Thursday, February 7, 2013

Just in time for flu season!

Flu InfographicWhile we're in the midst of one of the worst flu seasons in the U.S. in a decade, the infographic to the left sent to me by Allison Morris serves as a timely reminder to be smart and take care of yourself this winter (click on the image to enlarge). It suggests to me that now might also be a good time to play some smart flu-themed games like the fun and gross germ-spreading game, Sneeze, the more serious flu games Killer Flu and Flu Epidemic,  or the ever popular kill-all-the-humans disease mutation game, Pandemic 2.

But beyond just giving me an excuse to post some fun games, this infographic also got me thinking... wouldn't tasking students with making an infographic actually be a really engaging assignment/assessment tool for them? I think it might be particularly fitting compliment to the kind of lesson plan I envisioned for teaching with that other great flu-themed health game, The Great Flu.

Students could combine statistics gathered from their own playthrough of a game, pair that with some well-researched real-world data, and then package it up in one snazzy infographic. Of course, students couldn't be expected to create something comparable to the graphic here, but it would  certainly allow them to flex their creativity and their research skills without having to writer a lengthy composition.

I'm sure as a student I would have been much more excited about making an infographic for homework than I would have been about writing yet another paper, even though I'm not an especially gifted artist. Still, I'd love to hear the thoughts, both good and bad, of anyone who has experience tasking students with making an infographic as an assignment.

Ok, time to take the teaching cap off.  Pedagogy aside, the main message today is quite simple: stay healthy this flu season, dear readers!

Graphic courtesy of

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