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:
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 🙂