Saturday, October 31, 2015

Sketchnote-Journey to Simplify Complexity

Have you ever gone to a full day professional learning event, discovered wonderful implications for practice, and have scheduled 15 minutes to present the learning at an already full staff meeting? How can one effectively communicate hours of presentation, interaction, and processing in 15 minutes?

Inspiring experiences at conferences and retreats pose a similar information transfer conundrum- so much is learned, but few innovations are implemented once the learner returns to practice. Recreating the energy and remembering details become difficult when faced with everyday demands; grand plans for projects or shifting practice made in the learning environment fade.




Sir Ken Robinson's Changing Education Paradigms

Four or so years ago I saw the above video of Sir Ken Robinson's Changing Education Paradigms and was captivated; the presentation was both engaging and informative. The combination of illustration and explanation made the historic and contemporary concerns regarding public education clear. I enjoy analyzing complexity, digging in and exploring from every angle to understand connections, apparent contradictions, and possible perspectives, and struggle sharing my thoughts on the same complex concepts. My memory of that experience, of the powerful combination of media and message, prompted my goal to learn to effectively capture key points and illustrate complex ideas to improve my communication when presenting or otherwise sharing my learning.

Rachel Smith's video on Visual Recording on the iPad

I started with  Rachel Smith's video on Visual Recording on the iPad and discovered even more possibilities. In this informative video Rachel (@ninmah) also provides summaries of different apps-although this version is dated, it focuses attention on important things to consider.

After seeing the power of combining visuals and notes I started collecting pictures of materials at workshops and adding notes in Explain Everything. This provided great experience capturing thoughts, although my writing is not very neat!






Inspiration may be found in this list of 50 ways to take a break -my practice includes creating 'go to' icons to increase fluency when sketchnoting.







Another place to investigate: Kathy Schrock provides an excellent guide to sketchnoting resources in her blog-click here.


Sylvia Duckworth ((@sylviaduckworth) is well known for her conceptual interpretations; going through her Flickr account is a rich experience!

Link here

Link to Tweet


The Nov 1 chat with +Sylvia Duckworth prompted me to prepare my introduction below; my first shared sketchnote :)


Four steps to Sketchnoting Success

  • Start with simplicity
  • Combine simple elements
  • Connect ideas 
  • Add details 

As you increase the complexity you will improve communication and transfer of ideas. 


Icons to practice for future sketchnotes

Sharing professional development and capturing ideas for implementation require innovative processes of interpretation to be more effective. I have made it a goal to sketchnote to better share ideas in presentations and other communication.  Adding sketchnoting skills to your repertoire is a worthy challenge.

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