Friday, May 11, 2012

Tech Tool: Easel.ly

"Infographics are 30 to 40 times more likely to be viewed and shared than text." 
I think that's especially true for our students who live in a world saturated by visual stimulants vying to grab our attention. It's not enough to have billboards lining the highways. Now it's animated billboards. It's no wonder that our textbooks and newspapers are filled with colorful infographics. It's how we read.


As a genre, infographics challenge creators to synthesize information and visually depict the information in a catchy, yet logical fashion. It's hard, but it's still a worthy skill to have students practice.

easel.ly, although still in beta form, and very limited in its templates is a nice site that allows students to play with data using pre-made templates. The teacher would of course need to have a conversation with students on the purpose of each of the templates, and it's by no means perfect for all content areas, but check it out, it's got potential.

The good thing about trying something out in beta form is that the company is eager to get your feedback, so someone is actually listening to you. Another perk of working with a product in beta is that you're in on the ground floor. True it may disappear if they don't get sponsors (flock, picnik), but sometimes they take off and start charging beaucoup bucks (voicethread). Being in on the ground floor usually allows you to have free access for life. I am forever indebted to VoiceThread for grandfathering me in and allowing me to store over five years of VTs and unlimited identities on my one free account.




Right now they only have the 5 templates to choose from, but they promise more soon.
Students are able to add shapes, edit text, insert charts, insert objects and upload their own information. Individual objects and text can be rotated, enlarged, diminished and rotated. Now to just find data.

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