Tuesday, 23 April 2013

Infographics Made Simple

I've tried out quite a few free online infographics generators and found that they tend to be either:
  • too simple and restricted in their free versions
  • don't have all the functionality I would like to use
  • or put too high a cognitive load on the students when the purpose of the assessment is not to learn to navigate a particular website but to research, analyse and synthesize information and to present it in a visually compelling way.
Hello Powerpoint! Yes you heard me correctly, I was quite excited today when I realised that I could use Powerpoint to create an infographic and more importantly, that my students could easily and simply create an infographic that looks good with a minimum of fuss.  I found several websites that provided me with free templates to use however, in the end I decided to just start with a blank canvas.

The secret...
Well it's not really a secret, is to change the page length in Design > Page Setup

Creative Commons Licence
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 3.0 Unported License.

Some our students are about to embark on their first infographic assessment involving the creation of an infographic collaboratively as well as having to present their infographic. I have to present some basic information to get them started.  To this end I decided to model the creation of an infographic using Powerpoint. What I really loved was that by using the inbuilt clipart I could bypass the whole attribution process and just focus on getting my ideas across. This infographic is included above.

To ensure we are maximising students' learning opportunities this project will be:
  • Collaborative with both shared responsibility and substantive decision making by the group members
  • Knowledge building with the added bonus that using Powerpoint means that the students can focus on their content and display rather than learning the software
  • Require critical ICT use - although students could create a poster with scissors and glue; we have decided to give them an authentic audience by including various infographics in the school newsletter over the coming weeks.

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