Concept Maps are Cool, but.. #EdTech #k12

..Infographics are way cooler.

Source: http://www.wired.com/science

If you are a fan of Wired Magazine, then you know this. I can spend as much time looking at and thinking about a well-done infographic as I can a well written feature story. That is, unless the feature story is about pirates, high-profile technocrats that disappear at sea, narcosubs in Columbia, or anything that mixes techie, a large body of water, and something terrifying.

When I was in ed. school, and at no less than six mandatory faculty trainings since then, I have been instructed in how to use concept maps with my students.

Source: http://cmap.ihmc.us/

I love concept maps. They are a great way to engage kids in putting together concepts in a hierarchical or perhaps procedural fashion. They are constructivist, and I am a fan of that. But I must admit, most of the time, the concept maps my students have made look ridiculous. Odd as it may sound, I think the constraint of the words in bubbles with lines linking them is, well, too constraining.

Infographics as a more general category of displaying ideas in a visioverbal (new word, thank you) way, offers more possibilities for artistic and analytic expression. If you can tolerate the soundtrack (or mute it), this video clip from Kathy Schrock shows many ways that an infographic can be created. If you make one about pirates, send me the link.

About Jack West

Consultant, writer, analyst, teacher, coach, maker.

4 Responses

  1. whereiskatima

    I love WIRED and all the other sources which are similar (ex: really old Life subject books). These are absolutely amazing for students with a variety of learning disabilities and provide for great activities in the classroom. There is not much new under the sun – what is new is the shiny new graphics and the way to put these together.

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