Wednesday, November 12, 2014

Visualizing Understanding

The infographic that I designed was based on an infographic I found on The History Channel’s website.  I built my infographic to go along with a lesson I have planned for my world history classes. The History Channel’s infographic was larger and did not go along with the lesson I had in mind, so I condensed the information into a smaller but still informative graphic.  The lesson that goes along with my infographic focuses on the aspects and the level of sophistication that the city of Rome had achieved.  I will be asking students to choose which of the achievements or aspects of the city of Rome they find most interesting, important, innovative and ultimately their favorite.  Students will be asked to write a paragraph describing which aspect they chose from the infographic as their favorite and why it impressed them.  Besides choosing one to write about, students will also have an opportunity to view the entire infographic and share with small groups which aspect they found most important or impressive. 

I matched the images I found on to represent themes that coincide with the facts on the infographic.  Each one of the achievements in Rome that I have listed on the infographic matched up effectively with an image.  My infographic utilizes icons to help convey the information written in text, this matching helps visual learners understand the information regarding Rome as a super-city, while being visually pleasing and attractive.  This infographic is also a nice change of pace from reading textual accounts of information for students.  Students may find it fun to learn about something in a different way than what they are regularly exposed to.  Although for my classes I will be using this as a print off in black and white, I still believe it will be an effective resource.  Schools that have access to iPads or color copiers may benefit more from the aesthetics in exciting their students to learn about the information.  This infographic is also effective because students are able to see the relationship that ancient Rome had with today’s modern cities.  Examples include: running water, central heat, baths, sewers, water fountains, sports arenas, malls, apartments, public welfare, public works, toilets, concrete and landfills.   With a large list of achievements like that, my infographic condenses the information without losing any of it as compared to the information being given through a power point slide, or text book reading.  It is important when teaching history to relate information back to student’s lives, and my infographic is designed to do exactly that.   

The process of making this infographic was fun and educational for myself.  Instead of having to read through historical documents or secondary sources, I was able to condense the large amount of information into a brief but informative visual aid.  While making the infographic, I was able to combine my content knowledge with the information I found online and produce a supplemental aid that I believe will be effective in helping my students understand the achievements of Rome.  I am a visual learner and I use a lot of maps, pictures and art when discussing topics in world history.  It helps me to understand and retain knowledge, and it is especially important when teaching historical topics that students understand the area in the world that we are discussing.  Using maps helps students understand the geography of history but using pictures and art also helps them understand the culture of the people being covered.  Pictures of historical figures puts a face to the words or information and can help students understand the information through visualization.  I also utilize videos in my classroom which can make students more engaged when they see history come to life.  It is hard to bring a textbook to life like a video with reenactments can.  In the world that we live in today, electronic stimuli has a huge influence on our lives, because of this, anytime that visual aids can be used to help engage students with the information, more of it can be retained.


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