My Sketchnoting Journey

I am feeling very fortunate to again be learning with Silvia Tolisano and adding to my repertoire of communication tools and digital literacy.  The challenge of the moment (outside of writing a blog post on the dime), is trying my hand at sketchnoting.  I believe without yet truly studying its function that sketchnoting is an tool that will allow me to create customized, colourful and artistic visuals.  I’m sure it has limitless applications and I look forward to exploring what it can mean for my communications, or as Silvia explains with making thinking visual.

Now onto researching this so I can better understand…

If you too are a beginner, Sunni Brown’s book the Doodle Revolution and Sylvia Duckworth’s How to Sketchnote: A Step-By-Step Manual for Teachers and Students are great springboards.  Sylvia Duckworth also shares these valuable Google Slides on launching your sketchnote efforts: Sketchnoting for Beginners.  It is amazing to witness the endless creativity and depth of thought that work in tandem when Sketchnoting.

Silvia anchored our first attempt at sketchnoting in creating a sketch featuring 10 Sketchnoting Tips.  We used the app Paper by WeTransfer which had several free tools available.  Here is my first creation.

I have to say that I found this exercise exciting and loved the challenge of capturing ideas and reflections in one visual.  I experimented with fonts, pictures, icons, overlaying, the watercolour feature (which was my favourite)  and capturing my ideas succinctly.  I will absolutely revisit sketchnoting and would really like to see what unlocking the other features would invite to the creating.  I would also like a fine-tipped stylus tool so that I can really draw in a more detailed way with more control.  Also, time to find my flow.  I can see that proficiency would allow me to sketchnote in the moment with info informing what I am committing to the sketch (i.e. in a lecture or note-taking at a meeting).  As a novice, I will need more time to better understand all of the ins and outs.  Especially not accidentally erasing part of my sketch by smudging with my hand (left-handers beware), which seems to have inadvertently affected tip #2 of my sketch.

As an educator, I think this would help students, but again, they would need time to first plan and then really create.  I wouldn’t want to create frustration by having a lofty goal as they explore the possibilities.  This would invite opportunities for students at a beginner level to create art, as a mind-mapping opportunity, to make cards or invites, posters, as well as capture their favourite quotes.  I think it could be used as a tool to help a student re-regulate.  It could then after practice be used for mind-mapping and planning out stories, taking notes and other more intensive purposes.

I certainly look forward to practicing and also identifying ways I can sketchnote at school with other educators and students.  No question it is a great addition to my digital literacy toolbox.