If you want to create visualisations using free infographic apps, it’s really a matter of preference as to which you might choose, and you should probably play around with a few to see what appeals to you. The process of experimentation is valuable because it requires you to think about things like themes, character traits, etc. but also what it is you want to illustrate and how you might do it. You have to think broadly at first, and then drill down to the details you want to use and how the arrangement of these details is most effective.
Ms Carroll shared with me ‘Ten free tools for creating infographics’ which is a great place to start. I started playing around with Canva to illustrate the theme of evil in poetry we’ve studied this year. I used a template because it was recommended for starters and uploaded an image from the blog as an alternative background to solid colour. Interesting that when I enlarge the image it is blurry in the blog draft but not in the published post.
I added a collection of websites/images/text/video on the theme of evil from our blog into Thinglink – it’s so easy! I really like it but I guess it only works as an interactive web image, not as a poster.
Next I tried out Easelly. I exported my own photo as a background and tried out the text and objects. Text was easy, and I could drag and drop the objects (in this case: animals). And the selection is limited but still reasonable without signing up to pay $3 a month. I might create another one with more text and some charts.
Dipity is a timeline app which links to websites and videos; Piktochart looks nice too. Here’s someone who has tried both but really loves Canva. Judging by this person’s posters, I’ve jumped the gun by playing with Canva before taking the time to watch video tutorials. So I recommend you do just that – watch the tutorials to save time and frustration. This blogger also says that Piktochart also has a tool to make charts, maps and videos but she hasn’t tried them. Her post is worth reading although the comments that follow are not all positive. The thing is with apps – your experience may be different from others’ so try a couple, watch the video tutorials and have a go. I think there is enough choice amongst the free templates.
I tried Canva again to make a poster advertising Tea Duelling in the library next term. It’s not a great example but I liked the selection of text graphics which could make dot points more interesting. Again it looks blurry in the draft but not in the published post.
Venngage is another free app which seems to be good for charts with nice images/logos. I like the way it gives you clear descriptions for its options, eg under ‘infographics’ you can select ‘stastical, informational, process, comparison, timeline, geographic, charts and tutorial. It’s definitely worth a look.