I love infographics. There is no better way to visually describe or illustrate our world than a proper infographic. These graphics are engaging, aesthetically pleasing, and informational at the same time.
I regularly read the blog Information Aesthetics, an essential resource for all kinds of data representations. In recent days, IA has uncovered three great tools for creating one’s own infographics. Check each one out and choose the one that would best fit your students’ needs.
Visual.ly has actually been around for months which is decades in internet years. Visual.ly once focused on creating a community around sharing inforgraphics and other visual representations of data but now offers a rather easy-to-use tool where users can insert their own social media data into several highly-customizable inforgraphics. Despite the customization of the appearance, Visual.ly appears to be limited to infographics using social media data. That’s crucial in the 21st century but it’s still a bit limited. [IA post]
Easel.ly is a start-up that is offering a beta service for average users to create their own infographics virtually from scratch. The online editor allows users to drag and drop vector images they have created onto a canvas created by designers so as to insure an aesthetically pleasing infographic. However, as easy as it is to make your graphic look like an infographic, it doesn’t work with actual data to make your inforgraphic come to life. [IA post]
Like Easel.ly, Infogr.am offers some simple templates which users can manipulate to fit their needs. However, Infogr.am differs in that users may enter their data to create visualizations based on the numbers and not just designer aesthetics. Again, this is an online tool with a simple interface to navigate. [IA post]
Venngage is an infographic tool from visualize.me, the resume infographic generator. This tool differs from previous tools in that the images display as HTML elements, affecting the Google hits and online traffic. Like Infogr.am, Venngage feeds data into the resulting graphics but allows more flexibility in design elements. [IA post]
Each tool offers varying degrees of freedom and support in design elements and data entry. It all depends on the kind of project one might have students use these tools for and the amount of technological experience among students and teachers. All of these tools make it easier to create engaging infographics, providing another alternative to the PowerPoint presentation or poster project.
How have you used infographics with your students? How would you use these tools both to present information and to offer students as a publication tool? Which of these tools would fit your needs best?
Zac Early is an instructional specialist and blogger for the eMINTS National Center.