How to bring visual learning into the classroom using infographics



I have a strong preference for visual learning so love the idea of infographic use to aid conceptualisation and synthesis. There is also strong evidence that visual material can aid processing for students with dyslexia and other literacy difficulties, so I strongly advocate the use of visual resources to support access for all.

Indiana Jen

This is reblogged from my post on Daily Genius.

Infographics are a powerful way to synthesize data and information, making it easy to conceptualize a message with a glance. For this reason, they are becoming a popular medium in marketing and presentations because they are visually engaging and simultaneously informative.


VenngageThis year for the first time, I asked my students to create an Infographic as their culminating project for our study of the Civil Rights movement. I wanted them to give a presentation, but also wanted to move away from the traditional PowerPoints or poster sessions that they have done in the past. I liked the idea of them learning to present content effectively in a creative medium, and infographics are perfect for that. For this, I elected to use my favorite tool for creating professional looking infographics, Venngage.

Venngage offers many powerful and free resources…

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Teach 6th Formers? Check out Technology Enhanced Learning trends in Higher Education 2014


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If you teach or manage sixth form provision, or teach in an HE setting, you might be interested in checking out these latest results which summarise survey results (2014) of current e-technology trends in use across UK universities.

As students move through the educational school phases and increasing levels of independence in their studies develops, introducing them to e-technologies can be very liberating for both student and teacher.  The use of e-portfolios, blogging, and wikis appears high on the list of current trends of e-technologies in use in HE establishments, so the earlier your students feel comfortable using the tools the better, as many students report a huge leap not just in content but in pedagogical design between key stage 5 (sixth form) and university settings.


Webtools with no student registration needed


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A great list put together here by a fellow teacher over the pond which lists webtools for use in classrooms with no registration necessary, a bonus in every classroom where anxiety about protecting students’ identities online is always paramount.  I will be trying some of these this academic year and will report progress here.

Comment, or let me know if you have any favourites, either from this list or your own webtools choices.

There’s no app for good teaching


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The development of ‘affect-aware’ screen technology which can detect when your digitally engaged students become bored or confused. Now we are talking about a brave new world for teachers!

See all articles in the series

8 ways to think about tech in ways that actually improve the classroom.

Bringing technology into the classroom often winds up an awkward mash-up between the laws of Murphy and Moore: What can go wrong, will — only faster.

It’s a multi-headed challenge: Teachers need to connect with classrooms filled with distinct individuals. We all want learning to be intrinsically motivated and mindful, yet we want kids to test well and respond to bribes (er, extrinsic rewards). Meanwhile, there’s a multi-billion-dollar industry, in the US alone, hoping to sell apps and tech tools to school boards.

There’s no app for that.

But there are touchstones for bringing technology into the classroom. With educational goals as the starting point, not an afterthought, teachers can help students use — and then transcend — technology as they learn.

Children as early as Pre-Kindergarten at Love T. Nolan Elementary School in College Park, Georgia have access to the iPad to reinforce techniques taught in the classroom. Starting in pre-kindergarten, children at Love T. Nolan Elementary School in College Park, Georgia, have access to an iPad to reinforce techniques taught in the classroom. Photo by Amanda…

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50 ways to use Twitter in the classroom


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Allowing only 140 characters to be used, Twitter appears to have limitations as an educational tool for use in classrooms, however Sam Miller has lots of creative ways to use Twitter, both within and beyond the classroom boundaries –


This helpful guide (thanks Alan!) is also a great starting point for the novice teacher tweeter, i.e. me, so I’ll be busy trying to incorporate some of these ideas into my lesson plans and pedagogical practice.

Twitter for Twitchy Teachers V1.1

If you are an experienced teacher tweeter, I’d love to hear from you about what you are doing in the classroom, or if you are a Twitter apprentice user like me let me know how it’s going.


ECAR report 2013 – American study of Undergraduate Students and Information Technology


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Working in a school where personal mobile device use in classrooms is increasing, driven by management through a BYOD (Bring Your Own Device) initiative, I often struggle with slotting effective use of this technology into my existing pedagogical practice, i.e. lack of time for adapting lesson plans, lack of training by senior management, etc.

It was therefore interesting to read a recently released American report of undergraduate students’views on technology use by their teachers and their institutions which found that students want to use technology in their studies but look to teachers and institutions for guidance in doing so. A powerful message highlighting the need for professional development training for teachers. Forward to senior management perhaps?

See the 2013 report for a full list of key messages, findings, and supporting data.

  • Students recognise the value of technology but still need guidance when it comes to better uses for information technology within their academic study programmes.
  • Students prefer blended learning environments while beginning to experiment with MOOC (Massive Open Online Courses, e.g. undergraduate level short courses)
  • Students are ready to use their mobile devices more for academic use, and they look to institutions and instructors for opportunities and encouragement to do so.
  • Students value their privacy, and using technology to connect with them has its limitations.

Screening websites and media for age appropriateness in lesson planning


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After blogging yesterday about my experiences of starting to use social bookmarking sites, it occured to me that directing kids to websites can be fraught with danger, i.e. how can you be sure that the kids will be safe online. Issues of accessing inappropriate content and protecting online identities are just two things which crossed my mind yesterday whilst recommending social booking sites of and  Eureka!

Today I came across a site I am likely to be using regularly, commonsensemedia  is a website which claims to rate and review movies, games, apps, TV shows, websites, books, and music.  For websites it offers a review, as well as a quality rating (up to 5 stars), a learning rating (0-5) and also indicates minimum age appropriateness. is rated by as a 4 star site, with a learning rating of 3/5. Cautions include altering the privacy settings so you can only be found by trusted users, e.g. friends, and the dangers of accessing inappropriate content through the tagging system is also commented upon. Age appropriateness is given as 13 years upwards.

Symbaloo is rated as a 3 star site, with a learning rating of 2/5 (perhaps because of its restricted interaction capabilities?). Cautions are similiar to Diigo, e.g. online identity and finding inappropriate content. Age appropriateness is given as 13 years upwards too.

This has given me a starting point for discussion with my students and parents about how we navigate the social bookmarking sites I will be using this year in class, e.g. I now know about checking students’ privacy settings in these sites, etc., with the wider general issue of staying safe in the big wide www beyond.

21 Things Every 21st Century Teacher Should Do This Year

I’m aiming to try at least 10 of these in my classroom this year

Hooked On Innovation

The Past mixing with the Future #selfie The Past mixing with the Future #selfie

A new school year always brings about new ideas and hopeful ambition for teachers. However, it’s almost 2015.  Gone are the days when we can use the excuse that “we don’t do technology”.  Part of being a teacher in the 21st century is being creative in integrating academics and learning into student’s digital lives. With access to content being ubiquitous and instant in student’s out of school lives, we can either reject their world for our more traditional one, or embrace it.

While some of the ideas that follow may seem a bit trendy, it’s never hurts to model ways to interact with all this new media as a covert way of teaching digital literacy and citizenship.   The great news is, you don’t need every student to have a device to make these happen. Heck, in most cases all you would need is a single smart…

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Online social bookmarking use in the classroom


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Asking students to do independent research on the internet about a topic you are studying in class can be fraught with problems. Many students feel overwhelmed by the often complex, sometimes irrelevant results on their screen in response to their search engine requests which in turn leads to poor behaviour underpinned by confusion, frustration and a sense of failure for both student and teacher. Poor information literacy skills amongst my students can certainly be an issue. One solution I am trialling with my students is the use of free social bookmarking and content management tools. These offer me the chance to locate, pre-screen, curate and organise websites together on one page in a central place around a set theme or topic that we are covering in class, perhaps to enrich or extend their learning. This can then be accessed both in and beyond the classroom by students, fellow teachers or even parents from any computer with internet access. If this sounds too much like spoon-feeding your students, many of these content management sites permit collaborative contributions and commenting facilities whereby students can add their own web finds to the existing repository and can leave comments for others to read about content on this central page. Popular sites include which has a visual interface great for visual learners and with a strong collaborative interface.

Examples include:


Suggestions for classroom uses from other educational professionals can be found here:

I will be reporting my progress as it happens at the coal face!