Often times we as educators ask and remind students to take notes on what they are learning. In response, we often hear students make comments such as “I can remember without taking notes,” “I do not like to take notes,” “what is the point because the information will be posted or provided,” etc. Such interactions are too familiar and after years of research we have consistently learned that note-taking is fundamental to processing and remembering information.
If our goal as k-12 educators is to prepare students for college and career then we must also prepare them for the world of complex and rapid presentation of information. For example, as students step into the world of lectures and fast-paced meetings they are expected to know how to filter key points, rephrase words or ideas for their own understanding, and recall complex details. How can we as educators achieve our goal of encouraging students to recognize the power of note-taking and make it an engaging process for them?
Here is my take-away:
Well here is where infographics come in…
As a student teacher this year, I paid close attention to the positive correlation between student who have developed the habit of good note-taking skills and high performance on essays, exams, assignments and discussion. Honestly, it is a habit and practice of experts within academic content areas, especially English Language Arts. Early in the year, I was researching some creative visuals for the literature that students were reading when I came across infographs on Pinterest. Here is a link to some of the filters searched Literature and Pinterest.
Although showing students infographs can be beneficial to their learning and serve as models, the next step of learning would be for them to continuously practice creating their own in the form of note-taking and a self-created study guide. I have learned and witnessed the ways in which students, during the process of creating infographs, are filtering information, constructing symbols, organizing information, making their thinking visible, remaining engaged…
As I continue to research about different ways to transform note-taking into an innovative, effective, and engaging practice for my students, I have come across the following useful resources:
- Access this website here for information and tutorials on different tech tools to use for “Making Infographics,” including Canva and Piktochart. As described best on this website “the idea behind infographics is that they can take relatively-complex data and present it in a visually-appealing and easy-to-follow format.” Here is a video from the website on why 13 Reasons Why Your Brain Craves Infographics.
- Another great source for teaching with tech strategies – Ditchthattextbook website, includes post on ideas and tools for infographs.
- One of the best resources that I have come across for ideas and information to improve teaching with tech is LangWitches blog. Here are some useful posts on the topic of infographics:
- New trend – there is a trend and fascination with #sketchnotes. I follow Sylvia Duckworth on twitter, and I find sketchnotes to be interlinked with infographics in that both are creative forms for students to engage in note-taking, color-coding, organizing, and capturing their understanding of the complexity of content. For more info click here
- Here is a Ted Talk that captures “the beauty of data visualization,” which is essential to understanding how students experience learning, especially in a 21st century society where aesthetic appeal is an essential hook to engagement.
- In the 21st century world that we live in, infographics might just be one of the most powerful ways of note-taking for students because it connects their out-of-school practices with their classroom practices. Students now live in a visually oriented world with social media, such as Instagram, where students are used to instantaneous information and visual representations; thus, with overloads of texts they can become disengaged too soon in the learning process. Check out this NY Times article about Teaching with Infographics for different subjects.
Happy Infographing 🙂