Daily Education and Technology News for Schools 10/28/2013
Today’s Daily Education and Technology News includes lots of resources for teaching about and with Infographics and Cartoons in the classroom. Infographics are a powerful new method of journalism and a form of storytelling that tends to go viral that you can easily use with kids. With the free tools available to students today, they no longer have to have an artistic hand to try their hand at infographics and cartoons.
Infographics and cartoons are also valuable tools to use in your district to communicate positive stories. Reach and find out the stories you have to tell and compile them in an infographic as part of the marketing effort of your school. We all have stories to tell and one of the most powerful ways to tell those stories is with infographics. Hope you enjoy today’s links. (Let me know if you like the new, more narrative format of these daily news posts for each day’s updates in the comments. Thanks!)
Resources to teach about infographics
Next week, we are teaching about infographics in my computer fundamentals classroom and these are some of the resources we’re using.
There are now books with the most compelling infographics. INfographics are being recognized as compelling, moving media and catalysts for change. Organizations that need support and use social media should develop their ability to use infographics with finesse and students should know not only how to create them but how to interpret them.
Great infographic that will help you determine which type of infographic may be the best for you. This is more for adults and those teaching it, I wouldn’t necessarily use this chart with students as it has some confusing terms like “number porn’ (meaning an infographic with lots of numbers) that kids may not necessarily understand.
Charles Minard’s compelling infographic from the 1800’s depicts Napolean’s march and shows the number of men he had, the path they took, and the temperature on the return route in a powerful way. This is an example of infographics and how they can tell a story. If you’re a history teacher you’ll want to use this graphic and perhaps challenge your students to use an infographics tool to tell a story of a historical event.
As you study data visualizations, make sure you look at past examples of how it made a difference (the Chicago crime visualization, for example). Students should be able to read and create visualizations to make arguments, share data, tell stories, and more. It is an important part of journalism and also something that is useful to include in school newspapers and annuals.
Another Infographic app for schools. You can use just a few themes for the free price and there are prices for schools to use Piktochart. This is another option for creating infographics with students.
This website lets you visualize your resume with a powerful infographic and is designed to work with Linked in. Have students create a similar graphic about what it will take to get to their desired career. Fascinating tool with a very specific purpose.
Another software visualization tool. This one is from IBM. The URL is an odd one so you’ll have to bookmark this. This is free and is listed as an “experiment”. It looks like many educators are gravitating to the site as I’ve found some nice infographics for literature here as well. On the homepage you can scroll through some of the ideas. There are also some nice articles about how to create effective visualizations on this site that will give you ideas if you are using infographics in the classroom.
Another infographic maker that I’ve tested is easel.ly. I could not use this at all in Chrome but in Firefox it was a nice graphic maker. This is more for narrative story type graphics than Infogr.am, in my opinion. There are several basic themes to choose from and you edit and add your own graphics. Another tool you could use with students although if you want graphics that have a lot of data you should go with infogr.am. I found Easel.ly to be very simple to use with a quick sign up process, although it was totally unresponsive in Chrome, so make sure they are using IE or Firefox if you pick this tool. I recommend this tool for writing teachers, bloggers, and as a nice way to graphically organize stories, etc. Cost: free
ONe of the favorite sites for building comics that I’ve been using a long time is Toondoo. I have found that if you have too many students who sign up at the same time it can be a problem. Also note that there are comics based social networks for schools using something called “Toondoo Spaces”
Another cartoon maker. It looks a tad more complex but is an option for making comics. I like that it introduces the term “scene” narration” and the thought of having 2 people with dialog, so if dialog is important to you, this would be a good free comic maker.
Marvel now has a way you can create your own comics. Their let you use the marvel characters so this may be of interest to some of you who have students who need encouragement to get excited about making comics.
EveryArtist Live! November 21. Creativity matters as we focus on the worldwide art project of gratitude. Sign your students up today.
Upcoming Global Projects You’ll want to join
Since we’re talking creativity today in our news, remember Every Artist Live is coming up on November 21st. Register for your school’s free art gallery and get ready to share your student art projects about gratitude.
Disclosure of Material Connection: Some of the links in the post above are “affiliate links.” This means if you click on the link and purchase the item, I will receive an affiliate commission. Regardless, I only recommend products or services I use personally and believe will add value to my readers. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”