Friday, October 30, 2015

Using Paper and Pencil for Awesome Images

One of the things I am working on this school year is visual thinking - making my ideas more visible and asking my students to do the same. To that end, as a teacher, I will continue to focus on drawing tasks with my students and, as a learner, I am exploring sketchnoting. I blogged about that here.

The app that I am using for sketchnoting is Paper by Fifty Three. Paper is a sketching app with a recommended bluetooth stylus that allows for more functionality than a typical stylus. It is pretty easy to get started with Paper. And though I thought my first sketchnotes were pretty clunky, I got a lot of compliments on them when I shared them.

Those first sketchnotes were a bit of a struggle. The empty white canvas is threatening to me. I feel like I need a plan before I start and sometimes halfway in, I want to scrap the whole thing and start over. As I got started, I kept wishing that there was a way to import some images that I could compliment with drawing and text. Of course, it turns out that there is!

I recently learned that this is possible. In the app, there is a little camera icon in every sketch. Tap it and you access your camera (take a quick snapshot!) or your cameral roll (import a picture). After you have a picture, you can resize it or spotlight a portion of it. I used the spotlight feature to highlight only the colored flames in the image above. I love that this spotlight feature focuses attention on just the colored flame which is why I chose the image. Then I drew in boxes for answers and added a little text to create the image above that I could use to check for understanding after the flame test lab. Pretty cool, right? 

This is such an easy way to create a professional looking image that is customizable. Just one more reason to love this powerful app!

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