Monday, March 2, 2015

Getting my art on at TIG

This month at TIG we took a different exploration direction and did something totally non-techie.  Well, you could turn it into a techie thing depending on the tool you used, but I'll talk about that more later.  A 'new' educational trend is Sketchnoting.  To look at a sketchnote, you would say 'Oh, that's just someone doodling while they are taking notes.'  True, sketchnoting is a form of doodling, but it is doodling with a purpose.  Basically, sketchnoting is a visual method of note taking.  It is a combination of writing and drawing to create more visually appealing notes.  There are many methods to choose from when sketchnoting.  You can use a mind mapping approach, a linear approach or even a boxed approach.

My first Sketchnote experience
Since most of us at TIG had heard of sketchnoting, but hadn't really explored or experienced it first hand, we dove into a variety of resources.  We looked at everything from tools for getting started to video tutorials on sketchnote doodling.  We also jumped in with both feet and did our own sketchnotes over a 20 minute TED Talk.  I have to admit that while I didn't see much of the session, I was keyed in on what the speaker was saying.  Although I've always been a note taker, it helps me focus, adding the visual of sketchnoting really planted the ideas in my mind and helped me recall the information.

Now, I am not an artist by any means.  My middle school art teacher told me to give up the craft because I was too much of perfectionist.  I've never even been much of a doodler even when we use to have the old corded telephones in our homes.  It wasn't for lack of trying, but I never could think of anything to doodle.  However, after experiencing sketchnoting first hand, I found myself buying some colorful pens and a sketch book.  I've started practicing my doodling skills with some assistance from online resources and the Sketchnote Workbook by Mike Rohde.

As I started writing this blog post, I started thinking and looking at how sketchnoting might be used in the classroom.  First, I want to say that sketchnoting might not be for all learners, however, it's not a bad thing for all learners to experience new forms of learning.  Why?  Well, it gives us new perspectives into learning and you never know when a new form of learning might actually work for you.  One idea we did talk about in TIG was having students watch a content video created by yourself or someone else and sketchnote the key points.  Then put the students into small groups and have them compare their notes and reflect on the experience.  What key points stood out to them?  Did they miss anything?  Do the visuals help you understand the concept?  What did you draw and why did you draw it?

As sketchnoting is still fairly new on the education scene, I did some digging to find other ideas for using this form of note taking with students.  Check out these examples:

Mindmapping - This activity combined low-tech and high-tech to create a completed product.

Unit Summaries/Reviews -  Great way to sum-up the key concepts over specific units

Book Review/Summary - Take the traditional chapter summaries and add a visual flare

More ideas:

Learn more about Sketchnotes:
Sketchnoting - visual note taking tips, pointers and practice

What do think?  Are you game to try some sketchnoting personal?  Would you be willing to try this with your students?  I'd love to hear about your experiences with sketchnoting!

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