One of the more recent podcasts I've been listening to is Trailblazers from Walter Isaacson . In this podcast, he looks into moments in history which saw explosions of innovation. Each episode has a theme, some examples are the innovation in the automotive industry, maps and the world of movies to name a few. In this most recent episode, he looks at a person instead. This person being the ultimate Innovator, Leonardo da Vinci.
I highly recommend this for anyone and don't think you have to be a history teacher to find interesting in this incredible life.
But it is a line early on from this podcast that motivated me to blog. It was where he talks about note taking. Give it a listen here. Be sure to listen starting at the 3:00 mark
The timing of this coincides with me making a concerted shift to do all my note taking from here on out in my life on paper. I find so many reason for this. First off, it is where I am comfortable. Plus it allows me to move more quickly than I can on a device and like the podcast mentioned, there is a sense of permanence to it. I've been trying this for awhile and yes as a tech enthusiast I get razzed from time to time for breaking out the notepad.
But this is not just me, there are lot of educators out there turning to their pens and notepads. About a year ago I was able to visit some ed tech friends, Tom Covington and Michael Jephcott in Basset School district. While I was there, I remember Tom sharing with me how he has been committed to jotting down his thoughts on his trusted Moleskine notebooks. He even showed me how he saves each one of them and they are that forever reminder of this thoughts, notes and ideas. This was EXACTLY what Isaacson was talking about in his podcast about Leonardi; this type of medium will last for generations. Tom's commitment to this type of notetaking sat with me for awhile.
There are many others out in the community as well who are putting pen to paper. In fact, there is a movement towards doodles and drawing called sketchnoting. For those of you who haven’t heard of this, sketchnotes are “purposeful doodling while listening to something interesting.” I’ve been dabbling in this a little and want to keep at it.
This last week, I had the opportunity to travel to Los Angeles with many educators from my district here in Rocklin, CA to visit the Museum of Tolerance. I hope to blog about this incredibly powerful learning experience that we all took part in later as it helped so many of not just think about the history but to really think about HOW we can dialogue with our students and critical issues. Throughout the two days, I tried to document these experiences through photos like you can see below but also with my first real attempt at sketchnoting which you can see here:
Lastly, let me leave you with THREE resources about sketchnoting if want to give it a try:
1) Sylvia Duckworth - nuff said! She has inspired so many educators with her work and you can check her and her stuff out here
2) Try these two books
Sketchnote for Educators Paperback – December 7, 2016
by Sylvia Duckworth
The Sketchnote Handbook: the illustrated guide to visual note taking 1st Edition
by Mike Rohde
and here is a video from Mike Rohde about how to get started sketchnoting