Infographics in Education
Infographics are everywhere on the internet, and it’s easy to see why. They are an eye-catching, easily shareable, and engaging way to visually condense complex data in a way that makes it instantly clear and accessible.
While many infographics focus on current events and technology trends, you can also easily find educational infographics on just about every subject, from history, math, and science, to art, literature and world languages. There are many opportunities for incorporating educational infographics into school; whether by using existing or teacher-created visuals, or as a form of assessment by having students create their own.
Using existing infographics
- An interesting infographic can be a good discussion starter. Have students answer questions about the infographic or make predictions. You can use one in much the same way you would a news article or other source.
- Show students a fun infographic to introduce a new topic, or to give a broad overview of a new subject.
- Use an infographic to research a topic. Good infographics often include sources at the bottom; use one as a starting point for more in-depth research.
- Practice reading charts and interpreting statistics using an infographic.
Have students create their own infographic
There are a number of simple online tools for visualizing data that can make it easy for students to create their own infographics.
- Make a timeline of historic events
- Create a step-by-step guide explaining how to do something- how to conduct a science experiment, how to write a book report, how to play a favorite game, etc.
- Have students research and create an infographic explaining an event, invention, or famous person
- Brainstorm or visually plan an essay by creating a mind map or flow chart
- Have students create an infographic about a country using current and historical statistics like population, resources, and growth rates.
- Create a chart that examines a trend or change over time.
Many of these are typical assignments that students often complete in school, whether by hand-drawing a timeline, pasting together a poster or presentation board, or creating a Powerpoint presentation. Translating these assignments into an infographic can make the experience more relevant, and allow students to explore modern tools and design skills. Students can even share their learning online on one of the many infographic databases, giving their work an authentic audience.
Below you’ll find my favorite places to find interesting infographics, as well as great resources for making your own.
Sources for Educational Infographics
- Visual.ly– A great source for sharing and finding infographics, with a growing number of tools for creating them.
- GOOD Infographics– A nice collection of infographics from GOOD Magazine
- Cool Infographics– Just what the name says! This is a blog featuring many infographics on a range of topics.
- LoveInfographics– A nice collection of infographics that are broken down by category, making it easy to find a visual on a specific topic.
- Gapminder– Many statistics from around the world, broken down by country, as well as ideas and resources for teachers.
- Google Public Data– Explore and compare public data using Google’s easy visualization tools.
- Pinterest– Pinterest is a great tool for sharing visuals and you can find many infographics on the site. You can also follow K12’s Educational Infographic board for cool infographics that we find on the web.
Tools for Making Your Own Infographics
- Easel.ly– Browse visuals and create your own. There are several different customizable themes to get you started.
- PiktoChart– A simple to use infographic maker with a few themes available for free
- Many Eyes– Upload your own data, or use statistical data provided to create online visuals
- Hohli– An easy to use online chart builder for bar graphs, pie charts, and more.
- Wordle– A simple tool for making word clouds. Word clouds are helpful for showing the main idea of a piece of writing.
- Quite Useful: 5 Great Ways to Use Infographics in the Classroom
- Daily Tekk: Over 100 Incredible Infographic Tools and Resources
Ashley MacQuarrie began writing professionally more than ten years ago and has covered education, technology, current events, pop culture, and other topics. A former homeschooler, she studied English and Film & New Media, graduating with a bachelor's degree from San Diego State University. Ashley has classroom experience working with children who have autism and other special needs. She has also tutored students from kindergarten through college and taught English to teens and adults at a language school in London.