Friday, June 4, 2010


Infographics, digital presentations, digital storytelling and others are all names for the act of visually presenting data or information to make it more appealing. As a visual learner, this is something of interest to me on a personal and professional level. Recently I was shown a video on youtube of a visual representation done by Cognitive Media in a style called scribing. The example I will show is of Daniel Pink speaking about Motivation in regards to his book Drive.

This is a very professional and high level infographic, but there are many other types that can allow students and teachers to use this very powerful display method to share ideas and information. Not having access to a group like Cognitive Media, students and teachers alike will need to find other tools and strategies to make their information POP!

The Wild Apricot Blog has a great post on Making your own Infographic. This article has links to strategies, examples and How-To websites. The Wild Apricot Blog quotes Wikipedia,
Information graphics or infographics are graphic visual representations of information, data or knowledge. These graphics present complex information quickly and clearly, such as in signs, maps, journalism, technical writing, and education. With an information graphic, computer scientists, mathematicians, and statisticians develop and communicate concepts using a single symbol to process information.
Like much of the information we access in today's educational settings, students need to have information readily available and the ability to quickly present complex information is essential for teachers of these types of students.

One of the best guides to help anyone create an effective infographic is an article by Sneh Roy, The Anatomy of An Infographic: 5 Steps to Create a Powerful Visual. With a working knowledge of the 5 steps a student or a teacher could create an easy to navigate informational visual on almost any topic.

Two of my favorite tools for engaging info graphics (this is just two of many) are Wordle and Prezi. Wordle is a word cloud creator that is easy to use, customizable and allows the user to cut and paste any text into it. prezi is a unique presentation tool that instead of using traditional slides, allows the information to be placed on one single workspace and then the user can navigate, zoom and rotate the view from piece of information to piece of information to make an interactive visual presentation.

While this post only shows a few of the tools and resources for infographics, it is meant as an introduction to the topic and how it can be used more effectively in educational settings and in particular for those involved with Media and Technology within education.

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