Infographicationality and its Ramifications for the Classroom

I do love educators’ creativity in constructing new language. “Transdisciplinary” is another personal favorite. Need a word? Make one up!

My Infographic: Project Based Learning Group Achievement by Mid-week 9

I chose to produce this infographic for three reasons.

  1. To “inspire” groups who had not been as organized and productive as others in order to ensure they would produce a respectable contribution to the whole class documentary due two weeks hence.
  2. To reinforce the idea that visual representations can make the meaning of data immediately accessible for the purposes of creating an impact leading to action.
  3. To get students using them in their documentaries.

In order to make this particular infographic I used the percentile values of the progress charts I had the collaborative documentary groups fill in. I tabulated the totals , represented them as a bar graph and then simply enlarged the photos of the groups to the same height as the bars on the graph.

I believe it worked. It may not have been as effective as when I sprang surprise progress reports on them two weeks earlier, starting with the group I knew full well had done precious little and moving up through to the most highly achieving group. The focus on process and skills learned, for me, is just as important as the outcomes in project based learning. By putting the responsibility on the students, they learn the collaborative and organizational skills they need in life.

The Lighter Side of Infographics

Courtesy of Graph Jam

About Sean Thompson

Sean has accepted a position as the Director of Technology at The Early Learning Centre, City School, in Bangkok. He is excited to be working with Giovanni Piazza and the rest of the staff to raise awareness of digital-age teaching and learning practice in this Reggio Emilia inspired environment. Sean is also an Apple Distinguished Educator, an International Baccalaureate Educator Network Workshop Leader and a Google Educator available for professional development at your school.
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3 Responses to Infographicationality and its Ramifications for the Classroom

  1. Adam Seldis says:

    Love it! How long did it take you to do – and what software did you use? Excel? Are you planning on doing it at different stages of the project to show progress? You could do one of those US presidential primaries style graphics (in the spirit of making up words I’ll call it a primaraphic) showing improvement over time. Also, how did the students feel about being publicly graded relative to each other – especially the groups (natural diasater living up to their name) lower down? Did it inspire them to greater things? I’ve always been very cautious about publicly grading students relative to each other, but I can see how in this instance it could well have had the desired effect.

    • Sean says:

      Thanks Adam. This was a HAD TO BE DONE WELL ON TIME OR ELSE scenario.

      I don’t know if I mentioned it or not in the post but I also had them make impromptu short progress reports to the class to get the less motivated on the job. Knowing the class as well as I do and seeing as it was a group project with a large focus on taking responsibility and time management I was confident no feelings would be hurt and this was a necessary motivational step. (Frankly more sensitive students were fortunately higher producers in this instance as well!)

      I used Cartoonize me to make the group photos more stylized, Excel for the chart and good old Publisher to mash it up with some text. It went very well.

      I hope you are all set to finish up by Friday.

      Thanks for sharing your thoughts.

  2. iontravis says:

    Absolutely love it Sean! What a great motivating tool for the kids. Do you plan on updating it as students get closer to graduation. I think they would really take a strong interest in seeing the bar progress northwards. Also it would be great to have a series of graphs on display in the classrooms not only for the kids but for the parents too. It would be a great way to track their organisation and preparation.
    Best of luck with graduation mate and exciting times ahead for you.

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