At the WFP/GYI, Donna led a group of educators from around the country in a lesson centered on infographics. First, Donna defined global competence - "The knowledge, capacity, and disposition to understand and act on the dynamic interrelated global issues that confront humanity."
Then, we discussed 4 aspects of a globally competent student - the ability to Investigate the World, to Recognize Perspectives, to Communicate Ideas, and finally to Take Action. (Global Competency Matrix)
Finally, Donna provided us with an activity to develop an infographic. Not sure what an infographic is? I'm sure you've seen one...
Infographics are visual way of representing information to an audience. These can be used for a variety of topics, but are utilized quite well for the concepts discussed in a global leadership curriculum or class. Infographics are also a way for the lesson to be SAGE (Student Choice, Authentic Tasks, Global Impact, Exhibition to an Audience). These are absolutely relevant and authentic tasks as they are used in a wide variety of professions. Students are probably pretty well-versed in these already! This lesson would be great to culminate a unit on global issues.
So, how do you use this in class? Start by introducing infographics as a way to represent data. Then students will do this:
- Choose an issue
- Define your position on the issue.
- Gather numerical data.
- Identify your audience
- Choose the best format to tell a story with the data.
- Choose design elements like colors and symbols
- Create the infographic
- Get feedback on your infographic.
- Google Developers - You can create a website that is is an operational infographic.
- Easel.ly (get it?!) This is a free web-based infographic tool that offers a dozen or so free templates to start, and these are able to customize to fit your needs. There is a library with shapes like arrows and shapes and you can even upload your own graphics and photos to use.
- Piktochart - This is the one a fellow teacher at my worktable recommended to me. She has been using it for a while and enjoys it. You can modify fonts and color schemes, and it has some pre-loaded graphics and basic shapes and images. There's a free version of this, or you can really commit and upgrade to a pro account (about $170 per year)
- Visual.ly (get it?!) This site makes infographics, videos, web experiences, and presentations. This one is cool because you can easily share the infographics you create on social media (There's that "exhibition to an audience" piece!!)
- Venngage - This one was pretty awesome and I think the one that I'll be using in my International Agriculture Leadership class the next semester. It's easy, it's free and you can publish your infographics! You can even animate them!