Monday, October 27, 2014

Learning About Infographics at TLTS 2014

Another outstanding partnership between the eLearning Consortium of Colorado (eLCC) and Metro
State University resulted in this year's Teaching and Learning with Technology Symposium. The event was well organized and well attended. And there was ample parking across the street from the event center. Awesome!

Normandy Roden and Travis Chillemi of the U. Colorado System provided one of the symposium highlights with their session titled "1,000 Words are Worth a Picture: Infographics to Enhance Teaching and Learning". Visual learners depend on  charts, graphs, and images for providing meaning to large amounts of information. Infographics can also be included in this toolbox of information conveyers. Giving a visual learner a well laid out infographic makes them a happy camper.

Infographics types and examples

The session began with an overview of infograph types including guides, step-by-step, decision trees, simple and complex timelines, and simple and complex data visualizations. An example of an historically significant infographic was the publication in 1862 of a complex timeline of Napolean's march on Moscow, pictured at the top of this post.

A more modern infographic example is the word cloud, sometimes known as tag clouds or wordles. Word clouds use block of texts that are represented by a word chart. The greater the frequency of the word in the text block, the larger the word appears in the graphic.

Creating infographics

Infographics can be created using a number of programs including MS Word, Wordle, Adobe Illustrator, and similar. PiktoChart  was specifically mentioned as an easy to use program. The free version is available but limited in the number of available templates and graphics. The Pro version, at $40/year, was a highly recommended option.

Tuesday, October 7, 2014

Keeping Up with What's Hot and What's Not

Randy Bass, Vice Provost for Education and Professor of English at Georgetown University, was the keynote speaker at the Regis College 2014 Fall Faculty Conference. During his presentation, Bass mentioned a data analysis tool called the  Gartner Hype Cycle. The hype cycle tracks technologies through their life cycle using scales based on visibility (hype) versus maturity (time).

Bass used one such scale, the Hype Cycle for Education, to illustrate MOOCs and their rapid rise and fall. Only two years ago, the 2012 Hype Cycle for Education had MOOCs as an Innovation Trigger, otherwise known as “On the Rise”. However, the 2014 Hype Cycle for Education has MOOCs sliding into the “Trough of Disillusionment”, having become virtually a non-player with little to no impact on tuition-based institutions.

That got me to thinking about other emerging technologies and the sustainability of their hype over time. First, take a look at the Gartner hype cycle ratings methodology and scale, then take a gander at some of these well known technologies:


On the Rise At the Peak Into the Trough
3D printing Internet TV Web 2.0
Augmented reality Cloud computing Public virtual worlds
3D flat panel displays Microblogging Video telepresence


On the Rise At the Peak Into the Trough
Human augmentation Image recognition Gesture recognition
Social TV Internet TV Virtual worlds
3D bioprinting Augmented reality E-book readers


On the Rise At the Peak Into the Trough
3D bioprinting Autonomous vehicles Gamification
Digital security Internet of Things Augmented reality
Connected home Wearable user interfaces Mobile health monitoring

Other resources