Infographics are likely a part of your everyday life. Infographics came into the graphic design scene about ten years ago. The increase of free, easy to use tools have made the creation of infographics available to many. They’ve become a staple for communication in classrooms, in the workplace, and across the web. Even if you haven’t jumped on the infographic bandwagon, it is likely that you have seen infographics as you scroll through social media and blogs.
Infographics are colorful and are very attractive to the eye. But what are they exactly, and how could you use them in your classroom? An infographic is a collection of imagery, charts, and minimal text that gives an easy-to-understand overview of a topic. They are more than a fad, infographics are useful tools to represent information in a compact way.
As in the example below, infographics use striking, engaging visuals to communicate information quickly and clearly.
Accessible PDF version of Course Design Zen infographic.
Visuals in an infographic must do more than excite and engage. They must help us understand and remember the content of the infographic. The best infographics have an equal balance of text and visuals.
Why should you use infographics? Infographics are great for making complex information easy to digest. They can be helpful anytime you want to:
- Provide a quick overview of a topic
- Explain a complex process
- Display research findings or survey data
- Summarize a long blog post or report
- Compare and contrast multiple options
- Raise awareness about an issue or cause
There are many options for using infographics that do not include creating them yourself. Found infographics (infographics created by others) can be much easier to integrate within instruction. Original infographics (graphics created by you or your learners) can be an excellent format for educators and students to synthesize complex concepts and data.
If you are interested in creating your own infographics, here are some tools you can try:
Whether you use an original or a found infographic, you should always ensure the infographic is accessible. For accessibility:
- Provide a transcript
- Creating accessible infographics
When you need to give someone a really quick rundown on something that can be hard to explain in words alone, an infographic is a good way to go. Remember, the best infographics use a combination of text, images, and data to inform and engage.
For more information about using infographics in education refer to this New York Times article: Data Visualized: More on Teaching With Infographics.