New learning at Thanksgiving. Why not? – SCN Encourager 12/2/2013

It’s good to be back on schedule with the Encourager.

I hope your Thanksgiving weekend contained a few “nice surprises” to go along with your holiday traditions.

Don’t worry.

I won’t ask you if you missed the Encourager last Thursday and Friday.

I always used to ask Cindy if she missed me whenever I returned from an occasional overnight conference.

I’ve learned not to ask these kinds of questions anymore.

But this doesn’t mean that I still don’t have a lot to learn.

My journey toward average will continue for quite a while yet.

Screen Shot 2013-12-01 at 3.35.08 PMSeveral Thanksgiving related infographics caught me eye.

This one reads “Jingle Bells was originally written as a Thanksgiving song. (Deal with it.)”

Swell. A fun fact with an attitude.

But it works.

The following infographic works well, too.

And if you keep our school communicator’s prerogative of “copying and stealing” in mind, you might like its potential.

It’s simple and easily replicated. Here ’tis. It’s called “Fun Thanksgiving Day Facts.”

There are no edgy persona and snarky comments — which makes it perfect for school use.

There’s nothing a superintendent or board president could object to.

So let’s check out another Thanksgiving infographic with a bit more “bite.”

Forget the tame and timid!

Take a look at this one.

At least now you’ll know who brought the first beer to that very first feast.

And you’ll also see why the American Bald Eagle is a protected species.

Now here’s the troubling part of all of this… for me, that is.

Even though I could pull together some fun facts and figures about my school district or one of its programs, I’d struggle with creating an engaging infographic.

Even if a sharp-tongued middle schooler provided me the side comments to use, I know I could only develop a visually unappealing infographic, so what would be the point of trying?

Well, with 2014 one month away — maybe it’s time for me to change this thinking.

Since so many individuals are already taking charge of their lives and penciling in skydiving and Peruvian treasure hunting onto their calendars — why not join them in their reckless abandon?

So I’ve decided to plunge into the devil-may-care world of infographics beginning today.

And, if they can somehow muster up the necessary courage, the sky-divers and treasure hunters are welcome to jump on board with me.

Here’s where I’m turning for help.

It won’t identify your target audience for you… or magically produce your facts and witticisms… but once you’ve pulled all of your your stuff  together (copy, photos, art, etc.) — the rest is pretty much template-driven with a “drag and drop” process.

And bingo!

The cost of this web-based software service is normally $168-360 per year for business types and free-lancers.

But if you go on the Pictochart website, check out the hefty educator discount.

Educators only have to pay $40 annually.

You do have to fill out a short “educator approval” form to get the low rate, but dang, if they’ll take me — you’re a shoe-in!

Believe me, they’re no doubt looking to expand their client base in Michigan beyond this ol’ grizzled veteran whose primary skillset involves pounding out “bullet points.”

Have a productive Monday!

Tom Page, SCN
carMON 12213






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