How to create professional looking Infographics quickly and cheaply (or even for free!)

infographics

“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.

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3 of the best educational technology tools for 2017

Back to the future

It is January 2017, and the world of educational tools and technology is changing. Not that this is a new thing mind you, but it has become something that decision makers are needing to respond to because learner’s expectations are starting to shift so rapidly! The classroom is no longer just the four walls, the furniture, the students and the teacher. The classroom is now enabled outside of the educational institutions through mobile devices such as phones, tablets (my personal favourite of the Android variety is the Google Pixel C – we use them at work – great screen, serious power under the hood and they look cool) and laptops. Students take their learning with them, and Educational Institutions, developers and manufacturers are coming up with new and exciting ways to facilitate their on-the-go style.

So what are the educational technology tools of the trade that educators will need to be on top of to manage learner expectations as they follow these new trends? There are so many out there and there is no one size fits all, but here are three of my top picks for a more technology savvy (and time saving) 2017:  Continue Reading