Every picture tells a story, as they say, but sometimes it takes a clever combination of words and pictures to tell a story quickly, concisely and in an entertaining fashion. We are all Visually Wired.
Lets look at the facts ( after all that is what infographics deal with)
Sharing information with the use of visual imagery can help us process and understand information. In our data rich society we are swamped with data. On average we consume more than 34 gigabytes worth of information outside of work on an average day. The human race will create more data in the next 4 years than in the history of the world before that.We only have to look at What Happens in an Internet Minute? to see just how much is available online for humans to consume.
Let’s not even mention the 129,864,880 different books that have been published in the world!
Infographics to the rescue!
Infographics counter this information overload because they’re more engaging.
Infographics are big business. Between 2011-2013 the search volume for infographics increased on Google’s search engine by 800%. Infographics are liked and shared on social media three times more than any other type of content.
You can get an infographic for almost anything: –
- Everything you need to know about red-wine ( I might come back to this one later!!)
- What to do when the internet is down
- Facial Hair/Beard Facts and Trivia and possibly the greatest infographic ever
- Could Indiana Jones Really Survive a Nuclear Bomb in a Fridge?
Sometimes the information is not always accurate. Amazingly 95% of infographics from unknown sources are full of distortions inserted by internet marketers. (Disclaimer – I have not made the facts up on the 2 infographics that I have shown you so far!)
An infographic is a story based on facts. There has to be 2 validated sources to 1 piece of information, which is then analysed. Probably the most important area of creating infographics is understanding that the finished product looks deceptively simple. Every decision, including font, shapes, colour scheme, and use of white space, will either contribute to or detract from the overall clarity of the message in the finished infographic.
Moving infographics or interactive infographics can even add more clarity. After all animated videos can increase interest by 20% to consumers. I particularly like this very simple, but highly effective, 30 years of the music industry in 30 seconds.
How can we use them in school?
I use a lot of visuals with the children in my class. But I have not really ventured into using infographics with these young learners yet. One of the main reason is that I thought a visual could be more powerful – show the children a picture and then use a thinking routine to help the children make connections with other learning. Another reason is that our first 2 units have been about Communication and more recently Structures and Materials.
We are, in the next week, going to begin our new unit, Recycling and 5R’s. This will be a prefect time to use infographics with the class.
There are huge amount of great infographics in this area: –
- How does recycling work?
- Recycling The Good, The Better, The Best
- Trash Talk – how long it takes for decomposition or different materials
The plan will be to share some of these with the children. So after a few exposures to basic infographics, we will study three very different infographics side by side. I will have general questions to ask the children about their infographic. Such as
- What is this telling us?
- What information do you remember?
- Which of these was the best infographic and why?
- Is the text or the visual design most important in each of these?
- How is font size used to emphasise certain facts?
When the children have taken part in this activity. We will discuss the features of an infographic including content but also purpose, design, and organisation. From here I think getting children using their sketchbook to draw infographics will be the starting point. Then as we collect raw data ( about recycling/zero waste in grade 1 ) try starting with a template which students can create their first infographic to share with other grades about the impact of recycling/waste at ISL. Having this purpose and audience will be vital to trim the content that will be included.
Some tools we could use to create these infographics are:-
We can take advantage of 200,000 years of human evolution and tell stories that cut right to the heart of human experience. We can play with emotion, colour, and movement. We can communicate better through visual innovation.