In the years that I have been teaching, I have been up and down the Blob tree, hanging upside down, swinging from a branch, just hanging on for life…it has now become a part of who I am. It has taught me that yes I might fall off but then I also have the strength and the ability to get up and start climbing again.
Same goes for the SAMR ladder. I feel I have never gone beyond the Substitution and Augmentation rung, but these infographics have not just shown me visually where I am and where I can be, but more importantly they have guided me to how I can get there. It might take a long, long time but I can do it!
What is an Infographic?
According to Kathy Shrock ‘Infographics are a visual representation of data. When students create infographics, they are using information, visual, and technology literacies.’ They don’t always have to be done on a computer or iPad, they can be made the old-fashioned way using good old paper and pencil. They teach students the 4Cs of the 21st Century – creativity, critical thinking, communication, and collaboration. That would also be a good time to teach them about CRAP.
Visible thinkers and learners
We are visual learners and so are our students. We are living in the fast lane, everything has to have a quick access. Think about Twitter, Snapchat, Vines, Instagrams… they are visually attractive yet they carry the message effectively in 140 characters or less. In the same way, infographics carry the message across to the audience in a visually engaging and creative manner. Even though infographics might have started off as marketing tool, they have fast become a tool used in education as well.
We find infograhics like the above around the school which make it easier for teachers to grasp the information presented at a glance. Another infographic that my colleagues and I regular refer to is the Inquiry Cycle by Kath Murdoch. Whether we’re planning our Unit of Inquiry or individual lessons, it is a very helpful tool. In fact, while working on our Course 3 Final Project, Abby and I have referred to these questions to prepare our presentation slides.
One of my favorite blogs is Langwitches by Sylvia Rosenthal Tolisano and I love all her infographics and sketchnotes. Recently one infographic that has become my personal favorite is for Documentaion. I have been using it for some time now for documenting my students’ growth but I still need to refer back to it from time to time. Therefore I have it on the bulletin board right next to my desk.
When I looked back at the understandings for this week, this particular infographic created with LEGO came to mind. I am sure students would love it as it explains a complex data by categorizing it in various colors. Students can apply the same techniques during and after research to categorize important information and present it in an appealing manner.
How are you incorporating aspects of data visualization into your lessons?