I’ve talked about my love for the web-based data visualization tool Datawrapper before, but there is a free tool that has begun to capture my heart and would be a great addition to your newsrooms: Flourish.
The cleverness of Flourish is its ability to animate without coding. It uses a spreadsheet on the back end, but the animations are all built into the templates themselves.
For our students, using this tool can add a bit of animation to data to make it more dynamic on a website or social platforms. (It makes a fun interactive on a smartboard during broadcasts, too.)
Also, Flourish is well-suited to election coverage, which we will see a lot of very soon. Whether it’s the balance of power in a governing body (hypothetical below) or the polling horserace leading up to a local or national election, there are great templates available.
If you and your students find this tool useful and applicable, I’d also encourage you to take one of the MOOCs (massive open online courses) through the Knight Center for Journalism in the Americas. I just finished “Data Journalism and Visualization with Free Tools,” and although it was challenging to work in around the rest of life, the benefit to me professionally was quite worth it.