Sunday, October 27, 2013

Have students make infographics with Easelly

Infographics are now on many websites.  We also see them shared in social spaces like Twitter and Facebook.  They are eye-catching graphics that allow us to quickly learn some interesting information, as well as exploring more complex topics from different points of view with the aid of sophisticated graphic art.  New tools abound that make it easier than ever for us to create and share our own infographics as well, and one I've been using with students lately is Easelly.

Often when students are in the process of exploring a topic, there comes a point in time where they have discovered some interesting things, and would like to share this with classmates, or others. An infographic is the perfect way for them to do this. They can be creative, and present what is most interesting to them in a way that fits their own schema about it. This allows the viewers to learn a little bit more about what they are researching, but in short bites so that we don't necessarily have to read their research paper. Even better, it allows us a little insight into how they see it as well - an infographic is a great visual way to bring out what we would call "voice" in writing.

How do I use this in the classroom?
This year, I've been teaching 7th grade students how to organize web pages.  They use the sites as a repository for their favorite things.  Students are using their own interests as a basis for learning about many new tools this year, and one of those has been infographics using Easelly.  After a certain amount of inquiry and research, they created infographics about one aspect of their research that they personally found particularly interesting, and posted these on their web sites.  Here are some examples of their creations:
Beaches by Anisa

Mythological creatures by Shelby

Legos by Kyleigh

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