Education

#BackToSchool: Conquering The School District With Infographics

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This post was written by Becca Lamon, Assistant Superintendent of the East Noble School Corporation from Noble County, Indiana.

The goal of every public school is to provide all students with the skills and content necessary to continue to grow and demonstrate mastery.  East Noble School Corporation in Kendallville, Indiana is no exception to this goal.  As part of an overall plan to ensure that we are meeting the needs of our students, each school year we are required to create a School Improvement Plan for the Indiana Department of Education.  As a part of this plan, one requirement for each school is to examine school data and define the main goals the upcoming school year. These goals then drive the main focus for the building with respect to professional development and instructional support.  

Traditionally, these goals are listed in a document that can easily be thirty pages or more.  The goals tend to get lost in a sea of statistics and other required information.  This year, instead of just listing these goals in a document that is cumbersome to read and interpret, I created an infographic so that we could share the information with the district staff and our community in a more appealing manor.

Infographic on school district goals

While many of the items are similar around the district, some are not as each building strives to meet the unique needs of their specific population. I also created the infographic as a means to model a technology resource available to our teachers and students. As a 1:1 district, all of our students have a device that is used as a tool to enhance their engagement and learning.

The creation of infographics supports many of our English, technology, and research state standards. Using Piktochart to create infographics allows our students to add creativity to their projects to better communicate the information that they have collected. This Piktochart design has inspired one of our principals to use the tool to communicate during a staff meeting. As a district, we firmly believe in modeling great tools for our teachers and students!

To construct this Piktochart, I started with the 2015 Resolution free template.  I chose this template because the alternating color scheme between the blocks would allow for the natural distinction between the school buildings within the district.  In addition, the existing color scheme closely matches our school colors which are blue and gold.  Using only three colors for the entire project allows the reader to focus on the content as well as the design.  After altering the District Focus block, I was able to cut and paste the block to continue the color pattern within the new blocks.  If you look closely, you will notice that the blue blocks are all the same – some are just flipped to give the appearance that they are different.  A few simple additions of an icon to create an embellishment gives them a unique appearance. I chose images from the Icons menu and then used them consistently throughout the chart.  In order to maintain some consistency from school to school, basic geometric shapes were chosen to highlight the individual school’s goals.  I intentionally created each block to be slightly different than any other block to keep the reader engaged.

Some Helpful Tips From a Complete Beginner

 

  • In order to keep the color values the same throughout the project, record the Hex value of the colors and used these to recolor icons and block backgrounds.  To find the Hex value, simply click on an object and open the color palette to view its value.
    Piktochart's color picker
  • Limit the color palette to 3-4 colors to maintain consistency and allow the reader to focus on the message.
  • Use similar design elements such as the dash and dotted lines to provide visual breaks, yet consistency throughout the design.
  • Use the horizontal and vertical axis flip buttons to slightly change the blocks when copying and pasting.  Simply flipping the jagged edge of the blue blocks makes them appear different from one another, when in reality they are the same.
  • Keep text at a minimum and let the images help share the information.  

In the end, this Piktochart infographic has become a great tool for each building to share their goals with each other, the community and the School Board.  By using a separate block for each school, once the Piktochart is published on the web, the presentation mode can easily be activated in the top right corner allowing each school to stand alone during a presentation. This also allows the presentation participants a more focused view of the information.

Piktochart's Presentation mode

If you are looking for a more meaningful way to communicate with your school community, whether it is your school improvement goals, plans for the PTO, or even to share school data, using a Piktochart will help enhance the message through a concise and easy to understand format.  

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