Create Animated Infographics with Animaker

I love a good infographic. There is something special about the creative combination of art elements, design principles, data, and information that just makes my eyes and brain happy. Give me a well-designed animated infographic and my eyes and brain are overjoyed!

As much as I love looking at them, I love creating them even more! I’m always on the lookout for new tools to help me create beautiful things with data. Today, I found Animaker. Today is a happy day.

Creation Made Easy

View of the editing screen.
View of the editing screen.

Animaker is a web-based platform designed to give businesses, students, and teachers the power to create amazing animated infographics, posters, presentations, and videos. The interface is fairly simple to use.

I spent about an hour creating my first six scene video complete with moving text, animated logos, and data. I didn’t start with any tutorials. I just jumped right in with a template as my guide. The editing interface is similar to many of the other tools out there. There is a timeline for each scene where you can manage the effects and timing of your assets. The premade templates are very helpful because you can use them as a guide as you create your own scene. However, even if you start with a blank scene, it is easy to layout your design and create something new. It didn’t take long to figure out how to use the design tool to create my video. I love a tool with a small learning curve.

When you are done creating, you can save your project. With the free plan, the video can be exported to Facebook or YouTube. Upgrade your account for more creation tools and sharing options. Here the pricing schedule for individuals and businesses.

Educator Plan

Educator Dashboard
Educator Dashboard

For the educators out there, there is Animaker Class. Get started with a free account and you can give the tool a try with up to 25 students. From your educator dashboard, you can manage your projects, create a class roster, manage class assignments, and send students messages. You have limited space and features with the free account. Upgrading to the premium opens up a lot of tools and functionality. The cost is $10/month per teacher and $.02/month per student. Read more about the differences between the two plans on their pricing page.

This was a fun tool to explore. I can see tons of ways teachers and student can use this in the classroom. Have your students collect some data and then use this tool to communicate their findings. Discuss the use of goods design principles and data visualization strategies. Let them loos in the tool and see what they create.

Here is my first video. Not too bad for my first try. Have fun creating amazing infographics!

HoloGLOBE: A World of Data in the Palm of Your Hand

I’ve already written about the MERGE Cube but we have only touched on the different MERGE Cube apps you can use in the classroom. If real-time data visualization is your thing then you need to get HoloGLOBE by Institute for Earth Observations at Palmyra Cove.

Data in Your HandScreenshot_20181114-055240

Using the MERGE Cube, HoloGLOBE uses satellite imagery to create a beautiful 3D image of the Earth.  Viewers can then add overlays of near-real-time data from NASA and NOAA.

There is a lot of data packed into this handheld version of our big blue marble. Using the in-app controls, you and your students can view current weather conditions and clouds, land and sea temperatures, wildfires, drought conditions, snow and ice coverage, and real-time earthquakes. It is amazing to see the data mapped across the surface of the earth.

In the satellite view, you can track satellites and see the relationship between the position of the sun and the seasons. There are also some videos embedded in the app that display on the virtual Earth. Learn about tracking the big three hurricanes from the 2017 season.

Different data views from HoloGLOBE.
Different data views from HoloGLOBE.

HoloGLOBE is intended to be a tool for exploring the Earths systems through satellite data and helping students learn how to make observations from data. According to the Palmyra Cove website, there are some expansions under development that will allow students and citizen scientists to share their observations and interpretations.

The Details

HoloGLOBE is free and available for both Andriod and iOS platforms. You can use it without the MERGE Cube but there is something cool about holding the Earth in your hands. You can also pair this with a VR/AR headset, such as the MERGE Goggles, for a stereoscopic view. The app is recommended for grades 5 – 12.

In the Classroom

There are many different ways to use this in the classroom. In addition to having students explore the data available, you could have them connect their observations to current articles, news headlines, or research reports to see if the data supports the claims made in the texts. Or, they could start with the texts and make predictions about what they will see when they look at the data. For example, have them research current earthquake reports or wildfire reports. Based on their research, what would they expect the data to look like? Then have them explore the data visualizations to see if their predictions were accurate. Spend some time reflecting on what they read versus what they saw. For me, I was surprised to see the number of earthquakes mapped across the globe.

For some virtual collaboration, why not have classrooms in different parts of the world, discuss their local data. The students could share photographs of their environment compared to screenshots of their HoloGLOBE data and discuss how they are experiencing the conditions found in the data.

There are a lot of great classroom applications for this app. Whether you are integrating it into a classroom lesson or just using it to give your students a different view of global data, HoloGLOBE is a beautiful application that will help you and your students appreciate this amazing planet.

 

30 Tools in 30 Days: Day 15 Quizizz

Day 15: Quizizz

Quizizz is a free online quiz tool perfect for classroom assessments, games, and more. There are so many online, game-based assessment tools out there. Kahoot!, Socarative, Quizlet, to name a few. Each one has their own pros and cons that set them apart. Quizizz and Kahoot! are my two go-to tools. We’ll talk about Kahoot! in a separate post.

Quizizz just launched some new updates and I really like them. Their newly designed website is clean and easy to use. Great updates.

Using Quizizz is easy. Log-in with your Google account or use any email to get started. Search for public quizzes created by the community or start from scratch and create your own custom quiz. There are tons of pre-made quizzes to choose from. Use them as is or edit them to add your own questions.

Search for Quizzes
The new Quizizz website. Clean and easy to use.

Here are a few of my favorite features from the new Quizizz.

  • Search for public quizzes using keywords or the new subject buttons.
  • Easy to create custom quizzes.
  • Create your own mems or choose an available meme set, to display for right and wrong answers (These are super cute! Because, you know, memes!)
  • Share your quizzes or keep them private.
  • Organize your quizzes into collections.
  • No student log-ins are needed to play, just a code.
  • Play the quiz live or assign it to homework.
  • Works on multiple devices and platforms.
  • Shuffle questions and answers when you play.
  • View reports on student performance. See class average, performance per question, and individual performance.
  • Email individual reports to parents.
  • Download data into Excel for further analysis.
Illogical
One of my custom memes.

As mentioned above, one of my favorite features is the custom meme designer. After students answer a question they receive feedback (correct or incorrect) as a meme. You can use the pre-designed memes or create your own set with your own images. What a great way to personalize the quiz for your class. Take a picture of each student cheering and frowning. Use these as your own custom memes. So much fun!

I’ve also used Quizizz for a live trivia game during an open house. It is a fun way to engage adults, too. They are just as competitive as kids.

Quizizz can make formative assessments easy to create and share and super fun to take! It is an excellent tool for gathering usable data on student understanding or, just play for fun!