Using Infographics in the Classroom by Kate Watson

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How I feel after I’ve seen the same poster for the 57th time.

It’s about half-way through second semester and if you are anything like me, your desk/classroom is filled with random student projects and your inbox is filled with various Google Slide presentations.  After reviewing what feels like 200 different projects that all look pretty similar, I began wondering what I could do to make my job and the student’s projects less boring — so naturally, I went on Pinterest to explore!

After scrolling through random Memes and cute Elementary School projects, I began noticing a lot of Infographics explaining various topics relating to school.  Now, I’ve seen these around before, but I started wondering how I could make a project off of these where the students could show information they know in a fun and innovative way.  If you don’t know, here are a few examples of Infographics.  As you can see they are usually long, poster-like objects that provide a wealth of information quickly with pictures, graphs, and other visuals.

 

I was looking at these posters and thought they would be a great way for students to engage with technology and class content in a new and creative way.  So I perused around the internet and came up with a project for my students in Psychology.  Since we were finishing our unit on Consciousness and Altered States, I assigned students to make an Infographic about the Effects of Drugs on the Brain and in Life.  Students were allowed to chose from  a variety of topics, but had to include specific facts about drugs and their effects on consciousness.  I gave students 2 class days to work on research and creating the graphic before they presented it to the class.  I graded students like I grade posters, on their research, content provided on the poster, and the general aesthetic of their Infographic.  Here are a few Example of their final Infographics.

 

I was so pleased with how their projects turned out, and how interested the kids seemed in the process.  When I questioned them about their experience, they said that they liked the creativity of the project, but wished that they had a third day to work in class so I could be there to help with the info graphic websites.  Now these are mainly seniors, so if you would like to do a similar project with younger kids, you might want to give them three days, including a Block day, to work.

 

I found 2 major websites that help students make Infographics for free, but most students used the first one more.  The websites I had my students use were:

  • https://piktochart.com/
    • Students liked this one the most.  The interface was easy to understand and you could make your graphic as long or as short as you wanted
  • https://venngage.com/
    • Students liked the templates and pictures available on this one, but didn’t like that the length of your graphic was restricted.

 

 

 

 

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