A few weeks ago I did a unit on visual note-taking with my students. I’ve been fascinated by visual notes (or #viznotes, sketchnotes, etc) for a few months now and I think they are a great way for students to get engaged with lectures. I looked at a lot of examples and realized that TED talks were the perfect entrance into visual notetaking. My students started by looking at examples of visual notes and then trying their own while we listened to a TED talk in class. Then, for the next week or so they chose a TED talk to watch for homework each night and completed at least a page of visual notes.
THIS WAS AWESOME. My kids had the opportunity to watch at least 10 TED talks about subjects they were passionate about. They started sharing TED talks and making recommendations to me and their classmates. My more visual learners excelled at sketch notes and were great about helping their classmates. And those, like me, who aren’t artistic? They also had a great time stretching their brains and trying something new. You don’t need to be an artist to take visual notes- you just need to be willing to try something new.
Towards the end of the unit I had the students watch Peter Diamandis’ TED talk from TED 2012: Full Spectrum. They watched Abundance is Our Future in silence, taking their own notes. Then, I had them collaborate on our whiteboards, coming up with one class set of notes. It was a great experience and one I highly recommend! Below are the results.
Some resources on visual notes/notetaking:
- How to Sketchnote
- The Miseducation of the Doodle
- Sketchnotes 101
- Sketchnoting Techniques
- Visual Notetaking: Wish We Had this in School
- Tom Wujec on Three Ways the Brain Creates Meaning
- Fundamentals of Visual Notetaking
- Teaching with Infographics
- Collaborative Visual Notetaking
- David McCandless: The Beauty of Data Visualization