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Infographics- What? Why? How?

June 16, 2010 Communication, Design, Images, Information 3 Comments

I am seeing more and more “InfoGraphics” springing up everywhere. They are catching my visual eye immediately.

As a native German speaker, I love compound words and it comes naturally to me to want to take them apart in order to create meaning of the word: “Info” and “Graphic”- Information that is written or drawn…

A quick search for the the definition of “InfoGraphic” reveals on Wikipedia:

Information graphics or infographics are graphic visual representations of information, data or knowledge

In PC Magazine it reads:

An umbrella term for illustrations and charts that instruct people, which otherwise would be difficult or impossible with only text. Infographics are used worldwide in every discipline from road maps and street signs to the many technical drawings.

On Dave Gray’s Blog Communication Nation, he explains:

WHAT IS AN INFOGRAPHIC?

1. It’s a visual explanation that helps you more easily understand, find or do something.
2. It’s visual, and when necessary, integrates words and pictures in a fluid, dynamic way.
3. It stands alone and is completely self-explanatory.
4. It reveals information that was formerly hidden or submerged.
5. It makes possible faster, more consistent understanding.
6. It’s universally understandable.

What I am reading out of these definitions are the following words: Information, Knowledge, Visualization, and Communication! Those words are some of the puzzle pieces to 21st Century Skills and Literacies.

Immediately I am wondering:

  • How can I create my own infographic?
  • How can I use this to teach students?
  • How can I teach students to make their OWN infographics?
  • How can I use infographics in Professional Development?

I found the following infographic explaining the steps in creating an infographic. What seems to be important to remember is:

The Challenge with creating an infographic is not the Graphic Design, it’s getting the data to the point where it’s streamlined enough to see the visual metaphor.

Speaking about metaphors and visualization takes me back to Daniel Pink’s book “A whole New Mind”. I wrote about Pink’s quote MQ (Metaphor Quotient) is as important as the IQ a while back. Infographics might fit the bill when it comes to incorporating many of the qualities of teaching and learning in our time and age.

What do you think? Have you incorporated infographics in your lessons? Have you created your own infographics for your students or asked them to create their own?

I am off to think about creating my first infographic. Stay tuned for what I will come up with. :)


Mindflash Blog

Here are a few examples of infographics that caught my eye:

Interested in creating your own infographic? Here are a few links to help you along:

Currently there are "3 comments" on this Article:

  1. [...] and “Best Tech Support Blog” for the 2008 Edublog Awards. Recommended posts: “Infographics- What? Why? How?,” and “Presentation21 [...]

  2. John Sowash says:

    Great post, Silvia. I too have noticed an increase in the use of infographics. I’ve decided to have my students design one at some point next school year. In preparation for teaching them, I created my own infographic compiling data from my course evaluation (I posted it on my blog). It was challenging! The end result is nowhere near as spectacular as some of the infographics I have seen, but it’s a start!

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