|Source: The Millions, and Alberto Antoniazzi|
- Portray ideas in colorful, pop art sensibilities
- Appeal to visual learning styles
- Entertain the eye while encouraging decoding
Teachers can find value in using infographics, because they:
- Contain data-rich concepts within single snapshots
- Promote the crucial skills of graphicacy
- Advocate critical thinking and cross-curricular learning
These visual tools are now more important than ever. Steve Lohr, in the New York Times Sunday Review, recently claimed that the "Age of Big Data" will require more and more students skilled in information analysis. Tim Kastelle, of the Innovation Leadership Network, argues similarly that "There's No Such Thing As Information Overload." Instead, thinkers need to be able to find and filter facts in a detail-driven world.
Maybe that's why this write-up from FastCoDesign, one of our favorite sites, strikes such a chord in explaining "Why Infographic Thinking Is The Future, Not A Fad." In this clip, Francesco Franchi, the art director for IL-Intelligence In Lifestyle, gives insight on "Visual Storytelling and New Languages In Journalism." He says infographics offer a "narrative language," using "representation plus interpretation to develop an idea:"
Francesco Franchi: On Visual Storytelling and New Languages in Journalism from Gestalten on Vimeo.
In the online magazine The Millions, Reif Larson recently offered a thorough recap of the evolution of graphic thinking. His essay, “This Chart Is A Lonely Hunter: The Narrative Eros Of The Infographic,” presents an engaging summary of data displays and visual storytelling. Larson even points to a new popular reliance on pictures as the fuel of social media:
"We’ve given today’s visual storytellers considerable power: for better or worse, they are the new meaning-makers, the priests of shorthand synthesis. We’re dependent on these priests to scrutinize, bundle, and produce beautiful information for us so that we can have our little infogasm and then retweet the information to our friends."
There are numerous tools to aid these emboldened visual storytellers. Our "Resources" page has a list of chart- and graph-makers, as well as infographic generators. Two promising new sites include Infogr.am, for creating custom graphics, and Maps For That!, for browsing a gallery of mind-mapping diagrams.
|Source: Maps for That!|
- "The Visual Thinking Revolution Is Here!," by Lisa Solomon
- "How to Think and Communicate Visually," by David Armano
- "From Data To Story: Dissecting A Well-Made Visualization," by Ross Perez
- "The Evolution of Infographics," by Izzy Woods