This post was inspired by a conversation on Twitter today with @MrEandre @TheWeirdTeacher and on Yammer in 2011 where I first heard the term Doodle Notes from Tavia Highsmith who wrote
" I use a strategy in my EC Resource Science and Social Studies classes I have named Doodle Notes! The students use it for vocab, notes on videos and for class notes. I also use it for days when they are split to other classes. They stay engaged and can explain what they learned when I return."
I finally have something that is not 21st century to share: This is about as low tech as it gets--Doodling!!! Don't have six minutes to watch?-skip ahead to minute 3:15(but you'll miss BillGates' doodle). Upshot:
**Doodlers have a 29% higher retention rate. **"Under no circumstances should doodling be eradicated from a classroom or a boardroom...doodling should be leveraged in precisely those situations where information density is high and the need for processing that information is very high."
Doodling can be a valid form of learning summarizing or notetaking. Some teachers on Twitter make and sharing visual notes of conference sessions and RSA Animate videos are also popular. Although learning styles have been debunked for years now, personalities and interests do differ. Some study habits work for some students and some that work for others. The same may be true of note-taking. Because of my personal interest in doodling, after hearing on NPR that doodling while listening increases recall and watching this TED talk a few years ago, I let my students try doodling their notes. Some students didn't like it, some did. Same as you might find for any note-taking system. Honestly the system seems not to be important anyway, as the whole idea of note-taking is often just a tool for focusing.
Here are 2 student doodles:
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Lisa Gurthie is the PD facilitator at Piedmont IB Middle School. She specializes in tech and arts integration, interdisciplinary holistic education, and unschooling school to reconnect academia to real life. One day she will modernize her "about" page. She curates this blog for the professional development convenience of the teachers at Piedmont, but the editorial comments are her own.