I love infographics — both visually and how succinctly they can represent the information they are presenting. I struggle with them only when it comes to how can students use them to represent their work. My students have used Glogster in the past but not really as an infographic but more as a way to present their work. I would love to use an infographic to have students compare similar objects or countries but again I struggle with how to do this. My second grade students are currently doing research on U.S. symbols. It might be interesting to have the highest level students create an infographic called “U.S. Symbols by Numbers”. For example, students could represent the number of star & stripes on the U.S. flag; the number of faces on Mt. Rushmore; and the number of bathrooms, elevators, and rooms in the White House.
As I mentioned in my last blog post, my school is a Focus school and in May the school will have a site visit to determine the effectiveness of the school. As part of this process, I will be meeting with these representatives presenting information related to the Tenet that I was assigned as part of a team. This year the focus of my team has been determining the impact of the various programs we have in place to meet our students’ social and emotional health needs. Proving that something is working is a lot harder than saying it is working! We developed a short survey to see how well one of the programs was working. Below is an infographic I created showing the results of the survey. The infographic is pretty self-explanatory and shows the results of the survey with a few select quotes thrown in about the program. Although the data speaks for itself, I chose quotes that matched the message that I wanted to present and not a quote that might have been perceived as negative.
To create my infographic, I used easel.ly. The first thing I did was create a free account and then clear out a new board. I didn’t want to use a template already created because I wanted to start from scratch. I chose a simple background and gave it a title. It took me a few seconds to figure out that you needed to drag the object onto the main board but from there it was really very easy to find and change whatever I needed. The only thing I couldn’t figure out was if it was possible to show numbers within the graph as this would have helped clarify the information a little bit better. Overall, I would use easel.ly again for my own personal use but I am not sure I would use it for my students.
Before I used any online program, I know that it would be vital for my students to have a written representation of what they would like their infographic to look like before I even considered letting them get onto the computer. Why? Because many of them would spend time looking at all the objects, stickers, and other distractions instead of choosing objects that they need. My students have a difficult time understanding that work they do for school has different expectations from something they would create for pleasure.
The bottom line for me is am I having students do this to increase their knowledge or just to increase their use of technology? If the latter, then I am not sure it is worth their time.