Session 5: Data, modelling and simulations: skills and techniques

Today was spent exploring different ways of presenting and communicating data. Firstly we were introduced to the idea of infographics; poster-like information displays which communicate meaning through a combination of images, texts and charts. We were then tasked with creating our own infographic using one of the following online tools: piktochart, infogr.am or visual.ly.

After spending a few minutes browsing the readymade templates provided with each tool, my group decided to use piktochart to produce our infographic as we felt it offered the best selection of templates and seemed to be the most simple to use. We decided to base our infographic on our class’s favourite holiday destinations and after collecting the required information we set to work. Working within a small group again this week was really helpful as it allowed us to divide the workload and progress with the task more quickly. We added a title and subtitles and then inserted images and text describing the three most popular holiday destinations and a simple pie chart, created in excel, to show what percentage of the class had chosen each destination. The process initially looked very straightforward however we soon discovered that the tool has a number of quirks meaning that the task longer much longer than we thought it would!

We also used the Scribble maps tool to produce a world map which pinpoints the locations of all of the destinations chosen by the class. In addition to the above feature, Scribble maps also allows you to insert text, markers, custom images and overlays to a Google map of your choice. Once completed you can share, email, embed or print your map however whilst trying to embed our map within this blog I discovered a potential downside to the tool as an advert banner is unfortunately displayed alongside the map :-(. Despite this drawback I feel that the Scribble maps tool could be used effectively within the classroom in a variety of ways; I particularly like the idea of children using it to identify places that are important to them within their local area.

Creating infographics within the classroom is a great way for children to develop valuable investigative skills and take ownership of their own learning. However despite looking really simple to use, we found that online infographic tools are actually quite tricky to use and it’s for this reason that I think that these tools are perhaps most suited for use with Year 5 and Year 6 children. That being said, the finished product really does look fab!

Bye for now…

2 thoughts on “Session 5: Data, modelling and simulations: skills and techniques”

  1. Your infographic looks really good. I like the pie chart you used as it clearly shows what destinations people liked the most. Well done 🙂

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