Learning by Design: Sketchnoting in DS106

By | February 17, 2012

Jim Groom invited me to present to his DS106 class yesterday. Unfortunately this week has been a challenge to do things in the evenings synchronously so I pre-recorded this video [7min]

For those of you who can’t sit through 7 minutes of video, here’s a quick outline of the talk:
Untitled #117
Introduction to me (In B&W, then in living colour!)
Sources of Inspiration: Text

Sources of Inspiration: Listening

Sources of Inspiration: Your Beautiful Mind
  • Layout
  • Lettering
  • Basic Shapes
  • Metaphors

DS106 Dooodling

Oh. And one more thing

I have housed all my Visual Notes resources on a special page but this video was my first time talking through a few of my work. It took far longer to create than I’d like to admit and in hindsight, I forgot a few key points to remember when taking on the fun challenge of live sketchnoting.

Reading from the twitter stream and looking at the Flickr ds106doodles after the fact, I think Jim had them listen to Ken Robinson’s Changing Education Paradigm. I love that talk and I think it’s a testament to the students that I can identify that’s what they were listening to, just by looking at their sketchnotes.

I read some of their comments and they had difficulty keeping up. And this is common. This is where the real focus and fun comes in because knowing that you have to draw something to convey the essential points of a talk makes you pay very close attention. You need to be selective about what you decide to write and draw. Sometimes you’re able to keep the thought in your head and draw a lot of it and other times, you just have to let it pass.

Some presenters are easier to sketchnote than others because they state right up front what main ideas they will be discussing. I tend to enjoy classes that run this way too. I’ve read from other incredible visual notetakers that sometimes they even ask for an outline from a talk beforehand. The big thing is that it takes practice. TED talks are excellent for this because they are a great length, interesting and released under creative commons. You can listen and re-listen and hone in your skill. Of course, as Jim showed, the RSA videos are exemplary.

SIDE NOTE (how I did the movie):

I took a picture of my hand holding a pen on paper with my iPhone.

Original drawing

Imported it into Brushes on my iPad.
Created a new layer.
Drew on the top layer.
Exported the brushstrokes as Actions.
Imported into iMovie.
Recorded Audio using iMovie as I watched the animation.

I have been meaning to do a video of what this looks like since a few of my visual practice friends are not familiar with layers and I cannot live without them. Life without layers is so flat.

2 thoughts on “Learning by Design: Sketchnoting in DS106

  1. Lou McGill

    loved that you made a video cause I am having difficulties with time this year and connecting to ds in synch.

    Of course you already know I am a fan but I never considered having a go myself. I will try it out now I think. Very helpful for people like me who can’t draw… But of course I can make shapes; )

  2. Pingback: Guilia Forsythe talks Sketchnoting | bavatuesdays

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