Infographic lesson: Cell phones in schools

I spent the better part of the day yesterday exploring infographics on the Digital Buzz blog (see here and here), and in the process, I decided that I wanted to start making infographics.

Here’s my first:

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Download Infographic_CellphonesinSchools

 

And here’s a version showing the complete set of 100 students. 

I don’t really like the graphic I’m using for the set of 25—I would have rather used the same icon colored differently—but including the whole data set (a John Holland recommendation) probably makes sense.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Download Infographic_CellphonesinSchoolsREVISED

 

Here’s a similar graphic that uses circle icons that was recommended by Paula Naugle in the comment section. 

I like it.  Using fewer circles makes the image more interesting and graphic.  And before you jump all over it, I intentionally left the scale/key off so that I could use this to prove a point in the activity I’m planning:

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Download Infographic_CellphonesinSchoolsLargeDiscs

 

Here’s another version that uses a simple pie graph to make the same point:

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Download Infographic_CellphonesinSchoolsPie

 

And here’s a final version using circles to make the same point:

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Download Infographic_CellphonesinSchoolsCircles

 

What makes these different versions of the same slide so amazing is that some of them are just plain wrong.  Some communicate the ratio incorrectly and some leave out important labels and/or keys.  Some use colors in a confusing way.  Others communicate the ratio I’m trying to express accurately, and still others are probably more visually engaging.

That means these slides will make for a perfect lesson on visual influence and statistics with my students. 

I can talk with them about the reasons that authors are turning to infographics when working to communicate information—we do live in a visual society after all—and the tricks that they use to capture attention and to intentionally obscure information.

We can also talk about what viewers should look for when studying infographics—-and what authors should consider when creating infographics.  

Obviously, I don’t have the entire activity shaped out in my head yet—I’ve been toying with this all morning—-but when I do, I’ll post my handouts here.

Whaddya’ think?

Are these the kinds of lessons that we ought to be teaching our kids?  Will my slides be useful in working with kids?  What about with adults?

Looking forward to your feedback—and I hope you can use this slide somewhere in your work.