Graphic Recording – Engaging Your Classroom & Centralizing Notes

Graphic Recording – Engaging Your Classroom & Centralizing Notes

Team Vidigami | October 10, 2018

Note-taking has come a very, very long way in the classroom, and if we’re still copying notes and homework from the board word for word, it might be time for something a little faster, fun, and collaborative!

It’s time to try graphic recording.

“A digital image lives on as an engaging record of the discussion.” – Imagethink.net.

You’ve probably heard from us time and time again…there’s nothing like visual learning. While blackboards and whiteboards are timeless tools in the classroom, schools are dwelling deeper into the digital domain, saving hours of time (and paper), while enhancing connectivity. Students are actively documenting their classwork, art, projects, and presentations, as well as their notes – a lifesaver for exams and assignments. When everyone has a smartphone, note-taking is easier than ever.

While writing or typing certainly help us retain important information, students and teachers are trying new ways to creatively capture and complement their lessons. One practice that’s emerging very quickly is graphic recordingUsed in workshops, seminars, and conferences…graphic recording (or facilitation) is the art of using of real-time graphics like images, drawings and other visuals, in conjunction with speech to lead a group of people towards an objective or understanding. 

1 – The ‘Visual Scribe’

Go interactive!

At the start of every class, encourage students to volunteer as the dedicated Visual Scribe. Their job – if they choose to accept it – is to visually record on the board key points conveyed by the teacher. The catch here though…is minimizing text and keeping up with the teacher. Why? Because it’s so much faster to lay out on the board! Use graphs, characters, objects, and other representations in addition to key words to better illustrate a concept or idea. They don’t have to be masterpieces…they just need to send the message across. It’s a brilliant exercise to keep students on their toes.

Tip: Assigning a Visual Scribe works incredibly for subjects like literature, economics, and the sciences.

2 –  Sharing Is Caring

“Hey…Can I see your notes from last week?”

This very question should be on the brink of extinction. At the end of each ‘topic’ covered during class – have all students (or even just one) take a quick photo of what’s on the board. But it doesn’t stop there. When notes are captured on camera, leaving them on your device won’t do any good! These are valuable assets and they need a central place to be stored and shared them with the whole class, so they can be accessed anytime, and anyplace.

In Vidigami, that means the class album (e.g. Mr. Paul_Physics_Week 1) within your subject or grade group (e.g. Grade 10). Through a private link to the right album, enable everyone to contribute their visual notes. Adding context tags, as well as the name of the Visual Scribe as the Creator additionally make everyone’s notes searchable by subject and people!

Notes need not live on just the board. Each student can create their own visuals into a class journal. At the end of the class, they can scan or grab a photo of the pages and load them straight into Vidigami. This takes doodling to a whole new, more productive, level!

3 –  The End Game

Graphic recording has some great takeaways that can truly enhance the classroom experience as we know it:

  1. It’s a fantastic first-day icebreaker activity that gets students engaged and looking forward to each lesson.
  2. It breathes life into lectures and lessons on more complex or abstract topics, keeping students focused and on their toes at all times.
  3. It helps teachers and students efficiently crowdsource and document lesson notes in one centralized place, instead of scattering them across notebooks, stray sheets of paper, sticky notes and even personal devices. Uploading notes to Vidigami and tagging them helps everyone find what they need when they need it in a heartbeat.
  4. It fine tunes communication and listening skills – helping us better convey what the moderator or teacher is saying and process it in a way that everyone can quickly understand and piece together.

Using graphic recording or facilitation at your school? Tell us about your experiences and how you record them for your class! If it’s your first time trying it, there are lots of online resources available offering various strategies for graphic recording in the classroom, on stage, and beyond. You can also get in touch with your Vidigami CSS (Client Success Specialist) to explore what works best for you and your class groups.

Check out some great sources below:

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