Sketchnoting is something I have seen. Anyone that has been on Twitter has seen the amazing sketchnotes of Sylvia Duckworth. I even went so far as to attend a conference with keynote Manuel Herrera, where he presented the research, importance, and benefits of sketchnoting. However, the whole idea of doing it myself was overwhelming. Even though I didn’t completely jump on to the idea, one quote stuck with me in his keynote speech that he shared was “Drawing is not art. Drawing is thinking. If I can’t picture it, I can’t understand it.”~Albert Einstein
That planted a seed. I also started following Manuel Herrera on Twitter and did some surfing through Twitter via the #sketchnoting but it sat in my thoughts and reflections for months.
In mid- February in my trolling of #sketchnoting I came upon the #doodleandchat. It takes place every Saturday at 9:33ish and is a one-hour doodle session live on YouTube with the author, of the book My Pencil Made Me Do It, Carrie Baughcum, and daughter Annabeth. I lurked via twitter and did not jump in as a participant until mid-April.
At that point, schools across the country were in emergency remote teaching, and for the betterment of all Carrie and Annabeth started offering a Wednesday session of #doodleandchat at 6:33ish.
Within that same window, I learned more about two-column notes (a more flexible version of Cornell notes) and graphic organizers as a literacy tool for comprehension. This particularly applied to tier 2 and tier 3 vocabulary across content areas. All my synapses were firing!
I have since read Carrie’s book and have begun exploring my own understanding and comfort with sketchnoting.
Seven things I have come to learn about sketchnoting:
- Uses both sides of the brain–> verbal (left) visual (right)
- Releases creativity- choice in expression
- Helps organize knowledge (fill the page organically)
- Student Voice honored with customized expedient note-taking
- Improves learning/ cements and makes learning meaningful
- Helps to see the big picture
- captures thinking
- focuses on important ideas
- Applicable to many careers/life situations- fosters the executive function skills
Kevin Thorn says that sketchnoting is “A form of visual writing by expressing ideas, concepts, and important thoughts in a meaningful flow by listening, processing, and transferring what you hear by sketching either by analog or digital.”
It can happen as a directed activity or by personal choice. Sylvia Duckworth states that “Sketchnoting is purposeful doodling while listening, reading or watching something. It is also called visual note-taking.”
There seems to be no one way to do sketchnoting. Baughcum’s book provides some great guidelines and suggestions. Her YouTube channel offers some great supports as well.
I also enjoy joining in with her #doodleandchat live sessions to develop my “doodle” voice. It’s where I have discovered my two learning mascots Freddie the Frenchie and Henrietta the Hedgehog. I continue to look forward to adding other learning mascots.
I am just beginning this adventure. I look forward to learning and sharing with learners especially student learners. I am excited for how it provides a platform for expression and their individual voice.
I am still working on remembering that sketchnotes are not about art or perfection. Sketchnotes are about ideas. And for me, they are also a practice of self-care.
If you are wanting to learn more about sketchnoting follow on Twitter @carrie_baughcum, @mauelherrera33, @sylviaduckworth to start.
The sketchnoting community is very welcoming. The #doodlechat community in particular is the most welcoming, encouraging, and compassionate virtual community I have ever stumbled onto. And I am so glad I did… for my teachers, my students, and ME!