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Visual Note Taking Explained for Teachers (9 Books)

September 22, 2017
Visual note taking helps the brain process information in a more effective and sustainable way. It also provides a powerful channel of communication and helps in understanding complex topics. Studies have also shown that ‘Visual note-taking such as doodling increases memory retention rates by nearly 30 percent, and opens creative pathways, strengthens focus, and inspires self-expression.’ As a teacher, you can use the power of visualization to help you with visual mapping of ideas, to showcase interconnections and explain interrelationships. The purpose of today’s post is to share with you some of our favourite books we recommend for teachers keen on exploring the potential of visualization in learning and teaching. These are guides to help you learn how to visually capture your thinking, create sketchnotes, draw your ideas, and communicate more effectively and clearly through visual notes. We invite you to check them out and share with us your feedback in our Facebook page. Links to the books are under the graphic.

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1- Visual Teams: Graphic Tools for Commitment, Innovation, and High Performance, by David Sibbet  (Author)
‘Visual Teams uses visual tools and methods to help teams—both face-to-face and virtual—reach high performance in today's work environment. As teams become more and more global and distributed, visualization provides an important channel of communication—one that opens up the group's mind to improving work systems and processes by understanding relationships, interconnections, and big picture contexts.’

2- The Sketchnote Handbook: the illustrated guide to visual note taking, by Mike Rohde  (Author)
‘This gorgeous, fully illustrated handbook tells the story of sketchnotes--why and how you can use them to capture your thinking visually, remember key information more clearly, and share what you've captured with others. Author Mike Rohde shows you how to incorporate sketchnoting techniques into your note-taking process--regardless of your artistic abilities--to help you better process the information that you are hearing and seeing through drawing, and to actually have fun taking notes.’

3- Draw Your Big Idea: The Ultimate Creativity Tool for Turning Thoughts Into Action and Dreams Into Reality, by Nora Herting  (Author), Heather Willems  (Author)
‘In this increasingly visual age, images speak louder than words. Studies show that images also help people think. Visual note-taking such as doodling increases memory retention rates by nearly 30 percent, and opens creative pathways, strengthens focus, and inspires self-expression. Driven by these groundbreaking findings, entrepreneurs Nora Herting and Heather Willems founded ImageThink, a graphic facilitation firm that has helped an elite roster of clients—from Google to Pepsi to NASA—visualize their ideas and transform their creative processes using simple drawing techniques that anyone can master. Draw Your Big Idea presents their sought-after guidance and more than 150 drawing exercises tailored to brainstorming, refining, and executing ideas in the home, design studio, and office. With this workbook, readers will learn to beat creative block—for good!’

4- The Graphic Facilitator’s Guide: How to use your listening, thinking and drawing skills to make meaning Paperback, by Brandy Agerbeck  (Author)
‘Graphic facilitation is serving a group by writing and drawing their conversation live and large to help them do their work. It is a powerful tool to help people feel heard, to develop a shared understanding as a group, and to be able to see and touch their work in a way they couldn’t access before. Through the 25 guiding principles in this book, you will develop your ability to listen deeply, think critically and draw swiftly to make great work happen.’

5- Visual Meetings: How Graphics, Sticky Notes and Idea Mapping Can Transform Group Productivity, by David Sibbet  (Author)
‘Visual Meetings explains how anyone can implement powerful visual tools, and how these tools are being used in Silicon Valley and elsewhere to facilitate both face-to-face and virtual group work. This dynamic and richly illustrated resource gives meeting leaders, presenters, and consultants a slew of exciting tricks and tools,’

6- The Back of the Napkin (Expanded Edition): Solving Problems and Selling Ideas with Pictures , by Dan Roam  (Author)
‘"There is no more powerful way to prove that we know something well than to draw a simple picture of it. And there is no more powerful way to see hidden solutions than to pick up a pen and draw out the pieces of our problem." So writes Dan Roam in The Back of the Napkin, the international bestseller that proves that a simple drawing on a humble napkin can be more powerful than the slickest PowerPoint presentation. Drawing on twenty years of experience and the latest discoveries in vision science, Roam teaches readers how to clarify any problem or sell any idea using a simple set of tools.’

7- The Doodle Revolution: Unlock the Power to Think Differently, by Sunni Brown  (Author)
’Sunni Brown's mission is to bring the power of the Doodle to the rest of us. She leads the Revolution defying all those parents, teachers, and bosses who say Stop doodling! Get serious! Grow up! She overturns misinformation about doodling, demystifies visual thinking, and shows us the power of applying our innate visual literacy. She'll teach you how to doodle any object, concept, or system imaginable, shift habitual thinking patterns, and transform boring text into displays that can engage any audience.’

8- Mapping Inner Space: Learning and Teaching Visual Mapping, by Nancy Margulies  (Author), Nusa Maal  (Author)
‘Learn how to use visual note-taking to capture information through stroke-by-stroke exercises and how to apply this teaching strategy to group processes and curriculum planning.’

9- Blah Blah Blah: What To Do When Words Don't Work Hardcover, by Dan Roam  (Author)
‘No more blah-blah-blah. Through Vivid Thinking, we can make the most complicated subjects suddenly crystal clear. Whether trying to understand a Harvard Business School class, or what went down in the Conan versus Leno battle for late-night TV, or what Einstein thought about relativity, Vivid Thinking provides a way to clarify anything.’