One of my goals for my time at the ISTE Conference was to practice sketchnoting on the iPad Pro using the Apple Pencil and the Paper app. I had a great time doing it! I found that I was significantly less distracted when sketchnoting than if I was typing into a word processor, and thoroughly engaged (even though I was internally debating over which color to shade the box and how large to make the title).
I also attended two great sketchnoting sessions. One was presented by Matt Miller and the other was a panel facilitated by Vicki Davis and featured Kathy Schrock, Sylvia Duckworth and Carrie Baughcum talking about how they got started sketchnoting, how they use it with their students, and about some favorite resources.
My first attempts at sketchnoting during the conference appear below, in reverse order. I feel like I can already see how I improved, and that was just in a couple of days. Check back for more attempts (sketchnoting at URJ Camp Newman, anyone?) and for my thoughts on how I’ll teach this to actual students this fall.
Sketchnoting in Education session:
Using Games, Play, Digital Media to Build Your Own Maker Culture session:
Matt Miller’s Sketchnotes: Tools and Tactics for Visual Notetaking Session:
Sketchnoting Exercise from Matt’s session:
Innovation and Tradition in Jewish Education Jewish Educators’ Network
Innovative Learning Spaces session:
I was fortunate enough, earlier this week, to attend the closing colloquium for the Teachers Institute I staffed this year. We combined with a second Institute – the Teachers Institute for the Arts, staffed by the fabulous Elyssa Moss Rabinowitz and David Moss of Kol Haot.
During the colloquium, Tim and Jenny from Creative Connections live sketched the event. They live sketched the opening workshop for the Teachers Institute for the Arts last summer, so the participants in that program were familiar with their work.
This just blew me away! This is very similar to sketchnoting, although it’s more a reporting than a processing of the information. I love it, though!
A few tips from Tim:
- Most text goes into containers
- Containers can “layer,” that is, appear to be under or over one another
- Use color
- Don’t use visual clichés
Watching Tim and Jenny work during the colloquium was fascinating, and made me want to pursue sketchnoting even more.
And speaking of pursuing sketchnoting more…
Sketchnote Army is a great resource if you’re looking to learn more about sketchnoting as is their new podcast. I listened to episode one on my commutes yesterday and today (I have a short drive!), and the info was just great!
I’m starting a new feature called “learn with me.” I realized that, more than anything else, I’m curious. About everything.
As a child, I was constantly reading. I remember not being able to eat breakfast unless the cereal box (now, there’s some fascinating literature) was sitting in front of me so I could read it. Of course, that was before the Internet. Now, I find myself eating dinner in front of the TV, with my iPad or phone in front of me. I realize that’s not what a nutritionist would suggest, but it’s perfect for a lifelong learner.
Anyway, whenever people ask me what I love most about my job, my answer typically is that there’s always something new to learn. I rarely do things the same way twice. In fact, the best part of repeating something you did before is figuring out how to improve on last year’s effort.
So one of the things I’ve been learning about is sketchnoting. Sketchnoting is essentially taking notes but doing it in an interesting visual manner; incorporating images (like icons), color and other diagramming tools. For instance, Sir Ken Robinson’s TED talk accompanied by the RSA animation is a professional and incredibly powerful example of sketchnoting:
We will be getting a cart of iPad Pros next year with Apple Pencils, so I have been studying the whole sketchnoting field and figuring out how to teach it to my 7th and 8th grade students next year. Why sketchnoting on an iPad?
First, I figure the iPad app Paper will be a terrific way for the students to be able to combine sketching with using the iPad. Paper is a great app, and there are lots of ways that students will be able to use it. The advantage to using the iPad for sketchnoting is that electronic sketchnotes can easily be shared and tagged for reference.
Thoughts about teaching students to sketchnote:
The first is the “why.” I’ll start with why we take notes, and how studies are showing that taking notes using your hand is more effective than typing them.
The second will be to learn how to use Paper and the stylus. There are a number of terrific tutorials here. Then we’ll have the students create their own drawings using the app.
Next, we will work on learning how to actually sketchnote. This will be the tricky part – kids need to learn how to LISTEN and figure out what the important stuff is (which is why taking notes by hand rather than trying to just transcribe everything they hear). I think this will be the hard part, but certainly the most beneficial. There are several lessons plans online that incorporate sketchnoting:
I think it will be helpful to find some TED talks that are of interest to the specific grade level, and practice sketchnoting to those, before using them in an actual class. In fact – that’s what I’m doing to hone my sketchnoting skills.
The other thing that I’ll do with my students is have them develop their own library of images (ideas, important connections, for more information, etc.) and then put them on the side of a drawing (like a key). Then, they can use that drawing as a template for each of their subsequent sketchnotes. That way, they don’t have to figure out how to redraw an image over and over; they can just select and copy it to wherever they need it when they’re doing the actual sketchnote.
I’m excited to try sketchnoting! Stay tuned!
I’ve been doing more experimenting with our new Silhouette Cameo and discovering ways that my colleagues will be able to use it. One of our upcoming Yom HaAtzmaut projects is decorating challah covers for lone soldiers in Israel and we wanted to create stencils for the students to use.
Enter the Silhouette!
I created a series of shapes and words for the students to put on the challah covers and we used the Silhouette to cut them out of laminated thin cardstock. This is a cost effective (even with the laminating) way to provide custom stencils. We were able to get four stencils out of each piece of paper.
This summer, we’re repurposing a computer lab into an innovation lab and I could not be more excited! The new lab will be a collaboration and creation space, with movable furniture, writeable walls, and awesome equipment. We’ll be sporting iPad Pros and Chromebooks in there, a poster printer, color printer, 3D printer, and a Silhouette Cameo machine.
What’s a Silhouette? It’s a crafty teacher’s dream – a machine that hooks up to your laptop or computer, and cuts where you tell it to cut. Essentially, it’s a die-cut machine on steroids. You can buy designs for it, or create your own. The machine will cut paper, cardstock, sticker paper, and fabric.
I spent a couple days playing with it (sigh…the tsuris of a tech ed director), and I really think this will be transformative for my colleagues. I’m seeing creative uses for bulletin boards, classroom aids, bookmarks, stickers as well as a myriad of possibilities for student work.
One of the projects I’d like to see is teaching stop-motion animation using an iPad app. As preparation, the students will create a background (set design) using the poster printer, print inanimate objects using the Silhouette and then create articulated characters using the 3D printer. Imagine we were retelling “Little Red Riding Hood” – students would print the forest background on the poster printer, trees and grandmother’s house on the Silhouette, and Red Riding Hood and the Wolf using the 3D printer. How cool would this be?
One of the features I think will be most exciting to my colleagues is print and cut. With this feature, you print your design to a regular printer using the software-supplied registration marks. Then, you put the printed piece through the Silhouette and the machine magically reads the registration marks and knows exactly where to cut. It’s magic, I tell you! Check out the image on the right – how amazing is the detail cutting around the music notes at the bottom and the waving hand at the top?
Stay tuned for more creative uses for the Silhouette cutting machine and our innovation lab adventures!