After reading Unflattening by Nick Sousanis, I couldn't stop thinking about how a true personalized student learning environment must include instructional strategies that are divergent. If we are providing divergent learning opportunities then we have the best chance of impacting all students. If you haven't read Unflattening I highly recommend it. The message of the book is powerfully portrayed, in images. The most incredible aspect of this book is that it is the first dissertation to be published completely in comic form. Nick knew that he had a story to tell. He also knew he couldn't tell that story in words, but he sure could in pictures. How many students in our classrooms can share their learning, their story, in ways besides the written word? Are we offering divergent learning opportunities for these learners?
My oldest child, Kade, is an exceptional self- taught artist. I was curious how using sketchnotes might appeal to him. I co-facilitated a Professional Learning Day at one of our elementary schools this past winter and I brought Kade along. While my partner and I facilitated the session, Kade did a sketchnote. He listened to the message and the collaboration between the staff and created a Sketchnote throughout the session. He captured the essense of the session perfectly. With pictures, words and images. Had I asked Kade to come and 'take notes' during the session, I wonder if the depth of knowledge gained would have been captured? I was sold. Sketchnoting has a place in our classrooms.
One of the most rewarding parts of my job are the moments when teachers share stories of how they have used new instructional strategies with their students. Just the other day, a 2nd grade teacher from that staff meeting back in the spring came up to me and told me how she used sketchnotes with her students at the end of the year. She shared that she was blown away by what her students were able to produce. The best part....the students didn't want the school year to end because they didn't want to stop sharing their learning with each other through sketchnotes. That is POWERFUL.
How might you use the power of sketchnoting with your students this coming year?