Creating visualisations with infographics

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.

the-theme-of-evil-in-literature-1

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.

MrMarotous

easel.ly

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.

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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.

venngage

Why isn’t my blog post showing up?

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Photo by Dennis Koehoorn on Flickr

A few students have been frustrated by the fact that, despite publishing their posts, they don’t actually show up in the blog. Hmm…. This is part of working with technology, but I’m happy to try and help. Usually I just google the problem and set the ‘search tools’ for ‘any time’ to ‘past year’ so that the answers are current.

An easy fix recommended by some was to change the theme to eg. twentysixteen because some themes are buggy. If that doesn’t work….

Another suggestion was that you have created a static front page which is what people sometimes do if they want the front face of their blog to be the same regardless of posts coming in. If you have done that and want to stick with it, go to Customize > Static Front Page. You will need to define a page for posts to go to.  Read about doing this here.

Personally, I would probably undo the static front page and just have the posts appear in chronological order. I wouldn’t muck around with the customisation. Read about how to do that here. Basically, you just switch the radio button back to “Front page displays posts” instead of static front page.

Don’t despair! Try these suggestions and please come and see me, Ms Sheko, or email me, if you are still having problems.