Infographics are popular. They’re a fun way to present and read data, and many people believe that information that is presented visually is often retained better (at least for some learners). Many teachers today are using infographics, both in their classrooms and for their own professional development. There are so many tools out there to make your own infographics. In the education realm, most people I chat with say that they use Piktochart because it is free and very simple to use. One of the (newer) trends we’ve been noticing lately has been that more and more infographics are interactive.
Interactive infographics are really cool. They allow users to interact with the data – sometimes in a superficial way such as with mouse over or scrolling effects, or in a more meaningful way, where users can input their own data and the graphic becomes more personalized to their needs. That said, making an interactive infographic is more complicated than making a static infographic, and most people will assume that creating interactive infographics is way above their technological expertise (or at least will require more time than they can devote to it).
We’ve put together a small collection of a few tools for creating interactive content. You can use them to make all different types of interactive content for your classroom – from maps to data sets, there are tons of possibilities!
StatSilk is a company that offers several different programs to make interactive content. They offer a variety of interactive mapping tools (with varying capabilities) and interactive data visualization tools for graphs and charts. For making interactive graphs and charts, the basic version of StatTrend is free (and has a limit of 6 indicators). StatTrend plus is also free for a non-commercial license (see the restrictions here), which should be ok for many classroom users. For the mapping tools, StatPlanet and StatPlanet Lite are free and don’t have restrictions on use.
ManyEyes is a free data visualization software by IBM that allows creation of different types of charts, graphs, maps, and visual text analysis. It isn’t the fanciest-looking site you’ll ever see, but the tools are all free, and very easy to use.
Don’t worry, guys, Google does this, too. You can use Google Public Data and either upload your own dataset and create a visualization, or explore and adapt visualizations of already collected data (such as data on world economic factors) to have them suit your needs. Easy to use and free!