Have you ever found yourself doodling during faculty meetings? During guest speakers? During professional development? If so, you understand how engaging the kinesthetic portions of your brain can help you focus and remember the content you are attempting to learn, but why is that? "It turns out that various forms of doodling have all kinds of benefits for our brains. Doodling is actually a form of mnemonics, connecting images with information and significantly increasing our ability to remember what we’ve learned. In a 2009 study published in Applied Cognitive Psychology, 40 participants were asked to listen to an extremely boring recorded telephone conversation. Half of them were instructed to doodle as they listened, and half were given no such instructions. At the conclusion of the study, people who doodled remembered 29 percent more information than their counterparts who did not doodle." (Education Week)
What's a Sketchnote?
A sketchnote varies from a doodle in that the images are purposefully related to the content that the listener is absorbing and sense making. Sketchnotes are a way to take notes, as well as a method to allow for creative expression. To be a successful sketchnoter, you do not need to have artistic skills, but you do have to be willing to practice synthesizing ideas using symbols, figures, text and icons.
Consider how some students might greatly benefit from sketchnoting as they listen in the classroom. How can you use sketchnoting to have students demonstrate learning after watching a video or listening to a lecture, guest speaker, audio book or podcast? How can sketchnoting engage the brain for some students in the way 2-column notes and graphic organizers cannot?
Get to Sketchin' - How do I get started?
Some sketchnoters prefer to sketch with ink and paper, while others prefer to sketch digitally. If you are interested in sketching digitally, you might want to check out the Procreate for iPad app (approved for Jeffco), as well as the Musemee stylus or the Paper by Fifty-three stylus.
Although this equipment works well for many teachers to begin their sketchnoting journey, it is often outside of the price range for a typical classroom. To get your students sketchnoting, consider allowing the physical and digital words to collide. Encourage students to show what they've learned and how they have made connections by sketching on paper with pencil or ink. Using a mobile device, have students capture their sketch with the camera or a scanner app. These images can be uploaded to any of the G Suite tools, Google Classroom, Schoology, Google Sites, and more.
Interested in learning how Sylvia Duckworth does her digital sketchnotes? See the video below!
The Sketchnote Challenge
Thursday, January 11th, is World Sketchnote Day #SNDay2018!
We challenge you to try creating your own sketchnote showcasing a bit of new learning! Share your sketchnote with @JeffcoEdTech on Twitter. Don't forget to add the hashtag #SNDay2018, as well. We also encourage you to get your students sketchnoting in the classroom as a way to sense-make new content and make connections.