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Easel.ly

Easel.ly (pronounced “easily”) is an infographic design tool. Infographics use pictures, graphs, and a bit of text to quickly and attractively share data and information.

Easel.ly lives up to its name since this is a tool that builds sharp-looking infographics simply by modifying existing templates. The trick is making sure the templates available suit the information you want to convey. An infographic can add visual interest and emphasis to content through maps, graphs, charts, diagrams, flowcharts, and timelines and can also replace traditional text by grouping discrete pieces of information and showing the relationships between them. Because it provides a visual depiction of ideas, which in turn may provide students with a cognitive frame, Easel.ly can be used to create teaching aids.  Because an infographic helps students visualize relationships between concepts, Easel.ly can also be introduced to students as a tool to synthesize and document learning.  Easel.ly is a learner-centered tool because it readily provides a means for students to visually construct knowledge, demonstrate connections they are making between concepts, and personalize and differentiate their work.

Keywords: Constructionism, Learner-centered Tool

Tool Snapshot

Price 7-day free trial with student, individual, and business plans
Learning Constructionism
Ease of Use ★★★★★
Privacy ★★★★✩
Accessibility ★★★★✩
Class Size Unlimited
ISTE*S Knowledge Constructor, Creative Communicator
COPPA/FERPA Yes with conditions

Easel.ly Overview

Privacy

The tool has a privacy policy that references both COPPA and FERPA standards.  Sign-up requires only an email address and password. Or, you can log in through third-party sites such as Facebook or Google.  You can create groups of student accounts without using email addresses by creating a group name and group password and a user name for each student.  Infographics created do not appear to be automatically shared publicly and are owned by the user, however, Easel.ly maintains the right to make it available to the public, unless you open a fee-based account. (4 stars)

Ease of use

Very easy to use for those with even limited experience manipulating shapes, objects, and text online. For those needing guidance, text-based and video tutorials are available through the site. (5 stars)

Impact on Student Learning

Easel.ly can be used to create attractive visual aids for knowledge-based learning, as well as a student-centered tool for creating, applying, and synthesizing information. Especially valuable for visual learners, and may strengthen visual literacy. (5 stars)

Cost

The tool requires you to purchase a plan to try its “7-day money-back guarantee” trial.  It does not sell user data or embed advertisements. (4 stars)

Power & Bias

Access to limited templates may restrict the user’s ability to depict information precisely or completely avoid image biases where depictions of people are included in the template. As a student-centered tool, Easel.ly relies on the user to ensure the information presented in infographics is free of bias or deception.  (4 stars)

Access

The tool can be used on any desktop or laptop device and does not require separate plug-ins. (5 stars)

Accessibility

This is a tool for presenting information visually, thus sight of the user is assumed.  Multiple contrasting colors and zoom abilities may help those with impaired sight.  Because of the sometimes delicate and fiddly adjustments needed with online design, fine motor skills are also necessary to be successful with Easel.ly.  Additionally, you can’t embed alternative text for images and icons, so screenreaders may not be able to see the detail provide by the infographic (3 stars).

Easel.ly Overview Video

Image preview of a YouTube video
Watch on YouTube https://edtechbooks.org/-jLBw

Easel.ly & the SAMR Model

Infographic of UMass Amherst World Traveler data
Sample infographic created with Easel.ly Pro.

Learning Activities

Math

Choose an article from the newspaper or current event with a mathematical element (sports statistics, budget concerns, weather patterns, etc) and create an infographic that would augment the story.  Depict quantitative data in multiple ways and compare interpretation.

Science

Prepare diagrams of flora and fauna. Once students have each prepared infographics on a target subject, have the class as a whole design a cumulative infographic that incorporates elements of each. Choose two or more scientific fields and prepare an infographic that depicts the relationships between them.

English/Language Arts

Diagram sentences for grammar, or writing samples for rhetorical or literary devices. Create an infographic that compares and contrasts two works of fiction, poetry, or journalism. Have one group of students follow the procedures outlined in infographics created by another group of students and vice versa, identifying areas of confusion and need for revision.

History/Social Studies

Create maps and timelines related to events or issues. Chose an article from the newspaper and create an infographic that would augment the story. Create individual infographics of an event or shared experience then compare the documents (e.g., through a “seated poster session”) and discuss the reasons for differences and similarities.

Resources

From Easel.ly:

From other sources:

How to Use Easel.ly

  1. Go to https://www.easel.ly
  2. Click “Sign Up For Free” and register for an account.
  3. Login.
  4. Consider the type of information you want to communicate and choose a relevant template (also called “theme” in Easel.ly, or use the blank page to start from scratch.
  5. Use the toolbar to add or modify objects, and text, and add links or media.
  6. Save, export, or share the infographic by using the home menu.
  7. The infographic will appear in the “My Visuals” section of the homepage unless you delete it.  
  8. If you have downloaded the infographic but deleted the item in your “My Visuals” you can upload the infographic again to continue editing by using the “Open” item on the home menu.

Research

Noh, M. A. M., Shamsudin, W. N. K., Nudin, A. L. A., Jing, H. F., Daud, S. M., Abdullah, N. N. N., & Harun, M. F. (2015). The Use of Infographics as a Tool for Facilitating Learning. In O. H. Hassan, S. Z. Abidin, R. Legino, R. Anwar, & M. F. Kamaruzaman (Eds.), International Colloquium of Art and Design Education Research (i-CADER 2014) (pp. 559–567). inbook, Singapore: Springer Singapore. https://edtechbooks.org/-fHeP

Pazilah, F. N., & Hashim, H. (2018). Using infographics as a technology-based tool to develop 21st century skills in an ESL contextJournal of Educational and Learning Studies1(1), 35-38.

Weiner, A., & Lorber, K. (2021, March). Infographics: A Methodology for Student Research Presentations and Other Academic Projects. In Society for Information Technology & Teacher Education International Conference (pp. 649-652). Association for the Advancement of Computing in Education (AACE).

Wright, A. (2016). Tools for the creation and sharing of infographicsJournal of Electronic Resources in Medical Libraries13(2), 73-76.

Yıldırım, S. (2016). Infographics for educational purposes: Their structure, properties, and reader approaches. Turkish Online Journal of Educational Technology, 15(3), 98–110.

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