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Saturday / February 24

Journey in Sketchnoting #AVL2016

The theme of Corwin’s Annual Visible Learning conference was making learning visible, so I embraced it. Just a few months ago, I sat next to Jill Gough, who was taking notes in appealing visuals. I watched her make the information I was noting in the margins of the PowerPoint handout come to life in the sketchnote she was drawing. My fixed mindset kicked into high gear as I admired her artistic ability and even said aloud, “I could never do that, I’m just not artistic.” She eagerly and willingly showed me a few techniques, (Effect Size 0.59) and suggested an app for me to download to get started. I tried it. It was terrible. I went back to my traditional note taking style and followed the images that she shared on Twitter. Later in the conference, we were in the same room again. I mustered up the courage to show her my pathetic FAIL (First Attempt In Learning). She provided specific and relevant feedback (ES 0.75), giving me some easy tips to improve my sketching.

In learning what Larry Ainsworth discussed in his session on success criteria, I used the posters drawn by Lisa Nelson @seeincolors hired by Corwin as exemplars to self-assess (ES 1.44) my ability to create quality visuals of my learning at AVL. I began to use these samples to analyze and then pose questions for which I would seek solutions (ES 0.74). Slowly, I could see an improvement and was brave enough to share my notes with #AVL2016. The likes and retweets poured in quickly. It motivated me to improve my drawing to archive my learning and share with those unable to attend the conference. There is much improvement to be made, but using the influences highlighted by Hattie at #AVL2016, I will increase my opportunity for growth.

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Written by

Connie Hamilton Ed.S. has served the education profession for more than twenty years as teacher, instructional coach and administrator. She currently serves as curriculum director in Saranac Community Schools and provides series of professional learning workshops for districts across the country. Connie’s passion is questioning and coaching leaders to better support their most valuable school assets: teachers. As the founder and moderator of #TMchat, @conniehamilton is a connected educator and exemplifies the habits of a lifelong learner and servant leader.


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