Showing posts with label back of the napkin. Show all posts
Showing posts with label back of the napkin. Show all posts

Thursday, October 18, 2018

Why Have Students Make Simple Animations?

Last week I wrote about having middle school students create presentations from a combination of illustrations and videos that they made. In that post I shared Brush Ninja animation tool. That's just one of many tools that students could have used to animated GIFs to include in their slides. The point of the activity wasn't to have students learn how to use Brush Ninja, it was to have students create animations to demonstrate their understanding of a process.

In the example that I shared last week students made animations to illustrate forms of energy. That topic was a fairly natural fit to illustrate with animations. But animations can be used to illustrate nearly every topic that is taught in K-12 schools. I was turned onto this idea many years ago when I read Dan Roam's Back of the Napkin and Unfolding the Napkin books. These books make the point that if you truly understand a concept, you can illustrate it with simple drawings on the back of a napkin or other blank canvas.

You don't need to be artistically inclined at all in order to make effective illustrations. In fact, in Unfolding the Napkin I learned that simple stick figures were often all that is needed to illustrate a concept. And if you do use the concepts of Unfolding the Napkin in your classroom, you will have to remind some students to focus on the concepts first before getting hung up on the aesthetics of their sketches.

Watch the following video in which Dan Roam explains the concepts of Unfolding the Napkin.


Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Doodlers Unite! The Positives in Doodling

In the TED Talk embedded below Sunni Brown, author of Gamestorming: A Playbook for Innovators, Rulebreakers, and Changemakers, presents the case for encouraging rather than discouraging doodling in the classroom and in the boardroom. Her talk might give you some new ideas about why your students are doodling in your classroom.


Warning: Ms. Brown does use one analogy in her talk that is not appropriate for the classroom.

If you're interested in learning more about using sketches and doodles as thinking exercises, I also recommend Dan Roam's The Back of the Napkin.

Saturday, February 12, 2011

GE Imagination Cubed - Online Collaborative Drawing

Update May 26, 2011 this resource appears to have gone offline.

General Electric's Imagination Cubed website provides a clear canvas on which you and your friends can draw and type. You can use the site as to start a drawing on your own and then invite others to join you in the drawing process. If you choose, you can enable the chat feature to talk about the drawing while you're drawing.

Imagination Cubed offers shapes and "stamps" that you can add to your drawings. You can also change the background color of your drawing and choose from a wide array of drawing colors. When you're done with your drawing you can save it to your local computer. Should you want to see how the drawing was developed, you can hit the replay button to watch every stroke of the drawing process.

Applications for Education
I've become a big fan of Dan Roam's Unfolding the Napkinmethods for demonstrating and solving problems. His basic idea is that if you can draw the problem you can solve the problem. A site like Imagination Cubed allows students to work together to develop a picture of a problem and then work together to picture the solutions.

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Video - My Plan for Teaching Without Tech This Week

My students return to school this week, but the netbooks that we issue them for our 1:1 program won't be ready until the second week of school. In the video below I share how I'm using the ideas fromUnfolding the Napkin(affiliate link) during the first days of school in which my students don't have netbooks.


Here's the presentation I mention in the video. 18 Formats for Visual Thinking in the Classroom.

Friday, August 6, 2010

Formats for Visual Thinking in the Classroom

18 Formats for Handmade Thinking in the Classroom is a presentation put together by Laurence Musgrove. In the presentation Musgrove takes the ideas from Dan Roam's Back of the Napkin books and applies them to the classroom. In his presentation Musgrove outlines eighteen ways that visual thinking and handmade sketches can be used in your teaching practice. Musgrove includes some examples of handmade sketches created by students. There are 100 slides in the slidedeck, but the deck didn't get interesting to me until slide seventeen when Musgrove jumps into the 18 formats for handmade thinking.
View the slides below.


Visit Laurence Musgrove's website, The Illustrated Professor for more examples of using handmade drawings as a reading response format.

If you're interested in having your students create free-hand sketches on their computers for later use in presentations, you may want to explore these five free online drawing tools.