Monthly Archives: February 2016

Course 3 Final Project: About Me!

Here it is! The final product – for now, at least. I have been super excited about this final project since I read the final project options during week 1 of course 3. I knew IMMEDIATELY that I wanted to create an infographic resume for my About Me page on my COETAIL blog. I was SO inspired by Sonya Terborg’s infographic resume, and I thought about what I would include in my infographic resume for weeks leading up to its creation.

I have said it before, and I will say it again:

I am the LEAST creative person that I know!

So, now that that’s out of the way, I would like to say that I am actually very proud of my infographic resume despite the fact that it may not look like the most aesthetically appealing resume you have ever seen 😉 I put a lot of effort and a lot of time into thinking about it and creating it. It may not be something that I send off to potential employers just yet, but I have some thoughts on what I need to do to get it to that point.

FIRST, I would like to describe some of the choices that I’ve made and how the learning in this course has impacted the design and outcome of my project. I separated my infographic into 3 distinct blocks – education, experience, and certification. Experience is in the middle because it is the most important, and it had the most information. Education is up top because that is also very important. I used the same font and text size for each heading, sub-heading, etc, so that there was continuity throughout the infographic. I still resorted to a good amount of text because I thought it was important (and sometimes, it’s hard to let go of the text!). I am still working out the color scheme, but I knew I didn’t want to keep it all white. I used color to segregate the 3 different blocks of the infographic. I think the icons say a lot, and less text makes it a bit lighter on the eyes as opposed to reading a bunch of boring text as in a traditional resume.

NEXT, I would like to describe how I plan to use this page and infographic. For COETAIL, on my “About Me” page, the infographic gives my readers a bit of insight into who I am. After reading many COETAIL blogs, I wish everyone had an About Me page right from the beginning of course 1. I also plan to use this infographic (or an altered version of it) as my visual resume for potential employers. As the COETAIL courses progress, I would like to further develop what I have already created in my current infographic resume.

LASTLY, like I said above, I am not entirely satisfied with my final project. I have already spent hours trying to perfect it, and I am sure that there are many more hours I will spend on perfecting it! I tend to be a perfectionist with things like this. Everything has to be perfect 🙂 I really LOVE the idea of an infographic resume, and I do like the one that I have created. I am satisfied with it to some extent, but I know it doesn’t look EXACTLY like I would want it to look like if I was passing it along to recruiters. I think the color scheme is a bit off (and I am not sure how to go about correcting that), AND I am not sure that it really depicts me as a person, which I think is really important. I need to weave my personality into this infographic a bit more and in some clever way.

I used Piktochart to create this infographic, and after many hours of use 😉 I did end up liking the program, so I think I am going to stick with it. If anyone has any other program or template suggestions or other ideas for improvement, it would be very, very much appreciated. I warmly welcome your comments below 🙂

A Global Killer

Infographics are more than just a visual. They are interesting. Who doesn’t love a good infographic? They have cool pictures and neat statistics, and best of all, they make sense.

“Infographics are graphic visual representations of information, data or knowledge intended to present information quickly and clearly. They can improve cognition by utilizing graphics to enhance the human visual system’s ability to see patterns and trends” (from Wikipedia).

Why not use infographics in our teaching? Well…we can…and maybe we should. But they are not as abundant and applicable as one might hope. For this blog post, we were asked to, “Find an infographic that you can use in your teaching, embed it into a blog post, and reflect on how you plan to use it.” Simple enough, right? Well…not really, at least that wasn’t the case for me!

I used the Creative Commons Search for Google Images and Flickr, and there were only a few infographics that were really relevant to what I am currently teaching. Don’t get me wrong. I think there are a TON of great inforgraphics out there, but they aren’t really entirely directed towards being used in the classroom, at least not yet. For example, when I Google Image search just “infographic,” the first images that come up are: “How we pay for things,” “The geosocial universe,” and “Ideal engines.” When I searched for “infographic science,” more of what I was looking for appeared, but it wasn’t directly related to my scientific discipline – “Aussie eyes on Mars,” The 10-B pork scam,” and “Soils.” After a good bit of searching, I did find this infographic:

Some rights reserved: DES Daughter

I REALLY like this infographic. One of the units in my grade 9 integrated science course is cells, so this visual can easily fit into that unit. I think it would best be used as a unit opener to get students thinking about something that has affected or could affect so many of us. A discussion about this infographic could easily make my unit on cells more “real.” I could ask the students questions like:

  • Which piece of information is the most surprising? Why?
  • Why is cancer the leading cause of death worldwide?
  • What do you think is the overall message of this infographic?

Infographics are informative and usually make me think, “Oh, wow! Really? I didn’t know that.” This can be both engaging and thought provoking. This particular infographic could help my students make connections about what their learning to the real world. Students oftentimes wonder, “Why do we have to learn this?” And for our cell unit, this infographic could be my answer.

I have also thought about the possibility of challenging my students to create their own infographic about what we are learning. It would allow them to make their own deeper connections between what we are learning and their world. How have you used infographics in your classroom or in your life? I warmly welcome your comments below 🙂

Who Are YOU? Revisted

Who doesn’t love a good story? My personal favorite is a story that I hear first hand from the person it happened to. For me, those stories always seem to be the best because the storyteller has that experience. They know what it looked like, what it felt like, what it smelled like, what it sounded like…

Some Rights Reserved: bgblogging

I have NEVER used digital storytelling in my class, and I am having a hard time coming up with how it could be used in my classroom or even in my subject area. As stated in one of my previous blog posts,

I am THE worst storyteller ever!

I am working on that with including visuals into my presentations that allow me to “tell the story” of the scientific concept that we are discussing in class. Check out this TED Talk from Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie about “The danger of a single story” and why storytelling can be SO important in our lives.

YouTube Preview Image


I have come up with one idea so far. In the middle of January, my students finished their “Chemical Identity Mask Projects,” which were a part of my Course 1 Final Project. After much scaffolding on my part and much research on my students’ part, my students created a physical mask of their own face. They decorated their mask so that it was representative of themselves (answering the question, Who Are YOU?) AND an element from the periodic table. In addition to the mask, students were also asked to create an artist statement video that communicated their “chemical identity.”

CC0 Public Domain: johnhain

This year was the first time that I had my students create a video. In years past, students would always submit an essay that described how their mask depicted their personality and the unique characteristics of an element from the periodic table. Since this was the first time I incorporated a technological component, I left the video requirements quite open.

BUT, what if, next year, I require my students to create a digital story to accomplish the artist statement video portion of this project? This would allow my students to explore the use of digital storytelling and give them more concrete requirements as to what I expect for their video. (I would have loved to post some of my students’ videos. Since my students appear in these videos, and I did not feel comfortable asking parents for permission, I will not be able to post any of their videos.)

Again, I am not the most creative person, but I am working on it! I can see digital storytelling as an excellent tool for both learning and assessment. I am trying to bring back creativity to my science classroom, which all too often gets lost in everything else that needs to get done!

Some Rights Reserved: Wesley Fryer

How do YOU use digital storytelling in your classroom? How do you think I could use it in my classroom (please, help!)? I warmly welcome your comments below 🙂