B5wN6m8IEAAXfBx For anyone who has been to a conference lately, I’m sure  that positioned on one wall or displaying their work on a  screen via a data projector there was a talented artist  capturing the key components, phrases and resources  with words, pictures and symbols in what has become  known as a Sketchnote.

As you scroll through Twitter Feeds, you don’t have to scroll for too long before you see a Sketchnote, with Sylvia Duckworth being one of the most popular sketchnote artists, but the list of others using this strategy is growing.

I find when I retweet one of those Sketchnotes, I receive a number of favourites and retweets, which speaks to the popularity of displaying information in this format.

About 10 years ago, as a board we were beginning to embrace Instructional Intelligence strategies, with two of them being mind and concept maps. Hallways were decorated with a variety of maps as we started to support the idea of having our students making their thinking visible.

When my daughter was studying for exams in both secondary school and university, she would create a concept mind as an effective tool for studying.

So, lately I’ve started to wonder if concept maps and Sketchnotes are the same thing with just a different name and then today I came across this article which outlines the differences.

Schools Need to Include More Visual Based Learning

I also wondered about the power of the Sketchnotes for my own learning and what better way to quench my curiosity than to give it a try.  I’ll share that my first challenge was to work through my inability to draw. My maternal grandmother, my aunt and my mom have all been blessed with incredible artistic abilities.  I have a couple of “go-to” simple drawings that have gotten me by, but the thought of capturing my thinking in pictures (which others may actually see) is scary, to say the least.

The next challenge was to select the topic. As I don’t have any conferences in my immediate future, I decided to take a piece of blank paper and thin tipped marker to church on Sunday and “sketch” my way through the service.  My background knowledge on biblical references is still in its infancy, so I find myself learning something new each week.  Using Sketchnotes would be a good test to determine, not only my initial learning, but my ability to retain information.

So…… here goes!

The topic was “Encouragement” and the life of Barnabas.





My reflections on my first Sketchnote:

I took too long to think about what I wanted to draw, so I missed capturing some of the message.
I’m wondering how to better capture the train of thought. In looking at my notes I’m not sure that I could retell the story in the same order.
As it took me awhile to figure out how to capture “shady”, I will always remember that Paul, was once known as a shady character.
I will always remember that Walt Disney was encouraged by his aunt, who gave him his first drawing tool.

As with all new learning, this was only my first kick at the can.  I’ll keep you posted as I continue to explore Sketchnotes as a learning/teaching/sharing tool.

Have you thought about using Sketchnotes to capture your thinking?

Come write with me….

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