Drawing some pictures at #altc and beyond

Keynote: Bonnie Stewart – The new norm(al): Confronting what open means for higher education

Over the last few years I have been, rather than taking notes in the keynotes (and other sessions) at the ALT Conference #altc drawing pictures. This is sometimes called sketchnoting.

My sketch notes are really for me, rather than other people. The process of sketching allows my to digest for myself what is been talked about and demonstrated. The sketch note provides me with a mechanism that provides a process for my interpretation of what is being said and what I understand from the talk. The process of sketching engages me in the talk in ways in which note taking does for others, or conversing on the Twitter. They are not done for other people, if other people find them useful then that’s just a bonus. Having said that I do share them online, through Twitter (and Flickr).

Back in 2015 my first (proper) sketchnotes were done with stabilo coloured pens and paper. At the ALT Conference shote year I made some notes. Laura Czerniewicz’s keynote sketchnote shows a very textual page.

Sketch Notes

I also did a sketchnote of Jonathan Worth’ keynote at the same conference, again same technique of coloured pens and paper, but this time more pictures.

What I’ve noticed with both notes is the lack of details and connections between different parts of the talks.

Fast forwarding to 2016 I moved from paper to an iPad Pro with an Apple Pencil and the excellent Paper 53 app.

Reflecting on the drawings from 2016 compared to 2017, I notice that I was doing two or three drawings for each keynote in 2016. For the Donna Lanclos and Dave White keynote there talk covered two pages.

If I was drawing these again, then I think I would be using more detail and try to keep to a single page, but they did talk about a lot of stuff and covered lots.

My favourite sketch of that conference was the sketchnote from the 1MinuteCPD session.

By 2017 I was more familiar with the software and one thing I started to do was to zoom in and out on my drawings. This allowed much more detail and depth to the notes.

Shaping Spaces

I was pleased with the  sketch note was from Lawrie Phipps and Simon Thomson’s session, VLE to PLE – The next generation of digital learning environment. I think this demonstrates the depth of detail I was achieving in my drawings compared to 2016.

VLE to PLE – The next generation of digital learning environment

This was a challenge to draw, partly as it was very much discussion based, but also it was quite a short session. My sketch note was very much about drawing out some of the main themes that came out, the core for me was about how the VLE is getting bloated (becoming a Swiss Army Knife, lots of tools, but not good at doing anything well) and that maybe we should move to a learner centred “system” which the VLE could be part of.

I did a sketch note of Siân Bayne’s keynote, The death of a network: data and anonymity on campus.

The death of a network: data and anonymity on campus

I did initially wonder where the talk was going, as Siân recounted her tale about a research project involving Yik Yak, but I found the end of the keynote fascinating as she spoke about the importance of anonymity in a world of big data. I am not convinced that my notes capture the essence of her talk.

I have also been using the process in meetings and at consultation events. So do you use TEL well? This was a sketch from a discussion about the use of TEL in HE.

Use TEL well sketchnote

A lot more detail in that drawing compared to my earlier efforts in 2016. Similar thoughts about this one.

kiosks keynote

I made this drawing in response to a discussion about a student journey from education into employment.

student journey  sketchnote

This was done quite quickly and as a result is less detailed, but captures the essence of the discussion.

This drawing was used in a recent book and reflects recent work I have been doing on digital strategies.

strategy sketchnote
Overall I was pleased with my sketch notes, I think they are improving for me. So did you do any sketching at last year’s conference? Are you intending to sketch some this year?

Leave a Reply