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Friday, February 10, 2012

Improve Studying Habits: 4 Free Infographic-Making Tools by Kimberly Wilson

Today I have Kimberly Wilson as guest blogger. Please be sure to check out her unique guest post. Guest posts are always welcome, please contact me.

People have different approaches on how they prepare for upcoming exams, but some studies suggest that creating visual aids like graphs, diagrams and charts of crucial data is a great way for students to retain information and score big on tests.

But making them from pen and paper is so 20th century—luckily there are tons of digital services available for users on the internet to transform data, facts, and stats into infographics which can help both online students and instructors prepare for upcoming tests–and the best part? They're free. To try out the top four we’ve hand-selected, continue reading below.

1. Creately
Creatley is a great service that allows users to create simple yet powerful and engaging diagrams, flowcharts, concept and mind maps. While there is no registration required, there is a fee to gain access to its services—fortunately the site gives away 5 diagrams as a promotional package.
2. Cacoo
Cacoo allows users to create vivid diagrams such as site maps, wire frames, UML and network charts. While there are membership packages users can purchase, the service does offer a free basic plan. There is also an "academic plan" that is available free for students and teachers until June 30, 2012.

3. StatSilk
StatSilk is a free, interactive "visualization software" that allows users to make infographics of really advanced maps—and the possibilities are theoretically endless. Whether you're trying to make a visual aid on climate change, food security, migration or human development for example, this infographic tool can really come in handy for history, geography, and geology majors. There are a couple of software components that you need first before you can begin map making, most of which can easily be downloaded online for free.

4. Wordle
Lastly, Wordle, which is also a completely free infographic-making tool, allows users to create a "word cloud" (or sometimes referred to as a tag cloud) using text that the user enters into the software; users can also enter all of the text directly derived from a blog or any Web page. Change the color, style, and font as you like. Infographics are free to print. This sort of diagram is perfect for memorizing vocabulary terms and important historical dates. You need the latest version of Java to run the program.
Kimberly Wilson is from accredited online colleges, she writes on topics including career, education, student life, college life, home improvement, time management etc.