When time allows, and sometimes even when it doesn’t, I like trying out new technology tools for the classroom. I am the type of technology user I have deemed the tech-experimenter. I learn through trial-and-error; I work backwards, forwards, and backwards again; I push all the buttons (only occasionally to the dismay of our tech department).
Recently, at the NCTE National Convention back in November, I heard Penny Kittle speak on the importance of adding infographics into our students’ critical reading repertoire, and perhaps even their writing repertoire. In response, I decided to try my hand at infographic creation and made it the focus of my next tech-experiment.
After looking around at my options, I selected Piktochart as my tool and Romeo and Juliet characters as my subject. Piktochart has a great drag-and-drop format, plenty of examples, and a great pre-loaded library of templates, backgrounds, fonts, graphics, etc. It took me about thirty-forty minutes to make the infographic to my left, but I’m sure I will become a little quicker and creative with repeated use.
Next came integrating the graphic into our lesson. I did not spend forty minutes creating the image just to have them file it away in their notebooks for future reference. It was a great chance to practice some close reading of a visual. Inspired by Kittle’s talk, we asked ourselves the following about the infographic:
Why do the following matter:
- Color choice (consider backgrounds, text, and graphics)?
- Icon/image selection and placement?
- Order in which information is presented and arranged?
These questions can be applied to just about any infographic and really help students engage with this unique form of presenting information. Can you think of any other general questions you might add to my list? Eventually, I would like students to be able to create their own infographics. Perhaps in conjunction with a research project?
Also, feel free to save and use my graphic if it suits your needs, but please do not claim it as your own (See Creative Commons note in footer). Thanks!