Some 2 months after I blogged about the proposed use of infographics things have moved on somewhat. As proposed and planned my Year 7 are beginning to develop their own infographics using Piktochart. This east to use tool is great and students have taken to it really well, liking the intuitive design and I’m looking forward to publishing the finished results soon. Newcomers to Piktochart can check out a couple of videos I’ve found as a great introduction.
My Year 10s are currently developing websites about Digital Footprint using WordPress as part of their BTEC IT and have been researching different ways to present information. They use twitter for home learning activities and also AFL as i have blogged about before, but they came up with some great examples of infographics along the way. Here are just some of them:
They are currently using the resources on My Web My Way from the BBC to create infographics about web accessibility. Hopefully prove to a colleague of mine that infographics are not “glorified posters”
In the Year 10 project they have chosen between Piktochart and Infogr.am. Whilst Piktochart is a great tool, one issue raised by my students is this inablity/unclear aspect of adding their own graphics to their infographics. Infogr.am has this feature. One downside for some schools would be that to log in to Infogr.am a Facebook or Twitter account is needed and the end result is not an image file but an embeddable image
Last January I was introduced to infographics while attending the Learning Without Frontiers conference in London. Among many highlights including Evan Roth was the session delivered by David McCandless the author of Information is Beautiful, I have since bought his wonderful book but I was astonished about how data can be be visualised and have taken a keen interest ever since. One of the many great visualisations from Information is Beautiful is the Left v Right infographic
With another one being the demographics of social media users
I was going to include the great visualisation about what is censored in China but was ironically blocked by my managed service
Infographic’s are of course not a new thing. I recall a Royksop video from a few years ago
And there is also a French TV advert:-
Areva Tv Commercial 2004
In terms of reading material it might also be worth checking out:
Lastly there are also the following:-http://www.informit.com/store/product.aspx?isbn=0132065509
One of the great parts of the site aside from the great visualisations is the ability to take some of the data to create your own visualisations
Of course there is a also great way of representing data via video using the Debtis UK video which is a given for me in demonstrating the power of infographics and visualisations.
I want my students to be not just consumers but creators in ICT / computing / digital studies.
I have set my year 10 homework this week to find ANY infographic they can which does not have to be related to ICT. They have / will tweet a link to it and explain it to the rest of the class on Monday. The main aim is that students are creating a WordPress site about digital footprint and I want them to gather data from their peers and beyond. This is then going to be represented individually as an infographic which will be embedded on their site.
Last week with my year 13s we used this infographic about download speeds as students have to.
In order to achieve distinction criteria students are required to
- Evaluate the impact of evolving output mediums on the design and creation of graphic images
After initial discussion they then compared and contrasted a mobile site and a full site in order to look at design and content. Using Hyerle’s Double Bubble map first individually and then as a group we came up with the following.
Then individually students where then required to discuss the impact of different output mediums when designing graphics for the web.
My year 8: are embarking on their Kodu project. I have already developed this course for #ictcurric using the great resources produced by Nikki Maddams. For homework students were required to define online identity theft in 140 characters exactly. We then discussed the wide range of answers before looking at this infographic.
So far they have been a great way to engage with learners and great for giving them the opportunity to understand data presented in a more user friendly way.
Now this is where I had come to a brick wall in the class. I have been looking for my Year 7 and 10s to be able to create their own infographics. There are a number of websites around who offer the tools to create your own. One recommended by many is http://visual.ly/ which allows you to create an infographic from your data linked to various things such as your Twitter and Facebook Account. For example I created the following for my twitter account
This isn’t something or anywhere near what I was looking for especially for my Year 7s.
Rather than looking for online tools I have been looking for the most efficient and dare I say it easiest way for students to create their own infographics. One idea was for students to model either using their own or exiting data in Excel (or anything similar) and then grab this image and use Photoshop / Fireworks do generate the whole image. Of course students are required at Key Stage 3 to combine tools and techniques for Level 4 and onwards but some of my classes in Year 7 are low ability and this would create more problems than solutions and I’m looking not just for a great visualisation but a short and snappy project.
DESIGNING AN INFOGRAPHIC
A great site to get yourself started is http://www.makeuseof.com/tag/awesome-free-tools-infographics/ which has a number of tips to look at before starting to think about an infographic. For example:
Some great tips for designing infographics:
- Keep it simple! Don’t try to do too much in one picture.
- Decide on a colour scheme.
- Research some great facts and statistics.
- Think of it as a visual essay: ensure your arguments hold and are relevant.
- Remember that it’s all about quickly conveying the meaning behind complex data.
- Draw conclusions.
- Reference your facts in the infographic.
- Include your URL so people can be sure who made it.
There are a lot of great tips and tricks out there and some nice resources but the find of last week was this
This tutorial uses Adobe Illustrator to create an infographic. The step by step instructions are very easy to follow and my “test” bed of students who come into my room at lunchtime after created some good solid infographics.
We are lucky in school to have the CS3 suite which Illustrator is part of. The next project for my Year 7s and 10s is to create infograhics using Illustrator so i look forward to seeing how things progress.
In a nutshell I have to say the Infographics are a FAD idea in my classroom – “Flippin’ Amazing Development!!” and i am really looking forward to seeing how this project develops and sharing some of the infographics my students create