Today’s guest post by Isabel Wiliams outlines a range of online or downloadable tools that you can use for making infographics and other types of charts and graphs. Most are free, or have a free version with optional upgrade packages. Of those that have a fee, most have educational or student rates that make them much more feasible for classroom use. For more information about using infographics in the classroom, read the LINCS Region 1 Professional Development Center Winter 2015 Newsletter. You can also review our earlier post that takes a look in more detail at just one infographic tool.
When it comes to communicating knowledge, there’s nothing more engaging than an infographic. This is a medium, which can turn detailed and often boring data into an exciting piece of knowledge. By contrasting it with other figures or placing it next to a captivating visualization, the information is easier to process and remember. That’s why infographics can be a great assistance in the classroom – but how to make one on your own? Here are my top 20 tools that will help you to easily create beautiful and informative infographics with your students.
This is a classic. More than 300.000 users have already made use of this tool for creating custom infographics. All it takes is a free account and you’re ready to draw your own captivating creations. It provides a wealth of editing options and elements that can be added to your infographic. Choose from several themes and if that’s not enough, go for the pro version of the tool.
This is a smart online tool that helps to create all kinds of charts. Just pick the right chart settings, such as its type, size, length, width, title, labels, colors, and other display features, and you’re done. Data entry is simple and the chart can be easily customized later if you want to change an aspect of your design.
This is a free online diagram-making program. It can be used to create various kinds of diagrams, from flow charts and process diagrams to org charts and network diagrams.
This is probably the most accessible infographic-creating tool around. All you need to do is register for a free account and the world of infographics stands open before you. The tool provides ready-to-use templates and lots of practical editing options. Plus, it’s really easy to use!
This is a great freebie shared by Web Designer Depot. It features some of the most used infographic elements, such as pie and bar charts, a world map and some gender elements. You can easily combine and customize them to create truly unique infographics.
Glogster allows you to combine various media (images, videos, audio, you name it) on a special canvas, which works on the basis of a drag and drop interface. It’s easy to use and features an extensive library of educational resources to get you inspired. This tool has been created with instructors and students in mind, so it’s a perfect fit for the classroom though it doesn’t have a free version.
Another great chart builder tool, this one is really intuitive and visual. First, you choose the chart type – from classic lines, pie, and bar charts to more complex radar charts, scatter plots and venn diagrams. Then you set its size, axis, color and other features – and you’re done!
Google Drawings helps you to create, edit, and share drawings online. Perfect for any kind of collaborative exercise, this tool will also prove useful for creating charts and diagrams. It features a chat box for better communication and provides a wide array of shapes and elements to choose from. If you’re planning group-work exercises, consider this practical tool.
This website isn’t one you would use to create infographics, but it is an impressive infographic resource – it features a smart search engine that allows you to search infographics that are already somewhere on the web, as well as an uploading tool for designers to share their work and receive feedback. This could be really useful if you needed some good examples of practical infographics to show to your students.
This is a really powerful, open source vector graphics editing tool. With its help, you’ll be able to create some interesting infographic elements with no problem. The interface is really easy and it will be perfect for those getting started. Bonus point? It’s free!
Pixlr is a smart photo editor that works both online and on desktop. If your infographic requires some stunning pictures, this is the place to go. The tool provides lots of interesting editing options and is packed with practical tutorials to help guide you through the nuances of photo editing.
12. Tableau Software
This is a tool that can access publicly uploaded data and use it to create stunning infographics. You can control the visualization process yourself or simply use their built-in visualization engine. It also provides a really wide range of available options, types, and styles.
A great graphing tool which offers dozens of display options and graph types. If you’re just beginning your adventure with data visualization tools, this is the perfect one to start with. Simple, functional, and intuitive, Creately will prove useful even for first time graph creators.
To put it simply, this is like a regular whiteboard, only it’s online and packed with lots of exciting features. This is useful if your students are working in groups – you can have access to their project and visualize the workflow to see how the infographic is evolving. It’s perfect for initial brainstorming of an idea and taking notes while the project is being developed.
This is a tool that allows for collecting personal data over time only to later display it in a variety of ways. With its clean design and modern look, Daytum will help those looking for a fresh look for their infographics.
This is a really simple tool for creating pictograms. All you need to do is enter some data, choose the color and picture value, and you’re pretty much set. The easiest job ever!
This tool will help you to create some really beautiful infographics – it features hundreds of charts and elements, ready to use templates and themes, an intuitive drag and drop interface and a practical sharing functionality to make your infographics go public. This is another great tool for any kind of infographic creation task that requires close collaboration.
18. Sumo Paint
Sumo Paint is an online image editor, where you can also edit photos and other visual media. It’s famous for its large number of versatile image editing features – it easily competes with desktop classics like Gimp or Photoshop. It provides layers, filters, and professional painting tools. Plus, it boasts an impressive online community, so if you have a problem, you’ll surely find someone who knows the solution.
This tool is a simple one – it’s there to help you create great diagrams and flowcharts that can be used in a variety of contexts. It also fosters collaboration, so it can be easily used by your students to share and create collective infographic projects. It features an intuitive interface and a whole wealth of editing options.
A smart freebie from Theme Designer, Simple Infographics can be of great help when you don’t have enough time to create your own graphic design. The templates are nice on the eyes and can be really valuable if some of your students are not art-inclined, but would still like to prepare their own infographics that are visually attractive and informative.
If you’re having any doubts about creating infographics, the web is full of insightful tutorials, valuable resources, and style guides to get you inspired and motivated. Use the tools listed above and you’ll see that making an infographic in the classroom can be more engaging than you’d expect.
The article was contributed by Isabel Wiliams of http://www.bizdb.co.uk/. With a background in new business technologies, Isabel is a passionate blogger and seasoned educator who writes and lectures about leveraging the potential of the Internet for personal and professional development.