Saturday, August 25, 2012

Designing Infographics Easel.ly

4th Grade Student
Over the past year, we integrated the use of infographics into our lessons as part of our mission to teach our students about information design and the skills of graphicacy. They viewed different types, from current events to holidays. It was easy to find infographics for just about any topic, but it wasn’t always so easy to find the tools for our students to design and create their own. That is, until Easel.ly was released this spring.

4th Grade Instructions
We decided to test Easel.ly with our students in the fourth and eighth grades, setting certain parameters for them to follow. We wanted to see just how "easy" it was to use. At each grade level the students took the content from their social studies classes as the information they needed. Our 4th graders used their state project research, and the 8th graders made time period infographics to review for final exams.

8th Grade Student
The goal for each grade level was to complete an infographic in one class period using Easel.ly. This included learning how to use features such as objects, shapes, text and color. The only instruction given to each class was a sample infographic of what needed to be included. It was no surprise that our tech savvy, born digitals went straight to town and exceeded our expectations.

While some of these infographics may not be completely polished, our students mastered the functionality with ease, demonstrating the key components of words, pictures and numbers. Needless to say, considering the limitations imposed by time, these basic infographics created in a 40-minute period met the requirements, and some were quite impressive.

4th Grade Student
Although the infographics designed by the fourth-grade students appear simple, the eighth-grade examples demonstrated a higher level of sophistication. We can only imagine what these fourth graders will design by the time they reach the eighth grade given enough practice.

The availability of other applications continues to grow, and these resources are listed on our infographics page. Infogr.am is similar to Easel.ly, while some require software downloads, such as Tableau Public. Others like Vennage are fee-based.

8th Grade Instruction
Regardless of which application you use, these tools allow for flexibility in creating instructional material, provide an opportunity to design content, and offer a host of choices for both teachers and students on the delivery of visual information.

With their widespread use today, particularly as media for advertising, it is even more important that they become commonplace in classroom instruction. Please see our other posts about the state of infographics in education, using apps in 1:1 programs to make them, and creating personal infographics to teach the components of their design.

For additional information, we recommend:


1 comment:

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