Top #SketchNotes From 2016

Phew. A lot to catch up on since the end of October. A LOT. Before diving into the new year and any of the other number of things that I've wanted to share or discuss in the past several months, this post is focused on sharing sketchnotes I previously had been hoarding in my iPad's memory or had shared in a fleeting Twitter post.

Each sketchnote will be presented in calendar order and will include a link to the event I was attending, the Twitter account of the speaker, and any other relevant items.

February 2016 - IntegratED Portland - Jennie Magiera (@MsMagiera)
This talk was also a shared "edventure", as you can see in the picture included in the sketchnotes. Jennie's talk was an inspiring trip of tips for taking your own edventure. Even better than these sketchnotes is her new book, Courageous Edventures, which captures even more of the Magiera magic.

March 2016 - Skyline College Featured Guest - Christopher Emdin (@chrisemdin)
This talk was amazing. First of all, as the crowd was mostly high school students, rather than educators or college students expected, Dr. Emdin completely shifted his talk in the moment to focus his message to the audience. I think the subtle oppression he referred to has begun to be a lot less subtle again, which only makes his points even stronger. If these sketchnotes interest you, then you need to read his book, For White Folks Who Teach In The Hood... and the Rest of Y'all Too: Reality Pedagogy and Urban Education. I have a full sketchnotes (with less sketching) of his book that I'll post sometime in the near-ish future.

June 2016 - ISTE - Ruha Benjamin (@ruha9)
Like Dr. Emdin's talk above, Dr. Benjamin did a deep dive into whose values are promoted in our current society and whose values are silenced. Rather than say anything more about this one, please watch her keynote. Top talk I heard all year and the one I continue to revisit.

June 2016 - ISTE - Chris Lehman (@iChrisLehman), Maggie Roberts (@MaggieBRoberts), and Kristin Ziemke (@KristinZiemke)
Micro-Writing... who else but these three educators would've thought of such a great way to bring together all of the social writing we do nowadays and illustrate it so succinctly? All three of them also have written some great education books, though I have to highlight Kristin's book, Amplify: Digital Teaching and Learning in the K-6 Classroom, which she co-authored with Katie Muhtaris, as it is the book I wish I had written. Pretty much everything in that book is what I aimed to do in my own classroom.

October - Fall CUE - Megan Ellis (@MeganRoseEllis)
Megan's session was a refresh of a session she'd done several years ago. She shared what she's changed in her classroom since then, what has worked, and what things she's still tweaking. I'd definitely recommend any and every high/middle English teacher hear Megan's talk, or at least follow her on Twitter!

Hope to have a lot more sketchnotes to share with you in 2017 and hopefully I'll share them in a much more timely fashion.

* Cross-posted on Medium.

Notes & Reflections on #FabLearn 2016

Last weekend, I had the pleasure of attending the 2016 FabLearn Conference. It was an overall fantastic event and you can watch some of the highlights on the FabLearn page

As was the case when I attended FabLearn three years ago, I was again most inspired by Leah Buechley's talk, titled Inclusive Maker Education. (Yes, you can watch it by clicking the highlights link above!) One slide she presented included the following quote: "If you are not actively working to create an inclusive program, you are creating a discriminatory one." That quote challenged me throughout the weekend. I have long advocated for all students having access to a variety of creative experiences, including those in making. As I thought about that quote throughout the conference though, it connected with me in a couple other ways.

One student had created a game, using Scratch and a Makey Makey, where the goal was to "beat up Trump". I felt uncomfortable with the liberal bias embedded, but realized even more of the uncomfortability came from the advocating violence toward another human. As a family member said when I brought it up: No matter how you feel about him, he could be our next President and advocating violence toward anyone, especially political leaders, is horrifying. 

Another moment where Dr. Buechley's quote rang true was in an electronics workshop I attended. I was in a group with two others who were very engaged in learning about the technology in front of us and what we could do. Just as we began working on what would be a fun and complex project, we were told that we had to stick to the instructions in the lesson plan, which were a bit more simplistic and not nearly as exciting. Yes, we did our work, but we were not as engaged as we could've been. Had this workshop been part of a longer course, we likely all would've disengaged from classroom participation at some point.

Inclusion is not just access, but respecting all points of view and reaching all learners where they are, not where we want them to be.

Below are my sketchnotes from some of the weekend's sessions.

* Cross-posted on Medium.