My Conference Practices – Visual Notes (WOL)

I started drawing at this week’s AITD 2015 Conference.

I was inspired by Blair Rorani’s introduction to visual note-taking at start of the Conference and had a go at drawing.  I used pencil on paper.  I chose these tools as I thought this would be quicker than trying to figure out how to use an iPad app straight up, and that I could easily erase and re-draw.  I found that I didn’t need to do much redrawing.  Also pencil didn’t show up very nicely when I photographed and tweeted – see examples below.

Caged Learners

Caged Learners

Personas for Design

Personas for Design

Small big changes

Small big changes








'Badge' Badge

‘Badge’ Badge

While my drawings don’t have to be beautiful works of art I do want them to be basically appealing.  I have now downloaded and started playing with Adobe Illustrator Draw – shall ensure that I am able to create a drawing fairly readily using this tool as a minimum before EduTech in early June.  With some Twitter based support and encouragement from Joyce Seitzinger and Helen Blunden yesterday I created my first ‘Draw’ drawing.  For this I drew inspiration from Joyce’s introduction to open badges.  Seemed fitting as introducing open badges in my organisation was a key action take-out from the conference for me.

I found that I listened differently when my goal was to find nuggets that I could draw.  I think I was a more discriminating listener than if I had just been taking text notes.  I wonder if it shaped what I was listening for and caused me to block out ideas and examples that I couldn’t draw, if perhaps it acted as an unconscious filter.  I did keep a hand-written to do list – could have popped this straight into 2do app on my iPad to save having to transcribe later.  I wonder if this would have diverted my attention from listening further – next conference shall try taking 1-2 minutes to enter to do’s and follow up ideas on 2do immediately following each session.

How I wrote this post

This post started as a personal reflection in my Evernote journal. At the

Learning Zone

Learning Zone

AITD conference Alastair Rylatt encouraged people to adopt the “4 Rs” to stay in the learning zone (captured in my drawing below).  I set an alarm for 10 minutes and started reflecting on my conference practices.  The end result is this blog post which I’ve just written in under 30 minutes by transferring my journal entry and adding some images and links.  It’s not as polished as many other entries, but just as effective for the topic as if I’d put another 30 minutes effort into it.  It’s also ticked the box against several of my current blogging goals  – reflect on what I’m doing, deepen learning form other activities (including conferences), shorter, more frequent posts and visual representation of content.

  1. #1 by Vishnu on May 22, 2015 - 2:22 pm

    Thanks for Sharing – appreciate the insights especially around questioning whether you’ve filtered some of the info for lack of drawing abilities.

  2. #2 by Bruno Winck on May 24, 2015 - 8:56 am

    Are half baked comments acceptable for half baked post?

    I love the personas drawings. I used stock pictures for my personas.

    But really pencil drawings are hard to read. I use paper and fiber pen ( and I scan or take pictures but after pages have been removed from the booklet. Then i turn them in vector images ( Wrote a post to describe the process)

    I tried several times apps, stylus but I lack the control I have on paper. If seen the ads for the pencil53 ( but never tried. Tempting I admit.

    I came across another solution that may interest you:

    • #3 by Michelle Ockers on May 25, 2015 - 7:44 am

      I agree Bruno that the pencil drawings are hard to see. That I used pencil reflected my lack of confidence with taking visual notes. It’s tempting to revert to my comfort zone, which is words, but as I have barely begin with visual notes I shall play with this for longer. Thanks also for the references and suggestions for me to try out – I appreciate your encouragement and support.

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