Debbie Donsky brings the Keynotes alive with her amazing Sketchnotes

Student Achievement Officer, Ministry of Education of Ontario, Principal, writer, thinker, creator, designer, mommy, teacher, leader, learner of all things

debbieVisual notetaking, more commonly referred to as sketchnotes, can be defined as the process of representing ideas by “drawing pictures.”  In a sense, what you are doing when you create a sketch note is finding  artistic ways of visually capturing and representing ideas.

Debbie Donsky, principal, Student Achievement Officer and artist and prolific blogger, not only captured the essence of all three keynotes (Jennifer Casa-Todd, Janette Hughes and Beth Holland) at the TELL Conference in August, but she found a way to bring to life on the page the main ideas and points presented.  Working diligently at the back of the great hall, Debbie listened intently, pulled ideas together and mapped out the ideas in a visually attractive and cognitively effective manner.

Looking at her “monster size” sketch notes, which were lined up along the registration desk as they were completed, brings to mind the infamous and not so visually exciting cheat sheet: so many ideas crammed onto one page.

What I find particularly effective about Debbie’s sketchnotes is her ability to create connections between ideas, visually emphasizing important points with a graphic mnemonic and illustrating how the information flows from one concept to the next.  Being a visual learner myself, I can appreciate how she is able to chunk the information and make it look dynamic and fresh every time you look at it.

As an educator, I can’t help but think what a great way for students to sort through and make sense of information being presented to them.  Some students are linear thinkers, while other excel when they are allowed to attack information in a non-linear manner, allowing them to exercise their critical thinking muscles to make sense of the topic being presented.

If you would like to explore more of Debbie Donsky’s work in a variety of media, just click here.

Follow Debbie Donsky @DebbieDonsky


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