Product Review of Infogr.am
Infogr.am is a website (and Chrome app) with tools that help users create and share infographics, charts, and other types of data illustration. The simple site, headquartered in Riga, Latvia, was created by two self-proclaimed “newsroom geeks” with a background in journalism, design, and development to provide journalists and bloggers with an easy-to-use infographic creator.
The site’s minimalist dashboard is easy to figure out. You can choose from six infographic designs and more than 25 chart options. Users can create a variety of illustrations, ranging from tree maps to bar and line graphs. Designs can be customized with quotes, brief text, and a title; other elements like a facts and figures section, world map, and a live countdown timer can also be added with just a couple of clicks. Students can also upload and include videos and photos. Chart and graph templates are easy to edit. To share their creation, users can click on a button to post it to Twitter, Facebook, or Pinterest; copy and paste a link to embed it on a blog or other site; and also click on a button to view it online and copy and send the page’s URL.
Teachers can use the site to create charts and infographics that display data the class is studying from an experiment, historical era, or other subject. The visuals can help learners better understand the relationship between the items being compared; using the tool can also help them learn to create different types of graphs and charts. The site may work best with junior high- to high school-aged learners who are familiar with experiments and data.
Students can also include their infographics in reports and presentations. Because they can also add text, they’ll be able to work on their writing abilities, including brevity and phrasing information clearly. The experience can help them learn about graphing and practice communication skills. However, they won’t automatically get consistent challenges or feedback; educators will need to provide that information.
Using the site is fairly simple; it basically involves repurposing and adding information to preexisting templates. However, the final result can be a really impressive visual that’s presentation — or report-ready — and can help learners better comprehend and explain scientific research, historical timelines, and other data. Students aren’t likely to return to the site repeatedly; while building an infographic can be a fun experience, it’s not likely to be something they’ll want to do every day. The site also doesn’t offer many additional resources; it would be a stronger learning tool if it included more design instruction and exercises. But it’s easy, fun, and a great way for learners to start thinking visually.
The site’s main issue is its lack of text; educators won’t find materials to help them use the tool, and learners won’t get any design best principles. Teachers will need to take an active role in providing feedback, help learners clearly present information, and help them understand how their creation represents and explains the data they’re working with.
Overall User Consensus About the App
The tool is easy to use and creates impressive-looking graphics; kids should enjoy playing around with it. But it may not be a resource they need to access very often.
Curriculum and Instruction
Kids can create infographics and present data in a very visual way. The experience can help them learn about graphing and practice writing, presentation, and communication skills. However, they won’t get consistent challenges or feedback.
The site’s information resources are pretty sparse, aside from a blog that includes functionality updates. Don’t expect educator-specific guides, design tips, or other content to help users reflect on what they may be learning.