7th grade Geography teacher, David J. at Graded-The American School of Sao Paulo, was planning an in-depth country data study and interpretation. He decided to allow his students to explore the use of infographics to visually represent the data and compare their findings. He explained to his students:
Instead of a focused, issue-based case study, the major project of the quarter will be a comparison of three countries (one from Europe, one from North or South America, and one from Africa or Asia). You will research many categories (citing sources correctly), represent the data using infographics (group collaborative component), and then provide reflection (annotations) on how and why the countries are similar or different on these topics. Additionally, students will write comments comparing their own researched countries’ information to the data of other students.
Some of the students had seen infographics, no one had created one. In an introductory lesson, we introduced infographics with the following resources.
What are infographics?
Wikipedia defines infographics:
Information graphics or infographics are graphic visual representations of information, data or knowledge intended to present complex information quickly and clearly. They can improve cognition by utilizing graphics to enhance the human visual system’s ability to see patterns and trends
Questions to ask yourself as you are “telling the story” of your data
- WHAT is the story?
- WHO is your audience?
- WHY are your telling the story?
- How will you COMMUNICATE the story about your data?
- How will I show RELATIONSHIPS between the data?
- Does my story make the viewer want to ask MORE QUESTIONS?
(Possible) Annotations to include in your infographic
- draw conclusions
- Based on the data, what are some trends and patterns you see?
- Can you make predictions?
Keep in mind…as you design
- color (correlation)
- size (quantity)
- orientation (trends)
Don’t forget to cite your sources
- Where did you get your data from?
- Don’t infringe on copyright. You can’t just google an image and use in your infographic. Are you using public domain or Creative Commons images or clipart? If CC, make sure you are citing them properly in a Credit section at the end of the infographic. If you are using clipart/graphics from one of the infographic tools listed below, you have automatic permission to use them for our purpose.
Example: Image credits: Teddy Bear image licensed under CC by langwitches- http://www.langwitches.org/blog/travel/teddybearsaroundtheworld/wp-content/uploads/2011/09/jose-60×60.jpg (Stated that it was indeed licensed under Creative Commons, followed by attribution and a link to the original file or page)
- The Water Rich vs. The Water Poor
- Education by Country
- Cellphone Use Around the World
- Life Expectancy by Country
- If Facebook were a country
Where can you create your own Infographics?
Further resources about using Infographics with students:
Have you used infographics with your students? What are some resources /tools you have used? What about “the critical thinking part”, beyond showing capability of visualizing data, but also articulating conclusions, making connections evident? How do you assess infographics? Have you created rubrics? Let’s pool our resources and experiences together.
Here are selected student examples from the country study: