Do you know what an infographic is? Info and a graphic maybe? How about Canva? Read on to have your mind blown.
Firstly, an Infographic. The common definition these days is that it’s a representation of information using a combination of graphics, statistics and descriptions. Infographics demonstrate complex ideas in an easy on the eyes format in teaching and learning environments, and are a good way to tell a story in a compelling yet uncomplicated way.
Literature and evidence is in plentiful supply that illustrates the effectiveness of using more than one medium (through text, images, sound, video etc) to capture and retain student attention whether online or face-to-face. Infographics (done well) can hit the sweet spot of images+stats+words+colours = learning!
There are various resources available online which provide examples of Infographics that I recommend. As a starting point, visit TheNextWeb and have a perve at some of their groovy examples. Their descriptions are also a useful starting point for thinking about how, when and where you might like to use them in your own learning environment. If you’d like to read up a little more on Infographics generally, check out Infographics: The Visual Power of Storytelling by Jason Lankow and Josh Ritchie, which is heavily cited in Academic circles and receives excellent ratings from readers.
History and context lesson aside, I’m assuming you’re here because you already know what Infographics are and just want me to get to the bit where I tell you what tool you can use to make them yourself with minimal graphical design expertise, time or money.
Canva is the tool you are looking for.
Canva is based on the web, and can be used across multiple platforms. Best of all, it’s free! All you need is a very basic knowledge of computers and the web, how to drag and drop things on a page, know what you like to look at, a few factoids, and a willingness to experiment.
Canva claims a new user can learn how to design an Infographic in 23 seconds. That is a slight exaggeration, but not by much. The Infographic I created in this post took 5 minutes using a pre-loaded template that I modified a little. What was the hold up? The design was going to cost a dollar after attempting publication. I then had a wee bit of trouble finding the part of the design that had the cost associated with it. The offenders were not exactly signposted. The suspicious ones out there will say,
“Aha! there is the catch – it does actually cost money!”
While it is true that creating a design using Canva can cost money, using the free templates and images provided is easy enough. (Once I figured out how to remove the the offending section).
I should note that Canva makes its money from selling additional images from its library. But rest assured the majority of the images you need to use will be completely and utterly, free. The best things in life…. (are Canva). If you’re not too sure how to get started, Canva has published a series of tutorials online that you can use. Super easy! Let me know how you go!
Have some Canva experiences that you’d like to share? Pop a comment below and let me know what you think – even if you hated it!