After writing last week’s blog post on using iPads to develop video scribes, a colleague commented that she wondered what apps were available for creating infographics on the device. For those of you who may not be familiar with them, infographics are graphical representations of data. Usually conveying information through colorful simplicity and elegance, infographics have the ability to present complex information in easily digestible ways. In education, instructors are assigning infographic projects as a way to foster information literacy with their students. To create an infographic, students have to research a topic in depth, critically analyze the information and synthesize the data into a visual form. While infographics may look simple, creating one is hard work. As luck would have it, several developers have created iPad apps that can aid in the process. This week, I thought I’d feature a few.
Infographics app: While not a tool for creating infographics, this app scaffolds students through this history of infographics and the overall design process. It is better to view this 99-cent app as an e-book on infographics, outlining color and image choices and data visualization types. Rather than present this information through static text, the app uses infographics to teach about infographic design. It’s an ideal starting point for the beginning infographic creator.
Stats of the Union: Fundamentally, infographics represent data and students will need a way to access data. Stats of the Union is a free app developed by GE that visualizes data from the Community Health Status Indicators (CHSI) which pools data from the US Census Bureau, Department of Health & Human Services, Department of Labor and the Environmental Protection Agency. Students can easily access information from life expectancy to graduation rates and use the data in creating their infographics.
Infographics: Want your students to examine examples of infographics? This free app showcases recent infographics which can help to demonstrate some of the design techniques and communication styles used by infographics creators.
Dropvis: This $1.99 app offers some templates for your students to use in creating their own infographics. The app is easy to use and students can select from a variety of images and fonts to display their research in creative ways. The app includes links to instructional videos on Vimeo to help students get started with the infographic creation. Considering a free option? Grafio Lite offers more open-ended design capabilities for free. The app doesn’t offer many exporting choices and infographics created with Grafio Lite are watermarked with the app logo. For more functionality, Grafio’s full version costs $8.99 which may be a little cost prohibitive for some instructors. The free app, however, is a workable entry point for starting out with an infographic classroom project.