classroom?