Since pre-history, we have seen how humans have used images to generate a graphic representation system to explain the relationship with his environment. These images have served to tell different generations part of the history of our ancestors.
Currently, we belong to a technological era, where images have become an important element to “communicate”, since the internet and mobile devices have opened space for large amounts of graphic information, developing in us a greater and better perception in our visual channels. And infographics come to life online, making them an excellent tool for transmitting the information.
In this article, we are going to talk to you about how we can use infographics to adapt them to our educational content and turn them into an effective strategy to generate learning in the subject of history.
What is an Infographic?
The word infographic comes from the combination of two words:
Info = information + spelling = graph
This powerful tool emerged in the 1980s, with the technological boom in the graphic press. We see that, with this new concept, infographics, although they are used regularly in the journalistic field, their structure is so versatile that it can be used to tell stories, explain events, describe situations, and show processes. So its use has been extended to other areas. Likewise, its format has evolved and we no longer only see it in print or static, but we also find interactive infographics in video format or animated in GIF format.
Infographic and Education
In the educational field, infographics are booming, the reasons are not attributed to technological fashion, but to how information can be organized since its structure can generate content:
- More interpretive, than in a simple scheme.
- Greater power to analyze in detail, than in data tables.
- More interesting to explore, than in written texts and presentations.
- And much shorter, than a video.
Thanks to its communicative and interactive power, infographics can become a didactic resource when incorporated into the teaching-learning process, since they can provide significant benefits such as a source of information to facilitate the understanding of content, as well as a means to encourage the creativity and form of expression of the students. And how can both benefits be achieved?
As a source of information for the student
The infographics can be adapted to the pedagogical and learning needs, organizing the information according to the characteristics of the student, age, stage of cognitive development and from there structuring the content, being clear about the knowledge that is to be achieved and the context where it is going to use, be it in a book, brochure, poster, slide, internet, etc.
As a means to encourage creativity
When we invite our students to create infographics, we encourage them to focus not only on learning the content, but to think, imagine, analyze how we are going to reflect what we have learned and how the content will be organized in the infographic, to achieve the objectives. didactic. To do this, the student should review the bibliography with current and relevant information, seeking to focus on curiosities that capture attention, and to do so will create visual strategies to transmit all the information graphically. By being able to synthesize and explain all the content in an infographic, we are consolidating knowledge.
Fact: When students manage to internalize content in-depth, when they expose it, the passion that they impregnated in their activities is evident.
What does an infographic contain?
The main elements that make up an infographic are:
Title: All infographics should have a short but concise title, capable of clearly describing the content of the infographic.
It is recommended that it be eye-catching and loaded with ingenuity as the idea is to capture the reader’s attention.
Body: Infographics contain visually pleasing text and images.
- When using texts, try to do it through simple, direct writing with examples.
- Don’t use very technical or elaborate words, as they will be difficult to remember.
- If it is strictly necessary to include this type of words, add a very brief explanation.
- Use iconic images, if possible funny or unique, since the idea is that they are engraved in the mind.
Bibliographic sources: It is important to respect copyright, so you must allocate space for this purpose.
Author: Last but not least, we must add the author or creators of the infographic.
When creating our infographic, we must place the name, logo, URL, or social network. Since infographics are capable of going viral.
We recommend you not to overdo the size for this space, since the most important thing is the content, so a discrete area is recommended.
Using infographics to learn the history
In the Geography and History course, teachers can use infographics with which students can understand and learn the most relevant historical moments. We select examples for some of the most important milestones.
It reviews from its beginnings to the barbarian invasions, which originated its fall, passing through its moments of maximum splendor. A complete tour in which the student will also know their economic evolution, their political relations, or the growth of their army. It also presents the figures of its main exponents (Hadrian, Diocletian, or Theodosius) with numerous supporting data.
Discovery of America
With data on the cost of the trip as well as the crew and the machinery that made it up, he explains the reasons for this journey as well as the before, during, and after what happened as a result of this milestone. Everything, through a timeline that includes dates and comments. Likewise, it briefly analyzes its economic and cultural consequences.
World war I
It explains, in detail and using a graph, the new border delimitations generated after the battle as well as the territorial claims by Germany, France, Italy, and Russia. It also explains the alliances that were formed and their protagonists, as well as their motivations, providing numerical data ranging from military casualties to the surface occupied by each power.
World War II
It analyzes everything that happened in this warlike conflict, from the invasion of Poland by Germany to the surrender of Japan. It provides maps in which to see its evolution on the ground as well as a summary of the final data (vehicles, military personnel, killed in combat or refugees), highlighting the main moments of the same.
The fall of the Berlin Wall
In chronological order, it exposes the entire process that culminated in the fall of the Berlin Wall on November 9, 1989. It analyzes both the situation at each point in the process and the number of victims that this stage represented for Germany and which served as a point and end of the Cold War.
The infographics are capable of optimizing the comprehension processes since they are based on a smaller amount of written text, specifying more information graphically.
Images work as a universal code unlike reading and that is why infographics are a powerful communication tool.
Currently, infographics are venturing into other fields and education is looking for an attractive and powerful way to generate learning in them, to turn it into a didactic strategy to motivate our students and to efficiently assimilate the content, capturing their attention.
Its implementation in the educational field is still novel, and its use in the classroom is proposed not only as an option to present content to students, but also as a way to develop content search, analysis, and synthesis skills, also, to improve your digital skills.