Drawing is a common and powerful means to convey ideas, but is often hampered by a perceived “inability to draw”. In this session, participants practice their drawing skills and explore strategies to apply them to their teaching.
What are some of the benefits to “going visual” with hand drawn visuals?
A popular technique to create educational videos, often referred to as explainer videos or whiteboard animations, is by recording the process of visualizing an idea, through sketching. There are many ways to accomplish this, and although it helps to have some drawing experience, it is by no means the most important skill. As with most EdMedia projects it is the story being told that will have the most impact on the audience. How clearly you can tell that story and provide the information is the challenge you need to consider.
For our Going Visual II workshop, we have created a video using the app Educreations. This is a really neat (free) app that allows you to draw on your iPad and record your voice at the same time. It’s a great way to make instructional videos quickly and efficiently. The app lets you edit your video, and draw with a variety of tools and colours. You can also upload images and draw on top of them.
Check out our video here:
How did we make it?
1. First, we planned out the idea quickly using a storyboard. You can of course make your video on Educreations by starting with the app itself, but we find it’s always easier to rough out our ideas first. Here is the one we used for our video:
2. We then fleshed that storyboard out with a script so that we’d know what to say.
3. Finally, we fired up the app. It took four takes of about 4 minutes each until we got something we liked.
4. Educreations stores the video on its servers and lets you embed the video or send out a link. We have embedded the link here on our blog with a quick cut and paste. And just like that we have an OER!
With an overwhelmingly interest from SFU faculty to use visuals and drawing in their teaching activities, we are pleased to be offering Going Visual II, a studio session in February 2016. This will be picking up where the first workshop left off, or in the case of past EdMedia program participants, building on the introductory work completed there.
This studio will include many opportunities to practice drawing in a variety of media, tips on using new software and hardware (such as tablets and web based drawing tools) and real world demos from other faculty. We are devoting time in this studio to discuss and develop your specific projects and address the practical issues you are facing when going visual in your class!
At the ETUG conference this month, I attended a presentation by Alisa Stanton, Rosie Dahaliwal, and David Zandvliet (SFU) called “Creating Conditions for Well-Being in Learning Environments.”
I practiced visual note-taking during the talk, with the results below. In essence, the talk was about how instructors can get students to feel connected and at ease in the classroom environment. Because studies have found a very strong correlation between students’ levels of stress and their grades, health in the classroom environment is vital for students’ success. What I took away from this talk was that health in the classroom comes down to three essential parts:
being heard/sense of empowerment
Health and Counseling Services at SFU also has a diagram that highlights their 10 conditions for well-being in learning environments, available as a PDF here. This document includes some simple tips for instructors on how to create these conditions within the classroom.
The talk was informative and important, as mental and physical well-being are the foundations for all learning!