How Technology Trends have Influenced the Classroom, and Doodling

I wish I could connect these two topics, but I haven’t been able to come up with anything. How Technology Trends have Influenced the Classroom is a quick read that connects the dots between technology trends in society at large and classroom outcomes. Topics include the increase in interactivity, viewing shows “on-demand”, self publishing, and the ubiquitous mobile device. On the topic of mobile devices, “This isn’t without its pitfalls, and can be quite messy, but setting expectations of use can be a powerful way to model how our kids use these in the non-school setting. Maybe instead of whipping out their phones when at a restaurant, kids will actually sit and have a conversation with the grown-ups around them. Of course, this is assuming the grown-ups have put down their devices too.” I would like to see more of that.

On to doodling. Back in January, I was watching CBS Sunday Morning on TV and they had a segment on doodling, The Higher Purpose of Doodling. One of the subjects of the piece was Sunni Brown (view her TED talk). She has written a book, The Doodle Revolution, which I promptly purchased from Amazon.

I cannot tell you how validated I felt watching this story. I doodled through high school, college, meetings (never at Summit, of course) and always felt a little guilty about it. But not after I watched this! I always had this theory that the doodling actually helped me to focus. It’s been a downside to technology that I don’t have pencil and paper in front of me as often. I have an iPhone or an iPad, and I don’t think doodling is the same on those. I need pencil and paper. Part of Brown’s book focuses on the “Infodoodle,” capturing information using a visual language. Much of what we teach is communicated through letters and numbers, but pictures are often overlooked as tools for communication. That’s where the infodoodle comes in.

I decided to try out some doodling exercises with my fourth grade classes. Many of the students took to this idea of using pictures to show our learning. A few already recognized themselves as doodlers and thought that it helped them to focus. It would take more time to develop these doodling skills into infodoodling that might help with note-taking and such.

Here’s my invitation. If you are interested in exploring how we might use infodoodling at Summit, send me an email. We’ll see if we can get a group together.



4 thoughts on “How Technology Trends have Influenced the Classroom, and Doodling

  1. I do the same thing! Doodling through meetings has always helped me focus. And I find my notes much more enjoyable to go back to since they’re entertaining looking.

  2. Karen, thanks for your post. I just watched Sunni Brown’s TED Talk (taking advantage of a little found time on this ice day). What she’s describing as “doodling” is what I’ve always encouraged (and done myself) as note taking with pictures or graphic notes. I agree that adding pictures/sketches helps one (me too) remember and make sense of what is being said. In the classroom, we teachers need to be mindful that the “doodles” are actually helping the student focus. There are times when a student’s doodle is unrelated to the topic and thus the student would rather draw a lovely unicorn then pay attention to the discussion or topic at hand.

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