“What exactly is an infographic?” is a question that I was asked many times in the last year or two. Sometimes I even asked myself the question as I attempted to wrap my head around exactly what it was that separated an Infographic from a graph with a text description. The common definition these days is that it’s a representation of information using a combination of graphics, statistics and descriptions. Infographics have numerous practical applications in a teaching and learning format, where they can be used to demonstrate complex ideas in an easy on the eyes format. 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 student attention whether online or face-to-face (Here is a paper on multimodal learning from QLD, Australia), and 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 you check out to see what is possible. (note: 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 teaching. 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.