Sunday, October 30, 2016

Doodle Do!


I've been practicing the fine art of sketching the perfect cube for more than forty years.   Granted, I don't spend a lot of focused time on this task - usually it is practiced in the margins of notebook paper, or something else laying on my counter or desk - but cubes have been a part of who I am, whenever I have a pen or pencil and paper at hand.  I really don't know why I doodle, and I don't feel very creative when I do, yet it is an automated action that just seems to happen.

Turns out its Okay!

When I was student teaching during the last century - yes, sometimes I feel THAT old -- we were actually warned to watch out for doodlers, and find a way to get them engaged in the lesson.  The assumption was that anyone doodling semi-perfect cubes couldn't possibly be listening and comprehending the lesson.  Yet the research that has been put forth in this century suggests that doodling is no longer on the no-no list for students.   Mind/Shift outlined much of the research that exists, supporting doodling or sketchnoting.  Sunni Brown has a fabulous TED Talk on the topic as well.  So why isn't everyone doodling in every classroom?


Face it.  If it has never done it that way before, and you're a student who views every class as something that you aren't interested in OR too valuable to toss away traditional note-taking, chances are fairly good that the idea of drawing pictures isn't high on the list of skills one might attempt.  Yet there are some excellent RSAnimate lectures that have been sketchnoted, which recognizes all the value of multiple intelligences learning.  (Go ahead, watch the Ken Robinson talk on Changing Educational Paradigms -- even if you've watched it before -- simply to consider the power of the sketchnoting!)

Try it on something that might not matter.  Maybe you'll discover that doodling your way through a lecture with intention is exactly what you need for meaningful understanding.  Or perhaps you'll be able to refine your cube-sketching skills to something worthy of fine CADD sketches, or be able to draw Skippy on the back of the matchbook.  (Which really, is soooo last century!)

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