By Allie Muur, Instructional Development Services Graduate Assistant
Fifty percent of the human brain is dedicated to visual functions, and images are processed faster than text. Technology has opened many barriers to help the process of visual teaching and learning. There are now interactive whiteboards or smart boards, which allow multiple creative ways to teach visually. There are several apps that can be downloaded as well. Another creative and fun way to teach and learn visually is creating an infographic.
Infographics are visual representations of information, data or knowledge intended to present complex information quickly and clearly and they are effective because they are a visual element. There are three different parts that allow infographics to be successful and easy to understand. When creating an infographic, one needs to focus on the visual aspect, the content and the knowledge base of it all. The visual aspect of an infographic is very important because it consists of the colors and graphics that are used. Themes and references are the two main factors of the visual portion of creating an infographic. The theme graphics are the visual representation of the data being depicted and the reference graphics are usually icons that are used to point to certain data that may not be shown on the infographic. The reference visual may lead the users to a different website that will help explain the information more clearly. Statistics and facts usually serve as the content for infographics and the knowledge base of the infographic, which is very important for each infographic, is making sure there is some sort of insight into the data that makes it easy for the learners to understand.
Forty-five percent more Web users will click on a link if it features an infographic. To begin to create an infographic to enhance a lesson or to help make a topic simpler for others to understand, choose one of the many websites that are available. Some free and very easy to use websites are http://infogr.am/, http://www.cacoo.com and http://www.vizify.com. To get started, all one has to do is sign up with an email address and password. Those are just a few of the many websites that are out there to help one begin the infographic process.
Below is an example of what an infographic can look like.
TechTip: Using Infogr.am
By Paul Schouten, Instructional Development Services Lab Assistant
Using Infogr.am is one of the many places that allow you to create infographics. It is a great and easy way to create impressive infographics using pre-made options. After quickly registering with the website, you are presented with several templates that will be the base of your infographic design.
After selecting an appropriate template, you are directed to a page where you can choose multiple options to edit the infographic. When you select the “Add a chart” option on the right, there are 31 different charts and graphs to choose from based on how you plan to organize and display your information. Ranging from hierarchy charts to bubble charts, practically every way to display statistical data is covered in this section.
Moving down the list on the right side of the editor, there is an option to add a map. After the map is inserted into the infographic, there is an option to double-click the map to edit the data used as well as a spot to upload data from your device.
Next there is an option to add a simple text box. The options for the text boxes determine how the text could be used in the infographic. There is even a timer function if a countdown is relevant to the information being presented. Otherwise, the text boxes could be used to create headers, titles, or simple boxes used throughout the infographic.
The next two options are for media that can be included in the infographic. If you wanted to add a picture, the “add a picture” button will send you straight to upload a picture from your device. If a video is something you want to include, the “add a video” button allows you to insert a video using a URL from either Vimeo or YouTube.graphics, Infographics, visual content, visual image, visual learning