LESSON 13: Understanding Infographics

Purpose
Develop new communication skills by learning to share information succinctly using language, graphic design, and images.

Key concepts
   Infographics aren’t better than their data With so much available data, attention spans are short Presenting key concepts in a compelling way is an art Appropriate for Grades 7-12

Grades:

Time Required:

30-45 minutes

Preparation
Equipment needed: Internet access, projector, and screen to best show infographic samples. News articles needed:      HeyUguys.co.uk’s Feb.27th article The Oscars 2012 Infographic AnsonAlex.com Feb 20th Facebook User Statistics 2012 [Infographic] Visualization.geblogs.com The future of Solar Visual.ly’s Feb 1st infographic, Infographic of Infographics The Anatomy Of An Infographic: 5 Steps To Create A Powerful Visual

Accompanying PPT presentation (located at iKeepCurrent.org)

Vocabulary
 Infographic – also called information graphics, is a popular way to present data by distilling the words, data points, key concepts and illustrations that might be present in a report and creating a visual representation of the material.

Lesson Development
Introduction or Attention Activity
How many of you know what an infographic is? (Ask for a show of hands, and call on students to see how they define an infographic, and then read the following description) An infographic, also called information graphics, is a popular way to present data by distilling the words, data points, key concepts and illustrations that might be present in a report and creating a visual representation of the material. Infographics are being created to help people understand virtually any topic; for example, it only took 12 hours after the Oscars ended for the first Oscar infographics to start popping up. (Show full size “The Oscars 2012” infographici) Infographics aren’t just about entertainment however, look at this one that
Content by LOOKBOTHWAYS Page 1 of 6 © 2011 iKeepSafe. All rights reserved.

explains the future of solar technology (Show full size “The future of Solar” infographicii). Infographics however aren’t without drawbacks. online transactions. Enter the world of infographics. mobile devices. or sell something? Are you being manipulated through the text. All rights reserved. so is there an angle or bias coming through? What is the motive of the organization.5 billion gigabytes of data from sensors. or this one about Facebook. The Oscars 2012 Infographic The future of Solar Facebook User Statistics 2012 Lesson Is a picture really worth a thousand words? Research indicates that visual communication may be more powerful than verbal communication. suggesting that people learn and retain information when it is presented visually better than when it is only provided verbally or as textiv. person. . Whenever you look at an infographic there are some critical thinking questions you need to consider. entertain. which is always a popular infographic topic. colors or graphics? Does the infographic represent an accurate outline of the data?) Content by LOOKBOTHWAYS Page 2 of 6 © 2011 iKeepSafe. where the combination of relevant data and a visually memorable format bring quick understanding to topics. two new skills have become critical for students and all internet users to master:  The ability to absorb and make sense of huge amounts of information  The ability to present huge amounts of information visually in ways that is easy for others to absorb. (Show the full size “Facebook User Statistics 2012” infographiciii). Can you think of what these questions might be? (See if the students come up with critical thinking questions. if not help prompt them to include the following: What are the sources behind the data used? Is the source reputable? Is the data relevant? How old is the data? Are sources cited? Infographics cannot tell the whole story. Every single day we create with 2.vi With this much data being generated. That amount of data is equal to a fulllength episode of “Glee” running continuously for 214 thousand years. or group that created the infographic? Is the motive to educate. and social networksv.

the colors most often used. icons. All rights reserved. o o o Here we can see the types of charts and fonts that are most frequently used. Who will see or use your infographic? Will it be kids. Visual Color Coding Graphics Reference Icons 2. images. and the knowledge shared. Content by LOOKBOTHWAYS Page 3 of 6 © 2011 iKeepSafe. infographic designers have to take into consideration their target audience. then go through the following list). the countries most often featured. how navigation works. adults. there is of course an infographic that can help! (Show the full size “Infographic of Infographics” infographicvii). To see how these components come together. Anatomy of an Infographic: 1. content complexity. Content o Time Frames o Statistics o References 3. Knowledge o Facts o Deductions In addition to these elements. Can you guess what these components are? ((See what suggestions students come up with. . the number of sources cited – even the number of words in the average infographic title.There are three core components in creating an infographic according to the online design and development magazine SpyreStudios. or other experts in the topic area? Who you are targeting will have a huge impact on the colors.

or on an assignment you are currently working on. Older students should leverage the information in the full article The Anatomy Of An Infographic: 5 Steps To Create A Powerful Visual. best creative art”. or group that created the infographic? Is it to educate. But all ages should follow the guidelines in the Anatomy of an Infographic section. . and especially before citing the data in your own reports. Ask students to form groups and create an infographic on a topic of their choice. adjust the level of complexity you require. All rights reserved. person. They should be able to answer the critical thinking questions:  Does the infographic cite their sources? and. dive beneath the surface to get a fuller understanding. and know what. if any. Ask students to find and analyze an infographic. Wrap-Up Before believing any data presented in an infographic.The key to your success in creating infographics will be combining these elements in a way that tells the story of the data you’re trying to present. Think about material you are trying to teach in upcoming lessons.  As a stretch classroom project. you need to look at the sources. motivation was behind the creation of the piece. and may want to leverage additional articles listed under the additional resources. Are the sources reputable?  Is the data relevant?  How old is the data?  Is there an angle or bias coming through?  What is the motive of the organization. Optional Activities 1. Have you looked online to see if there are existing infographics that can help your students better understand the material? Content by LOOKBOTHWAYS Page 4 of 6 © 2011 iKeepSafe. and so on. Based on the age of your students. these can be powerful tools in the classroom. You could also vote on which infographics should be shared with other classes. etc. When creating an infographic. entertain. Alternate Perspectives Professional Development for Educators Given the very powerful nature of quality infographics in learning and retaining information. your job is to put the pieces together in a way that tells an accurate story in a compelling way. “best overall flow”. with the school (if the topic is relevant). colors or graphics?  Does the infographic represent an accurate outline of the data? 2. or sell something?  Are you being manipulated through the text. you could ask the class to vote on the infographics for “best data”.

are two key skills every student must learn. and find other online sources as needed.If you have not yet tried your hand at creating infographics. and meaningful. Once you’ve created your first infographic. The second perspective discussed in class was that of an infographic creator. Parent Material Critical thinking. distilling information down to the key points and learning to make it visually appealing will help them learn to summarize and distill any information they need to learn. Are the sources reputable?  Is the data relevant? and. Additional Resources       Infographics: How to Make Them Work Best 5 unbeatable types of infographics and free tools to create them Top Tools for Making Incredible Infographics Tips Tricks and Resources to Make Your Own Gorgeous Inforgraphics Introduction to Infographics and Visualization for Journalists The Do’s And Don’ts Of Infographic Design: Revisited Page 5 of 6 © 2011 iKeepSafe. work schedules. sports team practices. The first perspective was that of a viewer. entertain. Or maybe it outlines the chore list or your media viewing rules. and see how well they can identify the correct answers to these questions. Make it a game that every time you see an infographic you review these critical thinking questions. Be creative with color. you’ll find these become easier to do over time. Use the same resources listed for students in the lesson and under the additional resources section. In class this week we delved into the expanding field of infographics. Consider making an infographic together for your family. clear. All rights reserved. You can measure your infographic’s success by how well it increases your students understanding of the topic. and the ability to communicate information effectively to others. and we challenged students to ask critical questions like:  Does the infographic cite their sources? and. Your child will need to be able to create infographics of their own to convey information in an easily digestible and retainable format for school projects and when they enter the work force. In fact. person. and we looked at these from two perspectives. Maybe it shows recurring calendar appointments like piano lessons. Content by LOOKBOTHWAYS . now’s is a great time to start. or sell something?  Is there an angle or bias coming through? Are readers being manipulated through the text. and see if you can’t come up with additional questions. or group that created the infographic? Is it to educate. colors or graphics?  Does the infographic represent an accurate outline of the data? Look at some infographics with your child. images and the content to keep your infographic short. how old is the data?  What is the motive of the organization. and so on.

uk’s Feb.visually.” National Education Association Advocate Online.geblogs.Full News Articles Due to the graphic nature of these articles.com Feb 25th 2012 vi Calculated by the number of bytes per day (see endnote ii).com/makeestablishingclarityfunuseinfographicstobring_4f2a3741c861b.27th article The Oscars 2012 Infographic  AnsonAlex.jpg http://visualization. . Technewsworld.png ii Content by LOOKBOTHWAYS Page 6 of 6 © 2011 iKeepSafe.geblogs. vii http://visually. Infographic of Infographics i http://www.co.netdnacdn. v The Curious Case of Big Data.com/visualization/solar/ iii http://ansonalex. they are best viewed in their original forms:  HeyUguys.com Feb 20th Facebook User Statistics 2012 [Infographic]  Visualization. All rights reserved.uk/images/2012/02/Oscars-2012-Infographic. December 2001.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/02/facebook-user-statistics-2012-infographic.com The future of Solar  Visual.co.jpg iv ”Thriving in Academe: A Rationale for Visual Communication.ly’s Feb 1st infographic.heyuguys. and the estimation that 3 hours of data ~ 4Gb divided by the number of hours in a year.

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