Infographics As A Tool For Learning
It is true that no two learners are alike and that we all experience things in unique ways. This influences the idea of people having different learning styles, which places learners into four main categories: visual, auditory, reading-and-writing, and kinesthetic learners. However, various studies report that 75% of all information processed by the brain is derived from visual formats. Furthermore, visual information is mapped better in students’ minds (Raiyn, 2015)
Learning through visuals helps students to develop visual thinking and better understand information delivered through it. In a world where students are constantly bombarded with visual information, it will be important to introduce students to this type of analytical thinking. And while it is important to present information in ways that match a student’s learning style, all learners better understand and retain information by associating ideas, words, and concepts with images.
With the explosion of social media, visual content is everywhere. According the the HubSpot State of marketing 2021 reports, infographics were the 3rd most used content type in 2021. This solution keeps information concise and presents it in an appealing way and can sustain the attention of the reader while improving understanding and concentration during the learning session.
There are several web applications that make creating infographics easy. Each site has a free version with limited templates but requires a subscription for the pro version. But don’t let the term “pro” fool you. Without upgrading your account, you are offered minimal options with each of the following providers. Save yourself some time scouring these sites though, because there is one clear winner in this race!
Canva is not the site I used for the infographic in this blog, but Canva’s key advantage over rival products is its ease of use. It is a web-based app used for designing everything from infographics to Instagram posts and book covers. It is also the only platform that also has an app for managing projects and designs on the go. Canva also offers the cheapest monthly subscription at $12.99/month with high-quality stock photos and 4000+ infographic templates alone and includes many free options. Canva is my recommendation over the others because it has more features and allows you to design anything from infographics to social and anything in between.
Piktochart is like Canva in the sense that they’re both easy to use editors that create visuals. However, Piktochart is primarily designed for creating infographics, presentations, and reports and is aimed at professional users who need to create content for communications in business. It was easy to navigate and edit templates, but the free resources were extremely limited with access to only 25 free templates compared to the 100s available in Canva. For this project, I did find a template that was better suited for the data I was presenting, which allowed me to quickly edit information in a table. Although not the most expensive option out there at $14.00/month, Piktochart has some major price limitations. You are billed for the annual subscription instead of the monthly option offered by Canvas. If that’s not an option and you choose the free version, choose wisely. You are only allowed two, you heard me 2, free downloads, which I quickly wasted on printing proofs. I only learned my mistake after building my entire project and discovering that the only way to download it was to upgrade to pro. Fortunately, after a little digging around, I discovered their education plan, which is priced at $39/year.
Why are infographics important in classrooms today? They encourage learners to understand information better. "As social media use has become a common part of many teens' daily routine, the Pew Research Center asked U.S. teens how they feel about the amount of time they are spending on social media." The results may be shocking, but it plays a major role in how students are learning new information.
Easel.ly offers the cheapest option at $2/month for the pro version, but it is also the most limited. I only found four infographic templates and all four were part of the pro package. There were only 320 premium templates available as opposed to the thousands available in Canva. The site also included limited navigation, unclear formats, and frequent error messages. If you’re looking for a quick fix that’s relatively cheap, Easel.ly might do for that one project. Well, you get what you pay for!
Infogr.am is the most expensive of the four options at $19.00/month if billed annually. If you want the convenience of monthly billing, they’re hiking up the rates to $25.00/month. I didn’t spend a lot of time digging around in these templates for a couple of reasons. For one, they are double the cost of Canva without any added benefit. There are approximately 70 infographic templates compared to the thousands in Canva and only 25 of those are available in the free version. The other reason, to be honest, is that most of the templates are simply ugly and dated. You could easily achieve the same effects with a free Microsoft Template and save your money.
CXD Studio. (2021). Not Another State of Marketing Report. In Hubspot. Hubspot
Software Company. Retrieved October 15, 2022, from
Raiyn, J. (2016). The Role of Visual Learning in Improving Students’ High-Order Thinking
Skills. Journal of Education and Practice, 7(24), 115.
Vogels, E. A., Gelles-Watnick, R., & Massarat, N. (2022, August 10). Teens, Social Media
and Technology 2022. Pew Research Center: Internet, Science & Tech. Retrieved
October 16, 2022, from https://www.pewresearch.org/internet/2022/08/10/teens-