The Next Evolution of Sketchnotes

scan0003 (1)During our ISTE presentation, Fear the Sitting Dead, Adam and I took a brief detour down the road of sketchnotes.   While it isn’t necessarily a PD model, it can certainly serve as the type of minutes that someone would WANT to read.

While reading a blog post about the session (mad props for the diligent recap), I had a flash back to a version of sketchnotes from way way back in the day…  Allen’s brilliant comic sketches detailing an introduction to conic sections.   Allen was a student in Darren Kuropatwa‘s Pre-Cal 40s class in the Fall of 2006.  Math isn’t exactly my strong suit, but I’m pretty sure that’s right around ten years ago.  A solid 4 years before RSA Animate‘s visualization of a Sir Ken Robinson speech took the visual note taking world by storm.


Robert Pronovost’s Sketchnotes of our Gizmos and Gadgets session at #ISTE2016

Sketchnotes are typically done in the moment.   They’re as spontaneous as they are creative.   But they aren’t crafted with the benefit of hindsight.   I have nothing but admiration for people who create sketchnotes as it isn’t a medium that I personally gravitate to.  But looking back on Allen’s contribution to the Class Scribe Hall of Fame, I do wonder if there’s another step that would make sketchnotes fulfill some sort of unrealized potential.   Imagine if the initial sketchnotes were just an outline.   A literal sketch.   A rough draft.   And if the artist then returned to them and used that work as the impetus for a new work of art.  Knowing the full scope of the meeting/presentation/event, would they have visualized things differently?   Would there be a better way to work the information into a piece of art?  Or a graphic novel?  Or a digital story?


Sean Ziebarth’s sketchnotes move the needle more towards art than notes.

I think there’s still an upcoming evolution for the sketchnote movement.  Just like a blog post about a session is quite different than someone’s ‘on the fly’ notes, I wonder if we’ll start to see ‘final drafts’ of sketchotes in the near future.  The artwork of Sean Ziebarth and Amy Burvall are already paving the way and bridging that gap.  If you aren’t familiar with their work, it’s well worth exploring.

Who is going to be the first person to create an oil painting recapping a particularly moving conference session?  Or a sculpture depicting a keynote that?   Will it be you?


By | 2016-07-06T15:56:46+00:00 July 6th, 2016|Musings, NECC|Comments Off on The Next Evolution of Sketchnotes

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