While it's a form of notetaking that has been around for a little while now, some may not be aware of sketchnoting as applied to student use. This method of notetaking helps to summarize thoughts in a unique way. Originally posted in September of 2020, author Chad Fisher provides his take on this for use with students. Connect with him on Twitter at @Chad_the_ITC.
Sketchnoting is something that has been around for a little while now. This method of taking notes is a little different than your typical outlines and takes a lot more thought in the planning of your drawings. But that can be the beauty of sketchnoting. You really have to conceptualize what you're hearing and make sense of it in order to place it into some type of drawing that can make sense to you.
Last year I was asked to come into a classroom and talk about some possible digital options that students could use for creating sketchnotes. One option that I thought of is called Autodraw. This online tool is part of Google's experimental labs and has been in use for several years now and isn't the only tool online that students can use. Autodraw is a little different from other drawing applications though in that users don't have to have the best of drawing skills in order to make or draw things. You just need to start drawing something and the app will make suggestions as to what it is that you're trying to draw. You just select the closest object to what you wanted and it takes the place of what you were drawing. It's not always 100% accurate but I was surprised at how well it actually worked.
The Autodraw app lends itself very well to sketchnoting but doesn't only need to be used with notetaking. Drawings created in the application can be downloaded and then reused in whatever way that is needed or required. So if there's a reason why you need students to draw online consider this as a good option for those who feel they lack the necessary drawing skills.
With the current lack of participation by many students who may be working virtually, Sketchnoting may be one avenue to think about to get students more involved. Yes. Not all students may enjoy working with this notetaking technique but some may. Why not at least give it a try? Even if students don't use the online method and instead use old fashioned paper and pencil they may get more out of listening to their teachers doing online presentations or videos.