Friday, July 12, 2013

More Infographics! I can't get enough of them!

Before you read anything, you need to see this infographic--13 Reasons Your Brain Craves Infographics.  If that one doesn't work really well, here is the static version--13 Reasons Your Brain Craves Infographics.  Thank you edudemic!  They Tweeted and blogged the static version with the link to the mega-HTML and interactive version (click on the hypertext citations!).  Wow, on so many levels!
Please let me say it again, I love infographics.  More importantly, the kids love infographics.
What a well-cited infographic on infographics!  (Can I use the term "infographic" more often?)
Let's get to why these visuals are so good and helpful for my high school learners.  First off, I will certainly use this in my psychology classes as it gets to the core of what we call visual capture and the dominance of vision over our other senses.  The best example of visual capture is a movie theater where we "see" the voices coming from the mouths on the screen, but they're actually coming from the speakers all around us.  We also remember what we see better than what we hear.
I will also use this infographic to help my students build better presentations.  If they want us to be better engaged when they get to the front of the class, they better use good visuals.
I'm going to use it in my professional development seminars when I teach teachers for the same reason.  If our teachers want our students to learn and remember better...
Don't forget the great citations.  (Yes, I'm a history teacher at heart!)  Citations can be used and they don't mess up the visuals!  There's proof for our students.  You can show them this visual and show them how well it's been cited and there are no more arguments against citations in presentations.
My main caveat with infographics is that they're often not well-cited.  My first move after finding an infographic is to go to the bottom to find the source and then the citations, if there are any.  I've used many with my students to point out the pitfalls of weak sources and overly strong perspectives and opinions.  The visual examples of bad citations are so easily found, I don't need to create a link to one. Here's another great way to teach citations, too!
If you want to find infographics, I usually just Google the term I'm looking for with a comma and "infographic" and I've found all sorts of great visuals.  For example, I'm teaching the Mathematics of Money at the Johns Hopkins Center for Talented Youth at UC Santa Cruz this summer, so I just went to Google and searched "supply and demand, infographic"and clicked on images and got these search results.  Wow, I'm going to use this one on the Supply and Demand of Oil this morning to follow up on our lesson yesterday on the other issues beyond supply and demand regarding inflation and then I'm going to use another on the Federal Reserve.  Once again, all I did was search, "federal reserve, infographic" in images and I got a gem that I'll use this afternoon with some guiding questions and I'll definitely use it again a number of times this year in my US history, econ and government classes.
A quick search yielded a treasure trove of resources that I'll use for years.
Before I sign off, let me explain that I still am very text based, but I intersperse infographics to appeal to our visual learners and also keep my class fresh and I also have 5-10 guiding questions to be answered for every infographic I use, just as I do with my reading passages.  As I said before in my previous blog post, Infographics Create Better Writers, the students are forced to create their own sentences!
Like I said, I love infographics!  What do you think?

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