Tuesday, March 25, 2014

23 Mobile Things: 15. Infographics

Do you guys play tennis? I don't. I'm not trying to knock tennis because I actually think it's really entertaining to watch, but what's with all the weird scoring? Love, then 15, then 30 (ok...so double?), then 40 (nope...no double...no add 15...just a random 40), then Game. Wait, what?

Alright, sure, it's weird. But 15 is the first point scored in tennis, and Thing 15 scores major points. I guess we'll call that a win.

Thing 15 is all about Infographics, and I'm all for nonlinguistic representations that help our students better understand the information that inundates our world.

Not familiar with Infographics? They're essentially visual summarizations of data common to a particular topic.

For example, here is an Infographic about Infographics.

Alright, so Thing 15 offers up several apps that help us build or find Infographics. These apps include Infographics Hub, Info.Graphics, i Visual Info Touch Lite, and Visualize Free. Of these 4, the only one I haven't tried is i Visual Info Touch Lite. Both Infographics Hub and Info.Graphics are nice for finding Infographics. Visualize Free is a fine app, but I don't necessarily think of it as an Infographic builder -- it's more like a media filled poster creator. You could use it to build an Infographic, but I think of it more along the lines of a simplified Glogster.

Truthfully, I've always been disappointed in the free infographic builder options available on the iPad. I've always wanted to find something like a Piktochart or Easel.ly that works well on an iOS device. For that reason, I was excited to try out i Visual Info Touch Lite.

My thoughts...

Super easy to use, but just like Visualize Free I see it a bit more as a poster builder that can be used for infographics. That said, kids would pick it up quickly, but the lack of features compared to Visualize Free are pretty disappointing. I wish there was a "duplicate" feature and a "send to back/send to front" feature, but I could survive without them. You cannot change fonts, and there is no multiline text so each line needs to be a new text box. A few other features seem to be MIA as well. The HUGE missing link, however, is you cannot import a picture saved to the camera roll. That seems a bit ridiculous to not include. There is a full version app that retails for $2.99...it's hard to say whether it's worth the investment or not based on what's available in the free version.

In about 15 minutes, I made this quick Infographic about Spring Lake Park Schools, which is the district I work for:

If you ever find a great Infographic creator for the iPad, do share! I know my teachers would love to be able to explore this type of creation.

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