Friday, December 06, 2013

SAMR and coffee

Since this blog IS the Kaffeeklatsch, I thought I should share some of the ways people have been using coffee analogies to explain the SAMR model. I cannot vouch for the analogies, but thought it was interesting this seems to be a common practice!

The SAMR Model

The image below was created by Jonathan Brubaker and appeared in a blog post here.

Email me with any other coffee analogies you find in the education arena!

Sunday, December 01, 2013

Sketchnoting: A primer

This article originally appeared in the Discovery Education blog "Kathy Schrock's Katch of the Month" in December 2013 and is re-posted here with permission.

Way back in 1999, I was asked to be part of a team to craft the goals for the second version of the US DOE National Technology Plan.
There were about fifty people in the room, from all areas of education. We had lots of discussions, then jigsawed to share thoughts, then shared out with the whole room, then had additional discussions with our new group, and then moved to more jigsaws to share, and then, again, sharing out publicly.
However, as this was all going on, there was a gentleman who was sketching the whole-group sharing discussions on big pieces of chart paper that lined the room. I was fascinated watching him take our verbal ideas and turn them into visually-beautiful works of art that represented exactly what we were saying! He never asked a question or for a clarification of the content.
During a break, I went to talk to him and asked him how he knew so much about educational technology that he could keep up with us as we both raised our hands and, sometimes, interrupted others. He told me he knew nothing about the content we were discussing and his company did this same type of visual notetaking for any content area or company. I was then TRULY amazed!
On that day, these great works of art were photographed, and they were shared on the Web for a bit, but they are long gone. Fast-forward to today, and these same visual notes are starting to be created using digital tools. For whole group sharing, the visual notetaker is usually using a tablet device, drawing software, and projecting the results to a large monitor. They are easily saved this way, but the participants cannot usually view them all at once. Even if the visual notes are created with pen and paper and then photographed or scanned, there are many new places to share them online. Visual notetaking is both an art and an organizational tool.

There are various ways visual notetaking can be used. The first, as my story outlines, is about the notetaker visually recording what is taking place in a meeting or lecture. The notetaker is not a participant in the conversation.
The second type of use of visual notetaking occurs when the facilitator of a meeting or group is the one creating the visual notes. He or she is interacting with the others as the notes are created. As the facilitator, he or she may also be sparking additional conversation by adding elements to the visual notes to spur new avenues of thought or to keep the group on task.
The third use of visual notetaking is now being used by many students and teachers and is commonly called “sketchnoting”. Sketchnoting, in its purist form, is creating a personal visual story as one is listening to a speaker or reading a text. I also believe the interactive notebook, which includes the process of taking “regular” notes” while listening to a speaker and later creating a sketchnote of the text notes, should also be considered sketchnoting.
My friend, Tracy Sockalosky (@tsocko) who has just begun to sketchnote, was attending the EdTech Teacher iPad Summit last week. Here is the link to the presentation she sketchnoted.  Tracy has just begun to sketchnote, but, as you can see from the image below, she is really getting it!

sketchnote sample

What is the purpose? Why should one draw and connect thoughts and ideas visually? The research is clear about the benefits of visually representing content and it is based on the research in the area of Allan Pavio’s dual coding theory. I am no expert in the theory, but I have found that this article by Mark Sadoski does a good job of providing a general overview and references for the work of Paivio.
In addition, there is an extensive article by James M. Clark and Allan Paivio that provides some of the research into the relationship between the dual coding theory and education. It includes everything from teacher education to learning, memory, and study skills.
Ben Norris created a Slideshare about sketch notes and includes his version of an image to illustrate the dual coding theory. The image was created by Sunni Brown and re-created by Norris.

dual coding theory
Dual coding theory visual

I have done a lot of reading and watching on the topic of sketchnoting, and all the tutorials and overviews state that one does not have to be an artist to sketchnote. It seems to be all about learning how to listen and how to plan and organize your sketchnoting. One way to practice sketchnoting would be to watch a short Discovery Education Streaming clip and sketchnote the content. Pretend you are in a graduate class or at a conference lecture. This would also be a great way to provide professional development for your teachers and students in sketchnoting. Their sketchnotes could serve as an introduction or summary of a Discovery Education Streaming video!
Here is a well-done video about visual notetaking so you can learn more about it.

I have also recently created a support page with resources for learning about sketchnoting in education and tutorials on how to sketchnote.
Schrock sketchnote page

Sharing is caring

This article originally appeared in the Discovery Education blog "Kathy Schrock's Katch of the Month" in September 2013 and is re-posted here with permission.
(I wrote this blog post on the plane home from the ISTE 2013 conference in San Antonio. I wanted to give myself some time to reflect on it and add some additional resources before posting it.)
ISTE 2013 was a tech-filled extravaganza and I left with my head spinning with new thoughts and ideas! However, looking back, I realize the best part of the conference for me was the conversations I had with educators from all over the world. I was greeted by so many who knew me from my work, and I used that connection to continue the conversations with them.
I learned about district-level initiatives and projects for first graders. I discussed the merits of tablet platforms, 1-to-1, and badging. I offered opinions about items I was passionate about. As an ISTE Board Member, I also had some perks, like being able to wander in and out of ticketed workshops to both thank the presenters and learn new things at the same time. In Ginger Lewman’s PBL workshop, I became a member of a PBL group and made an iMovie traileron the iPad with three other educators in under thirty minutes. None of us knew how to use the software, but were able to get the job done. Take a look if you wish:
Continuing the conversation with colleagues after a face-to-face conference is not difficult. There are many ways to keep up with your new contacts, get answers to questions, and offer your own thoughts. Collaboration comes from the Latin word collaborare which means “to work together” and you want to make sure that happens!
Working together in a virtual space can be synchronous or asynchronous. Even asynchronous conversations allow us to work together. There are popular tools for each of these methods readily available.
Asynchronous sharing
Twitter is my go-to place for both sharing and getting new ideas. It is surprising how much you can impart to others with only 140 characters! Here are some of my top Twitter tips….
  • If you follow a lot of people, your Twitter stream can quickly become overwhelming!   It is a good practice to make lists and file the people you follow into those lists. They will still show up in your main Twitter stream, but sometimes it is easier to click on a classified list of people and read “like” information in a single stream. This makes it more likely that you will add to the conversation, too, since you are more likely to come up with a resource or tip to share if you are reading information on a related topic or by perusing your list of school administrators, teacher librarians, etc.
  • To find new people to follow and collaborate with, look at the lists created by others or whom they follow. You can grab one of their lists for yourself, and, after monitoring it for a while, can find new people who you want to follow.
  • If you are not a Twitter user, take a look at the Twitter advanced search page ( and search popular hashtags like #edchat or #iste2013 to see all the tweets tagged with that hashtag. Hashtags help tweets hang together when tweeters include them in their posts. Here is a page ( with tons of popular educational hashtags. Another cool new site is TagBoard ( which both allows you to view tweets tied to hashtags, as well as create a hashtag of your own to monitor and share.
  • Oftentimes, when sharing URLs via Twitter, the URL itself uses up many of the 140 characters. To allow yourself more space to add information, use a URL shortener. A URL shortener allows you to paste a long URL into a box, and it presents you with a shortened version to use. When users click on the shortened URL, their browser is re-directed to the actual URL. I use the Linkyy ( URL shortener. One nice feature of Linkyy is the ability to create a meaningful short URL, like, which leads to one of my iPad support pages.
Some other social networks to use for collaboration with others include Google+ (, Edmodo (, and EdWeb ( Each of these tools allows you to create your own community on a topic you are interested in or passionate about. Once you create a community, tweet out the information to your followers and they will come!
Synchronous sharing
Google+ Hangouts is one of my favorite places to meet and share things with other educators in real-time. A Google Hangout allows you and up to nine others to have a meeting with all participants having both video and voice. It is easy to share your computer screen or other assets (like a YouTube video) with others in the Hangout. One interesting aspect of Google+ Hangouts is that it is “noise activated”. This means whoever is talking is showing up as the main speaker and the others as smaller.
However, this also means, if a participant is typing loudly, they will show up as the main speaker most of the time. Be sure to use a headset/microphone combo or keep your mic shut off when you are not speaking. This makes the Hangout go much more smoothly.
If you want to record the Hangout, chose to make it a Google Hangout on Air. This publicly broadcasts to anyone who wants to watch the Hangout, too. Once the Hangout on Air is complete, the recording is sent to the your YouTube account for future viewing. You can make the recording public or private, allow embedding or not, and assign a Creative Commons license to the work if you wish.
I will be hosting a Google Hangout on Air on September 16, 2013 at 7pm ET. The Webinar will be in conjunction with the Wilkes/Discovery Instructional Media Master’s program. The topic of the 30-minute conversation will be two upcoming MOOC’s that Wilkes will be offering to educators. (If you are on the DEN mailing list, you will receive further info about it soon.)
Some other popular ways to synchronously collaborate with one or more colleagues are via FaceTime for the Mac/iPad and Skype (, which works on all platforms. And Padlet ( and Today’s Meet ( allow real-time, text-based idea sharing that can be archived and shared when the conversation is complete.
The main point is to continue the conversation by whatever means works best for you. Email, Facebook/LinkedIn posts, and phone calls can work, too. And be sure to make arrangements with your new colleague to meet up again in-person at the next ISTE or other conference you both attend. I have found that hugging is so much better in person! 🙂