“Infographics” just means presenting information in pictures. These pictures can include graphs, charts, and tables, or a series of them (perhaps a set of slides). So what? Consider that UDL is the framework guiding this whole module.
UDL acknowledges that students learn differently from one other. UDL takes those differences seriously. Infographics are one way to address the differences, and infographics are one of the things parapros can help with.
Recall that some students don’t benefit much from reading or even from lectures and discussions. This is something most people know, especially parents and educators.
Still, schools find it difficult to adapt to differences in how students learn. For years, in fact, schools acted as if one size would fit all. Many schools are now trying to move away from “one-size-fits-all” teaching. Infographics can help.
Here are some examples of infographics that could be useful in lessons you might help teach:
The first one, on the upper left, shows the different forms of money in England before that country decided to use a base-10 system (100 pennies in a pound). So it’s both math and social studies. The cartoon on the bottom right is from 1789 France. It shows the common people (“the third estate”) carrying the first and second “estates” (nobility and clergy) on their back. It illustrates an important idea in social studies.
You can use infographics in many ways as a parapro. For instance, you might use infographics that are already included in the textbook. Today, lots of textbooks use infographics (pictures, graphs, charts, tables). Reviewing these resources with students can help reinforce what the teacher presents in class. Or, along with your teacher or other members of the instructional team, you might decide to create an infographic. Or your team might choose to modify an existing infographic.
The Internet is an especially useful place for finding infographics. For example, almost all class topics have Wikipedia entries. These entries often include infographics. Online searches will bring up many other images. Of course, searching the Internet is more work than just taking something from the textbook. The benefit of the extra work is to get better infographics. Some are very pretty to look at, some are animated, and some call for interaction. They can often be more appealing than textbook infographics.
Your teacher or instructional team will need to provide guidance. There are many choices to consider: what kind of infographics to use, when to use an infographic, with which students, and in what ways. It’s a topic for discussion.
Remember that infographics are not just a nice touch. Some students need them. They learn much better with them than without them. And most students benefit from infographics.
By the way, an example of what excellent infographics look like is on the web at this URL:
One more thing: infographics can misrepresent matters through oversimplification. For instance, in the infographic about “most-read” books, many people own a Bible, but how many actually have read it from cover to cover? Think about it: no one actually knows who reads what! This sort of thing can be a topic of discussion with students. (The numbers in the infographic represent books sold, only.)