Information is key to knowledge and visual images stimulate additional parts of your brain, so why not present information in graphical terms?  Today’s post is on infographics.  Infographics are a way to integrate data into an image.   Traditionally this would be sharing information like what you would find on a static poster, but we are going to share with you some more creative tools for infographics.

Easil.Ly

Easel.ly is a theme based web-app for creating infographics and data visualizations. This is a straightforward informational graphic interface.  It is super easy to drag and drop all your info and data into an already made theme and then customize the image for yourself.  Easil.ly does require an account, but it’s free.   (Remember that any web tool that allows you to save your creative work needs to have a way to identify you so that your work can be reached.)  This video gives a quick intro into creating an infographic with Easil.ly.

Thinglink

Thinglink is another infographic that merges both of the types from above.  Thinglink uses an uploaded image as the background and then you add tags with additional information, documents, music, or weblinks.  When you move your pointer over the tags you see the additional content.  Here is a Thinglink of the famous image of George Washington Crossing the Delaware.

Your Challenge

Explore these  tools and share with the group what ways you could use infographics in the classroom.  If you have additional infographic resources that you use please share those as well!

31 COMMENTS

  1. Students are being required to watch videos more and more with classes however this too in time will become “old” to them. Students become passive watchers rather than active learners while watching videos. In the case of a flipped classroom, teachers can add tags that focus students’ attention to key points of the video. I think the more students are focused while watching, the more they will learn. Also providing external links for deeper learning and questioning could be a pertinent aspect of the videos. In the case of flipped learning, the more prepared students are for class, the deeper the understanding.

  2. I think for visual learners these would be great. I liked the thinglink taking a picture and adding information to it. Its kind of like a scavenger hunt with in the picture. i think my students would love doing a lesson like this. I can also see students taking a picture and adding their own information to it to show what they have learned about a topic.
    These resources could also be used to find out what students already know just by posting a video and asking questions as the video goes along or as a test. A picture or video may just stimulate some students to participate more especially if they can type their comments on a picture.

  3. I can see uses for both Easel.ly and Thinglink, for students as well as teachers. Students can always use another format to show what they know about a topic or book. I could post a Thinglink of a book cover to introduce a novel or play to the students.

  4. I like the mad video made by icats that asks the questions. I can see using a video as an assessment. I often use videos for instruction, but I could have them watch it and use it as a form of assessment as well. After checking out the site, it seems fairly user friendly.

  5. I have a student who is considering working more with social media and how students can use it to promote themselves online. I really like the option of Madvideo for him to be able to pull in some video that might be what not to do or what to do (if he can find it) to use as clips in his video. The Easel.Ly looks like something we could definitely use to promote our social media agenda. It would also be easy to share on Twitter.

  6. Since I use videos most days in class, Mad Video would be nice so I can interject a comment during the video instead of at the end. Thinglink would be useful for my daily problems. I often us a picture as a start to ask questions about the previous day’s learning.

  7. I have experimented with the flipped classroom with mixed results. One thing that I found lacking was interactivity. MadVideo would be a really cool way to add links to simulations or quizzes directly in the video that makes the students put the information in the video to use immediately. Plus this would require them to actually watch the video to get to the resources and act as an accountability piece.

    Easel.ly would be a great way to make a review sheet for the end of a unit to study for a test.

  8. I am imagining use it with art and music. Looking at thinglink, I could make a link to use where it highlights more information into the painting. Displaying the painting with highlights of the artist, era, title, history…

  9. These would be great tools for students’ research projects. The fourth graders do a habitat research project. I could see them using Mad Video as their presentation tool to tag their animal’s traits, survival methods, etc., then having other students access their presentation. Teachers could also use this tool to introduce a new topic with tags on specific items students could explore for further information.

  10. I like Easel.ly the best of the 3 sites. Due to videos being blocked on the netbooks I would not use Madvideo. I posted a link to a Blendspace I created on MBC and the videos would not load for the students. (By the way, I have noticed that my teacher netbook works really slow on this website–Is it due to the snowflake animation?) I think my students could create an Easel.ly in science about renewable energy or about a planet in the solar system. Also creating an Easel.ly would be a good application in math when we study data analysis.

  11. These all look like terrific visual learning resources. I think that Thinglink would be a nice tool for my Social Studies students. It could easily be used to make a visually interactive map that the students could add audio and links to in order to make the topic come to life. I also thought Easelly would be great for my students to make graphic presentations for math/economic concepts, polls or surveys, and statistics concepts. Math is always easier to understand when it becomes visual.

    Any of these tools would be great to increase visual instruction in the classroom. Many students learn better visually, so adding content to basic videos and poster type graphics will make any subject more interesting.

  12. I personally love the new style of infographics, the long, skinny ones. They are very visually pleasing and there is such a wide variety of uses for them.

    This year, I made my English 12 course outline into an infographic. Instead of the long, drawn out descriptions of the dos and don’ts, I created an info graphic that hit the highlights of what I expected from my students. Since I am familiar with Photoshop, I was able to easily make a customized infographic that allowed me to present my thoughts in a unique way.

    Along those same lines, I like to have my seniors present information in a non-standard format, like an infographic. This forces them to take the research and find a way to present it to a specific audience without depending on long runs of text or essays. I have found that many find this challenging because they have to digest the research and put it into some context in order to use it in an infographic.

    I personally like to point my students to infogr.am to use.

  13. LOVE Mad Video. Thanks to Bill Gumula for introducing this to our Vogel 6th Grade Teachers. Then they asked me, as the technology/keyboarding teacher, if I could help. Of course I said yes! It was SUPER EASY to set up and use and the kids loved it. It took me a matter of 5 minutes to set up an account and make a Mad Video myself. I showed them the sample video on the site and then helped the students set up their accounts and allowed them to work on it during tech class. It was even neater when we got to Skype with Riley from the Mad Video Company. He said we were one of the first elementary schools to use The Mad Video.They are really looking for more elementary school students to use this. He was very genuine and interested in what the students had to say about how to make the product better. Like Kris said our students used it for biographies they were making. I could also see students making a video of themselves and then placing it into a Mad Video to do an Autobiography. Creating a Mad Video could also be used for test review or to use as an assessment piece to see if they really understood a topic. I have also used Thing Link. Our 3rd grade teachers have the students take pictures of where they have been and make a Where has Flat Stanley Been board. I could see them adding a technical side to this by using Thing Link. Students get concepts better when more senses are involved and using infographics are a great way to do this.

  14. Pictures are worth a thousand words…but pictures that can take you to even more information? That is handy.

    Here is an example of something I would use in my classroom:
    http://www.thinglink.com/scene/391277547221942272

    This way, the students can see what this formula is all about. The different uses of the formula. How to write it and how to use it properly. There is even a game linked in the picture.

  15. Mad Video seems like it could have many possibilities in the classroom:
    1. teachers could create them to enhance their WebQuests
    2. students could create them for research projects
    3. groups of students could create them for an enhanced Think-Pair-Share activity

  16. I haven’t explored all of the resources yet, but I did set up a Madvideo account and played around with it. I LOVE it! I was recently in an AP World History class whose teacher uses YouTube videos to support some of his lessons. Some of their favorites are song parodies created by historyteachers. Anyway, each video refers to multiple people, places, and events during a certain historical period. Madvideo would be a great way for students to interact with the video, research details, and show what they know. Awesome tool! The only drawback I can see is that even though the videos play fine on the iPad, I don’t seem to be able to create one on that device. Has anyone had better luck with Madvideo or any of these other sites working on an iPad?

  17. I think all three resources would be great for visual learner a in Biology. Mad Video would be a great way to actively incorporate vocabulary usage through a video. Thinglink would be great for interactive diagrams.

    For iPads, there is an app called NoteAnytime. This free app and Thinglink appear to have similar ideas. With the app, you can load a PDF, diagram, etc., then add video links, web page links, insert pictures etc.

  18. In an attempt to raise ACT scores, we’ve placed an emphasis on charts and graphs in our English classes. I looked through easel.ly for a while and found dozens of infographics that students could practice interpreting. The best part is that the graphs on the site are high interest for students. The students love learning facts and figures about social media, cars, video games, etc.

    I’m going to link easel.ly to the journalism page on my Weebly, too. My journalism students create blogs, and I always urge them to find meaningful multimedia content to supplement their stories. Instead of simply finding material, they could create graphics that show the exact information they want.

  19. I tried to use a thinglink last year after it’s feature in the 30 day Challenge in a unit in polygons while talking about architecture. I could get it to work on my computer but not theirs when I saved it to MBC so they could reference back as notes. Ideas on that? It is pretty cool to show a real life something and then tap/touch to explore more about it.

    • My guess is that there is a formatting block there. MBC does not embed standard content because it can’t be filtered. Remember that MBC is designed with student safety in mind and if the Thinglink has inappropriate links in it, that could cause issues.

      I would suggest that you give the link to them in MBC. You can give it as an announcement, discussion topic, or add it into a bundle as text and hyperlink it. All of those options will take the student out of MBC to the actual url for the Thinglink where they shouldn’t have any issues.

  20. The Mad Video will be a great tool for me to use when I am absent from class. I will create the video on YouTube and present it with Mad Video. It will be easy for a sub to follow the directions.

  21. I really like the Thinglink site. I could see using this in my classroom as an inquiry activity. Choose a picture and tag questions for students to think and answer on the picture. For example, we are studying ecosystems. I could see putting a picture of an ecosystem up and then tagging specific animals with questions asking about food chains or possible environmental factors.

  22. I was just telling my coworkers about themadvideo.com yesterday. Our corporation has just gone 1:1 and teachers are overwhelmed with resources. We were talking about creating a video using PowToon or Animoto reviewing some of the resources we thought were the most useful. Then using TheMadVideo we would create links with instructions and examples of how to use the resource. Super simple to use!

  23. I see two different ways you could use these infographics. A teacher could make a video and the children could use it as a study guide or the children could make a video. It would be so much more fun to learn with the video and inserting the messages then just taking notes The children could use it to ask questions for other students to answer and use it as a class study guide. I think that my favorite of the three was madvideo. I will definitely tell the other teachers about this site

  24. @Miranda – We had to work together with our IT department to get TheMadVideo unblocked and working but once this was worked out it was well worth the trouble. Here is a link to the newscast that was done on our project that has been turned into a MadVideo itself. – – This is a terrific tool for allowing students to demonstrate knowledge and create something at the same time. The kids that used it absolutely loved it!

    • Thank you! MadVideo was actually the only one working… I did get the other two unblocked and I think they are going to be great resources to use with my students. I think the MadVideo might be the easiest to use with my students, so I’m going to give it a try after Christmas.

  25. All three seem great and I could see myself making many infographics though Easil.Ly but I’m getting an error not allowing me to connect. It’s professional looking thought – something you typically find on Pinterest or presentations.I really like Thinglink. Taking a primary source document (like yesterday’s topic) and putting Thinglinks on it breaking down thoughts or asking questions for students to respond to could be a new twist to things.

  26. All of these sites are blocked within my school network, but I’m in the process of having them unblocked. However, from what I can gather, I think this would be great during my research project. I have the students communicate through Voice Threads and I think these videos would be a great final product. My research project is based on a historical fiction book about the 1906 earthquake in San Francisco. After we read the novel, the students then choose a natural disaster to research. I think the videos would be nice for the students to tie everything together.

    I think Thinglink would be the best resource for that project. After watching the George Washington video, I believe that the students would be able to use the program easily and I think they would have a good time creating a project like this.

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