Friday, September 4, 2015

Trends in Visual Storytelling

People have been telling visual stories for a very long time. When I grew up it was all about using a camera (with film!) or drawing with colored pencils.  Times sure have changed and it's no wonder that today's visual stories are much more interesting and flashy. 

Gone are the days of a simple image growing the interest and success of marketing an idea. New trends in visual storytelling today include GIFs, real-time broadcasts, and infographics.  

GIFs are really starting to take off in popularity even though they have been around for quite a while.

A series of still images looping one after another creates an animation that can visually explain a concept.  

If you would like to create your own GIF I recommend a site called Picasion.  Simply upload a series of images to create your GIF. is a site that will create a GIF from images, a YouTube video, an uploaded video or a webcam.   
Students could create GIFs to demonstrate the steps for solving a math problem, or showing a physics equation. Students could also create a how-to GIF or even a GIF to show a transformation of a living thing.

Real-time broadcasts are also growing in popularity.  Meerkat and Periscope are two such apps.  Periscope grew out of Twitter and is quickly becoming a phenomenon.  If you haven't given Periscope a try, I highly recommend checking it out. There is something about broadcasting an event live and in person that gives this storytelling 
app an edge above other apps and also gives others a chance to interact in real time while the story unfolds.  Students could broadcast a presentation or a science experiment live.

Infographics explain a concept in a very visual and factual way. Even the most complex information can be displayed in an understandable way with an infographic.
I recommend using Pictochart or for creating your own infographics. Both of these sites have templates to help you get started.  Students could collect and display data on a historical event,  science concept, famous person(s), or on a specific location in the world.   Infographics tell a story in a uniquely creative and critical way.

 What is your favorite app or site for visual storytelling? How might you use that tool?  I'd love to hear from you.

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