Wednesday, January 21, 2015

The 411 on Infographics

Infographics are a doozie of a way to access the upper echelon of Bloom's Taxonomy. They get students to create while integrating informational literacy, visual literacy, digital literacy, and plain old literacy literacy (AKA reading and writing). Below I've posted a gateway, of sorts, into using and creating data visualizations in your classroom.

Once again, Google Apps for Education provides a wonderful way for you to not only access data but select your own visualization of it. All in one place! Simply search Public Data on Google. When you find the data you want to learn about you can see different graphs of it by selecting the symbols at the top.  When you're happy and you know it, save the image.  You can also create infographics of other stats not listed in the Public Data for free through Google Charts by Google Developers.

Another tool you can use if you are GAFE school is the Google AddOn LucidChart for Education. There are thousands of options for chart creation through this tool. Just be certain you are comfortable with their privacy policies. The same can be said for all these tools. Especially if you are using them to create personal or school specific data.

The Social Media Hat offers step by step directions on how to create infographics on Canva. Canva is a snazzy, free graphic design tool that will create stellar infographics. Easel.ly is easily one of the simplest infographic makers. It requires registration. Other marvelous data visualization creators that are free, at least initially, but require registration are: visual.ly, Picktochart,  and infogr.am.

Learning with Infographics on Scoop it was created by yours truly has loads of resources. Even more than highlighted here so be sure to check it out.

Tops on my list is a stop on Kathy Schrock's Infographics Resource page. She's got examples,
integration ideas, tutorials, lesson plans, you name it.

Personally, I have had students create infographics on data we collected comparing literacy rates and life expectancy, among other happiness indicators, on The World Factbook site. In our computer class we created flow charts for decision making with regards to digital citizenship, "To Post or Not to Post?" We also created infographics on social media usage at different ages and risky online behaviors. Data visualization makes for an excellent integration strategy, mixing not only technology, but social studies, science, math, character development, art, design, you name it. Try going to Kathy's Infographic Guide to Everything, finding a lesson, and diving in.




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