Consumption to Curation to Creation – That One Thing
That One Thing, that one thing you do. That was the theme of our digital professional learning program this year. How did you integrate digital tools into your practice this year? What was that one thing you could do with any of our digital resources to facilitate students investigating authentic problems or situations, creating innovative products, demonstrating what they know and are able to do, collaborating inside and out of the classroom, communicating in real time, or even steamlining your workflow? What was that one thing for you? Where do you find yourself in the process of technology integration?
It’s a normal part of the technology integration process to begin with using your digital resources for consumption. It’s convenient. We have a tool right in our hands, the iPad, and we don’t have to wait to logon: email, reading, research at the tip of our fingers. This is an important part of the adoption process, because it gives us the opportunity to become more proficient with the device.
What’s next? Curating materials is the next step. Curating is the process of gathering materials and resources and sifting through them to find the most meaningful ones and incorporate them in an organized manner. Our filing cabinets are physical representations of this concept. Having a digital tool at our fingertips opens the door to an unimaginable world of resources that would burst that filing cabinet. Explore what’s out there!
There comes a time when we need to create our own materials for instruction. Again, our filing cabinets are filled with examples of content that we have created over time to meet our instructional needs. Our digital tools offer the opportunity to innovate what those resources look like. Sometimes it takes just a bit of inspiration to see the possibilities. Where do we find that inspiration? We find that by observing our peers and collaborating with them. We find that by exploring what other educators are sharing with us online.
This really isn’t a linear path into digital teaching and learning. I see this as a circular process of consuming, curating, creating and back to consuming. This is a constructive practice woven in and throughout the Technology Integration Matrix and the SAMR model of technology integration. When we move from our entry into technology integration to adoption, adaptation, and transformation, we revisit the stages of consumption, curation and creation as we refine our art and practice.
Where were you this year regarding your content and use of materials? What was That One Thing you did this year? Next week will bring a look at the Technology Integration Matrix and reflect on where we are in the Matrix.
Have you seen those illustrations depicting various concepts in journals, magazines or online? Those are Sketchnotes! While some might call these doodles, they are really so much more. A sketchnote is a visual representation of a topic that requires listening and synthesis of information.
What is the process? One description calls the process “circular breathing”: listening, synthesizing and visualizing (Berman). It’s about transforming what you hear into a visual piece of communication, structuring that understanding, giving a hierarchy to the concepts and synthesizing the information. It’s an individual, personal experience that isn’t about being an artist.
What do I need? Most avid sketchnoters agree that there are certain elements of a sketchnote: text, containers (shapes), connectors (lines and arrows), and icons (stick people, smileys, etc.). As you become more comfortable, try adding shading and color. Of course, you’ll need a medium. Blank paper and a comfortable writing utensil are the best places to start. Is there an app for that? Of course! Pair a stylus with an app like Notability, Penultimate, Paper by 53, Inkflow, Procreate, Sketchbook Express, or Autodesk Sketchbook. Digital or paper, it’s really about what is most comfortable for the user.
Why sketchnote at all? Sketchnoting is personal and expressive experience which encourages the note-taker to interact with the material in new and different ways. The note-taker is engaged, making connections to the material and “adding some joy” to their notes (Irgens). Research has found that as a learning strategy, it can help learners “organize and integrate their knowledge and ultimately be transformative.” It can also provide “teachers with windows into students’ thinking” as well as being a means for peers to “share knowledge, discovery and understanding” (Davis).
What can I do now? Start with me! This is an area of growth for me, one that I’m diving into and cultivating. Take it easy and try some templates like these from “Complete The Doodle” Challenge or join me in 50 Days of Sketches promoting a growth mindset with educators. Follow the hashtag #Sketch50 on twitter to see what others are sharing.
What can I do next week? Want to try bringing this into your classroom? Start by allowing students to sketchnote as they take notes in class. Encourage them to share or present their notes. Students are often really proud of these notes! Check out this Social Studies example or include students in the 50 Days of Sketches challenge.
What can I do next month? Assign sketchnotes to your class. Have students share their notes in an LMS forum, using the Remind app, posting in Schoology, or uploading to a class Padlet. Did your students use pen and paper instead of an app? No problem! Have them take a picture and upload their sketchnote from the camera.
Some additional thoughts on sketchnoting. This is a brief introduction to sketchnoting. There are books, websites, podcasts and YouTube playlists devoted to this. This is about trying something different and engaging using digital tools or a combination of traditional and digital. There are sketchnoters that have turned this into a hobby and have preferences regarding type of paper, brand of pens, apps and stylus. Don’t let them keep you from trying! If you’re ready for more, explore some of the sites and videos linked here for more information.
*We have these apps available in our App Catalog/
A few of my favorite Sketchnote links:
I am a Digital Learning Coach by title, but lifelong learner by practice. An Apple Teacher, Google Certified Educator and Microsoft Innovative Educator, my goal is to assist educators in investigating, exploring, and investigating resources to embed in their instruction. I also hope to be a part of their journey toward an innovative and transformative practice that empowers learners and strengthens their own craftsmanship. I spends my free time with my family, my dogs and a good cup of coffee.