Teaching with Infographics

Posted on May 6, 2013 by Melissa Jones Latest activity: Aug 20, 2014

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What do you think about infographics? Are they a valid form of art or a flash-in-the-pan trend?

How might you use infographics in your teaching practice to help students develop their visual literacy skills? Share your ideas and thoughts below.

This discussion post is part of the Adobe Education ExchangeProfessional DevelopmentWorkshop,Teach Visual Literacy: Creating Infographics


Comments (46)

Jody Campbell

Posted on Aug 13, 2014 12:16 AM - Permalink

I would call infographics a valid form of design but I tend to reserve the use of the word "art". For me the difference comes down to intent where design has a functional intent and art has a expressive intent. A infographic's primary function is to communicate information. Yes, they tend to do so in a aesthetically pleasing way but foremost is the message and second is the eye candy. So I would not say infographics are not "art" but they are design and they are very much in high demand.

I am a freelance illustrator and graphic designer and I teach graphic design at the college level. In the last year or two the number clients requesting infographics has increase a great deal....everyone from a regional bank to manufactures to publishers and retailers have ask me for them. Are they a trend? Hard to say at this point but I am happy to ride that or any other trend until it fizzles out.

Bhuvana Sriram

Posted on Jul 25, 2014 2:16 PM - Permalink

Infographics are very valid form of art but I have not created any infographics. Visual media always helps a student to understand the content more easy and when they create the infographics on the topic will allow them to do research in it to do creatively.

judith schwartz

Posted on Jul 24, 2014 6:49 PM - Permalink

I haven't created any infographics and would like to. I will introduce it to the faculty in my professional development workshops and see if there's any interest.

Miguel Miní

Posted on Aug 19, 2014 6:57 PM - Permalink

The magical recipe: some data (keywords and numbers) and many pictures!

Jesse Cole

Posted on Jul 17, 2014 1:03 PM - Permalink

I really enjoyed ISTE 2014 Adobe Illustrator clinic, the instructors actually had us design an infographic. Infographics will be one of our student project for the next school year.

Derek harwell

Posted on Jul 6, 2014 1:14 PM - Permalink

I have been teaching the use of infographics and using PS and Illustrator to build them to my 8th grade. They seem to be a bit aloof to infographics in media so I am not sure if this is a top down decision on my part and not actually a part of their lives, yet. I do think Wired really inspired creative, visual information presentations and at first I had a difficult time gleaning information from it. I liked it but didn't "get" it. Now years later, I do appreciate the detail, design and creativity. Perhaps this is the same for students. Does it help retain info better? I am not sure

AP Session

Posted on Jul 6, 2014 4:48 AM - Permalink

I teach a critical thinking class and I know the topics would be more mind blowing with infographics. Information is changing at the speed of light. If apps are taking short cuts to give us access to information, then infographics can be used to teach us how to map our data into solutions.

Christopher Leggett

Posted on Aug 12, 2014 5:54 PM - Permalink

I think this would be a very effective argument for the ongoing relay of infographics to professionals and students. Although it is sad to not see that many of the programs I have applied to have ever asked for infographics directly, I have noticed these become ever more prevalent as both social and data tools. Just via their media prevalence alone, I think it helps to have some context to how to interpret this type of data and graphics from all sources and think critically about them. I am looking forward to making a few of these if I have time in order to develop a better appreciation for the process.

Rachelle Wooten

Posted on Jul 4, 2014 10:05 PM - Permalink

I agree with Matt that infographics are a great way to teach students to think critically and creatively. They need to learn how to analyze and understand the information, but at a higher level they must be able to create an infographic of their by exploring a topic in depth and visually simplifying the complex. Making the information tell a story to the readers. Love infographics!

Matt Hankinson

Posted on Jun 30, 2014 12:06 PM - Permalink

I think that visual literacy is an important element to be taught in schools in the modern era. With so much visual media bombarding our students, education is the key for children to think critically and creatively to be both a composer and viewer of visual texts or representations in a multimodal format. It is now part of everyday life for our students and like reading, student need to be taught how to interpret, respond and compose their own info graphic texts.

Jeanette Farrington

Posted on Jun 30, 2014 1:58 AM - Permalink

I think infographics are an excellent way to teach large amounts of content. Especially in terms of analyzing, summarizing & communicating lots of information. I find the graphics would make it a lot easier for students to absorb all that information, but also to engage them more easily. The bright & bold graphics grabs the students attention, for example the 'top 10 super foods' inforgraphic on Pinterest, they are stimulated by the graphics, but are also learning important content. I would use infographics to introduce a topic, or when I had a lot of content to cover in a short amount of time. I would infographics to help students manage their learning individually, so they could work at their own pace for a project. As well as to work collaboratively with other students & then to share that knowledge with other class members, for example a topic about endangered animals (also inforgraphics a great way to share statistics & charts on the class topic). This would develop student visual literacy skills, as well as many other skills that are important to student leaning. I am excited about using visual literacy in the classroom, I have now have loads of new information that I can use.

Andrew Fletcher

Posted on Jun 28, 2014 9:59 PM - Permalink

I love the idea of using infographics to help display facts, statistics, and results. I think this is a great way to engage students and to help students maximize their creativity. However, I am a professional writing major and I love to sink my teeth into long, strategic research. I enjoy seeing the form of the author and word choice, syntax, etc. to strengthen the argument. There's a lot to gain from the ability to read, comprehend, and write difficult texts (not saying that infographics are not difficult because they are, take a lot of organization and creativity). So, won't students be missing some of that ability to interpret and create more in-depth pieces of research?

Mike Skocko

Posted on Jun 28, 2014 10:15 PM - Permalink

I don't think it's an either-or proposition, Andrew. More like in addition to. Yes? :)

Phil Feain

Posted on Jun 10, 2014 7:14 AM - Permalink

One of the things that I have notice over the last two years with our increased use of tablet devices with both staff and students is that both groups are less likely to read, especially instructions. Infographics tend to make a point very quickly and a great way to get conversations going when introducing a topic to students or a training session with staff.

One issue that I have found with teaching infographics is that I need to spend more time with the students creating their work in Illustrator. Getting them to create each of the components themselves gives them a much greater sense of accomplishment.

I also like Randy Krum's 10 Tips for Designing Infographics. Definitely something to get student's aware of.

Eliot Attridge

Posted on Jun 4, 2014 12:12 AM - Permalink

I have incorporated infographics into a test that our students do in year 10. An infographic is one way that you can test whether someone really understands a concept in science. They won't replace exams or long tests, but as a way of quickly judging understanding, I think they are great.

Glenys Goodingham

Posted on Jun 3, 2014 11:59 PM - Permalink

I am new to creating infographics but can see that when students prepare these for assignments they are doing more than just quoting research: students need to have a greater understanding and analysis of the materials to prepare a successful infographic. I will be teaching infographic creation to all my classes and offering the production of this as supporting evidence for assignments.

AP Session

Posted on Jul 6, 2014 4:54 AM - Permalink

Glenys,
I like your idea in having students increasing their understanding of materials. I host a 5-day summer residency program at Arizona State University for high school students who may be interested in pursuing accounting or business degrees. We pack the agenda with a variety of workshops which lead students in creating a marketing proposal for companies to market to teens. I'm thinking we should have the students design infographics to enhance their proposals.

Jennifer Hunter

Posted on May 14, 2014 2:45 PM - Permalink

I am actually creating an online course for high school teachers who may find themselves in the near future teaching online. You can not just 'dump' face to face material in a learning management system (LMS) and expect success. One of the issues is how to present material and the other issue is engaging assignments for students. I am ecstatic to use infogrpahics as one possible type of assignment because it works with ALL subject matters. You don't need special software and no additional downloads. Infographics can be used in so many ways on various software and even with just pen and paper (or crayons, clay, colored paper, ect).

Phil Feain

Posted on Jun 10, 2014 7:16 AM - Permalink

Jennifer I am thinking of using infographics as instructions for how to use our new LMS for those staff not quite understanding how to use it. The old expression of a picture saying 1000 words could be much better than a Word document full of text and achieving nothing.

Ahmed Ali Moselhi

Posted on Feb 7, 2014 8:48 PM - Permalink

you can tell everything Visually, if we consider the perception you can use the same technique for the 3 channel of the graphic design ( printing, motion and interactive)

David Badgley

Posted on Nov 21, 2013 12:26 PM - Permalink

Extremely helpful and inspirational. All you need to get started and then more.

nattapat moolvai

Posted on Nov 19, 2013 11:19 PM - Permalink

I do techniques. infographics. Knowledge which can be applied to the work I do.


scholarships


Shelley Ortner

Posted on Nov 14, 2013 3:08 AM - Permalink

I am excited about incorporating infographics into my curriculum. As a visual arts instructor tired of the same old print ads, posters, etc. Infographics allow students to touch so many areas of learning and enable me to cross curriculum while still designing a great-looking visual.

Ana Laura Toledo

Posted on Nov 12, 2013 10:58 PM - Permalink

As I said before. People in general don't read, so this is an excellent material to notice the important information in a poster or book, or presentation. Infographics are useful for everyone.

Colin Byers

Posted on Jun 30, 2014 2:44 AM - Permalink

True, but there are some very wordy infographics out there.

karen baker

Posted on Oct 24, 2013 4:12 PM - Permalink

I love the use of infographics for more than just a visual learner but they also make the information more engaging and interactive for anyone. I do think it's a form of design. I am not sure that it will fade but just expand on how it's presented. Adobe continues to bring new updates and life to their software so, this gives an open gate for the use of infographics.

I just gave an assignment with infographics for Tourism research project. It's allowing me to bring creativity into an online classroom and to a subject that is theory based.

carolyn brown

Posted on Oct 15, 2013 5:55 AM - Permalink

Creating infographics is a great way to teach students a lot of technique in Illustrator or InDesign.

Kathleen Andrew

Posted on Oct 9, 2013 5:08 AM - Permalink

Infographics appears to be a very useful teaching strategy. I am keen to learn how to use In Design as a tool for using this.

Imelda Hernández

Posted on Oct 3, 2013 3:05 AM - Permalink

Infographics using arouses student interest in the topics that are difficult to understand. The use of images to highlight briefly the most important information of a subject, allows the student to be responsible for their own learning and develop their creativity. A well designed infographics motivates students to find out more about a topic.

Mark `Adamowski

Posted on Aug 19, 2013 2:15 AM - Permalink

I like infographics when I find them in the newspaper but sometimes they can be very misleading (like everything in a newpaper). A Infographic can be a powerful tool that can sway the readers to a certain view even if the data says otherwise. I believe they're here to stay so we need to teach people how to analyse them, construct them and use them.

Most of the schools I've worked in encourage fruit or vegtables for a snack. We have a 'fruito' break while I read a book and the children enjoy their healthy snack. Making a infographic about 'fruito' would be great. On my to do list.

Chad de Kretser

Posted on Aug 5, 2013 7:10 AM - Permalink

I am looking forward to seeing how infographics are used by teachers and students as both realise its potential. It is always interesting to see how this medium produces spin-offs and is further developed.

Miguel Miní

Posted on Aug 19, 2014 6:55 PM - Permalink

My students could choose one template: portrait (face or full body describing a character profile), timeline (with many large pictures as options) or map (floorplan or similar). The infograph's goal was to illustrate a group project.

John Mac Leod

Posted on Jul 22, 2013 11:27 PM - Permalink

Infographics offer visual learners a means to an end; synthesis of a topic in an informative context for continued exploration.

Lidia Alex

Posted on Jul 20, 2013 9:29 PM - Permalink

We never use it enough, but it's without doubt one of the best way for obtaining an holistic and whole view and explanation of a particular subject! It makes things clear and easier to understand, assimilate or compare… My next school year challenge will be use it more and better :-)

Carol Bly

Posted on Jul 20, 2013 6:11 PM - Permalink

:-) I really do want to thank you for all the help you've been to me over the years! Since I taught English for ten years prior to teaching in the computer lab, I walked in with nothing - and had a very tough first year or two. I've been using the Flash WOW animation with kids as a beginning to their Mother's Day Cards for a long time! thank you!

Mike Skocko

Posted on Jul 23, 2013 12:49 AM - Permalink

Carol, stories like that make it all worthwhile. I'm paying a huge karmic debt from the taker I used to be, so in all honesty, you just helped me more that I ever helped you.

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Somewhere there's an infographic about all this crying out to be created. :)

Mike Skocko

Posted on Jul 19, 2013 9:12 PM - Permalink

I'm honored, Carol. Thanks!

Go Tigers! (See? Two can play the edu-stalking game. :)

Donald Jennings

Posted on Jul 18, 2013 7:10 PM - Permalink

Infographics are a great way to introduce new information. I wish I had more of them when I was going through school. They provide a jumping off point for a more detailed discussion.

Carol Bly

Posted on Jul 17, 2013 6:33 PM - Permalink

I've been (secretly) following Mike Skocko for years (since 2003) - even when his videos had no audio...and stealing many of his ideas. After reading about Infographics and watching Mike's Typography lessons in Illustrator, I plan on creating a similar project this year. Thank you!!

Dennis Perks

Posted on Jun 26, 2013 8:35 PM - Permalink

Like so many other tools, they are what we make of them. I really enjoy integrating infographics and particularly enjoyed the 8 Stations resource. I also think we really have to remember how fast learning has changed in the last decade and that today's learners are extremely visual. Even if you do not like them, I would bet the students will.

Marquis McClean

Posted on Jun 9, 2013 11:04 PM - Permalink

I agree with Shocko. they are truly a valuable asset. So many of our students are coming to us from the digital age are already wired visually... no programming required...

Mike Skocko

Posted on Jun 8, 2013 12:30 PM - Permalink

+1 Tammy :)

Tammy Moore

Posted on Jun 8, 2013 12:07 PM - Permalink

Before infographics were the hot new trend, I made them for my own learning. I am very visual with my weakest area being auditory learning. In college I would record the lecturer and then play it back when I got back to the dorm and convert it all to graphics. After college, I discovered concept mapping and added that in to the mix too. For strongly visual learners it is invaluable to have graphics. My oldest son is very verbal, he found concept maps confusing, but even being strongly verbal he appreciates the conciseness of an infographic.

Sjaani van den Berg

Posted on Jun 5, 2013 5:39 AM - Permalink

For me they are a flash-in-the-pan trend.

Though at the same time they will definitely have their place in education, perhaps a quick way to get information across to hopefully create an interest in a topic which can then be further researched.

Dileepa Thilan

Posted on May 28, 2013 4:30 PM - Permalink

Infogrphic & Animations are the best things to Teach Everyone

Mike Skocko

Posted on May 7, 2013 11:54 AM - Permalink

From my perspective (as a new media arts teacher), infographics are a wonderfully valid and valuable bridge to cross-curricular lessons. So far, I've just offered the project as an optional choice. Kids have produced artifacts like Super Mario Physics but no pure infographics. But next year... :)