As a closet doodler most of my life I was enthralled to learn that note taking through drawing is not only a practice but an evidence-based accepted practice filled with amazing people working in the field.
To take my visual notes I used to use an iPad & a pogo stylus but I’ve since moved to a Microsoft Surface. I’ve always used AutoDesk Sketchbook Pro on both devices. Sylvia Duckworth recommends ProCreate and I know lots of people who use Paper 53 Brushes. À chacun son goût!
This 4 minute video gives a quick summary of how I use visual practice in my work to plan, organize, teach, and learn.
In 2011 I submitted the following “essay” to UnPlug’d about Why Doodling Matters.
As Temple Grandin says, “the world needs all kinds of minds.” and some of those minds “think in pictures”.
Doodling is a form of external thought that allows you to visualize the connections you are making while thinking. In the conscious mind, doodling can assist concentration and focus but even in the unconscious mind, while doodling and day dreaming connections are made.
As Steven Johnson says, the “mind’s primordial soup” can lead to “serendipitous collisions of creative insight”.
Doodling has allowed connections to be made between people and ideas, the magical space between.
These aspects can lead to better problem solving. By sharing my thinking through visual means, my most important connections have been to people, by way of sharing my perceptions of their ideas, presentations and words back to them. All my drawings are released under Creative Commons and are available on my Flickr stream.
- Nick Sousanis, Professor and Artist, who completed his PhD in brilliant comics format, Unflattening
- Sunni Brown, Doodlers Unite! TED Talk on doodling. She’s hilarious and a great champion for doodling. She has a great book, Doodle Revolution
- Nancy White, Full Circle Associates and Nancy’s Flickr Stream
- Lynda Barry’s Unthinkable Mind Open Syllabus
- Mike Rohde, Sketching: the Visual Thinking Power Tool
- Dave Gray, Visual Thinking Basics
- The Grove Consulting, Ideas & Resources
- D’Antoni, A. 2010. Does the mind map learning strategy facilitate information retrieval and critical thinking in
medical students? BMC Medical Education. 10:61.
- Novak, J. D. & A. J. Cañas, The Theory Underlying Concept Maps and
How to Construct and Use Them, Technical Report IHMC CmapTools 2006-01 Rev 01-2008, Florida
Institute for Human and Machine Cognition, 2008
Workshops & Presentations
Visual Practice for Teaching and Learning Resources, presented to Teacher Education candidates at Brock and UPEI. [online]
Visual Practice at Society for Teaching Learning in Higher Education, Montreal. June 2012
Visual Practice at Canadian Association University Student Services, St.Catharines. June 2012
Visual Note taking on the iPad at MooseCamp Northern Voice, June 2012
Learning by Design. University of Mary Washington Faculty Academy, Fredericksburg, VA. May 2012
Narrative Representations of Teaching and Learning, Educational Developers Caucus. Halifax. February 2012