The Making of “Sketchnoting in the Classroom”


I did something a little bit different while creating the last set of video lessons for Sketchnoting in the Classroom: I recorded the whole process in order to be able to make the behind-the-scenes video that you can now watch above.

I hope that you enjoy seeing what went into the creation of those video lessons!

Here’s a breakdown of the stages of development that I followed:

Stage 1: Brainstorming

Stage 1: Brainstorming - Sketchnoting in the classroom behind the scenes - doug neill - verbal to visual

First, a whole lot of brainstorming. I decided to go large-scale with this step, using a large roll of paper to fill an entire wall.

To give myself some constraints, I split that paper into nine sections of equal size, one for each subject area. The goal: fill each section with ideas about how to apply sketchnoting within that subject area.

Once I had filled each section with initial ideas, I knew that I had a good starting point for each individual video lesson.

Stage 2: Grouping & Organizing

Stage 2: Grouping & Organizing - Sketchnoting in the classroom behind the scenes - doug neill - verbal to visual

To move from that initial brainstorming toward the final video lesson, I next used a new color (yellow in this case) to group and organize those ideas.

When I was first brainstorming I just got down the ideas as quickly as a could. In this stage I began thinking about the order in which I wanted to present those ideas based on overall importance and which ideas are connected to each other.

I hadn’t done that type of outlining before – outlining that goes directly on the page where I first got down a bunch of ideas.

I enjoyed the efficiency of those first two steps. They got the job done and allowed me to keep my momentum moving forward.

Stage 3: Scriptwriting

Stage 3: Scriptwriting - Sketchnoting in the classroom behind the scenes - doug neill - verbal to visual

With the initial brainstorming and outlining in place, I then moved to the scriptwriting stage.

Over the years I’ve gone back and forth between fully scripting my video lessons and just improvising from an outline. In this case, since I was creating nine video lessons at once, I knew that scripting was the way to go.

I cut up that large sheet of brainstorming paper so that I could focus on one section at a time, and changed rooms at Wayfinding Academy every few lessons to keep it fresh!

Stage 4: Polish the Sketchnotes

Stage 4: Polish The Sketchnotes - Sketchnoting in the classroom behind the scenes - doug neill - verbal to visual

Once I had written the script for each lesson, I revisited the sketchnotes in order to finalize what I would actually draw and write on the page when recording those video lessons.

After getting to a good place with those words and visuals, I then came back with a colored pen and numbered each element so that during the recording process I wouldn’t have to think about the order – I just follow the steps that I already laid out for myself!

Stage 5: Record the Sketchnotes

Stage 5: Record the Sketchnotes - Sketchnoting in the classroom behind the scenes - doug neill - verbal to visual

Recording the sketchnotes took longer than I expected. I thought I could get them all recorded in one full day, but I ended up needing two.

If you’d like to learn more about the process I used to make this style of video, check out my course How To Make Sketchnote Videos.

Stage 6: Record the Narration

Stage 6: Record the Narration - Sketchnoting in the classroom behind the scenes - doug neill - verbal to visual

Once I had recorded all of the sketchnotes for each video lesson, I then turned the camera on myself to record the narration part of those videos.

As with the sketchnotes, the recording process can be a bit draining, but since I had the scripts written all I had to do was stay focused and follow along using this small teleprompter.

Stage 7: Edit

Stage 7: Editing - Sketchnoting in the classroom behind the scenes - doug neill - verbal to visual

Then, the edit.

Many, many hours of editing.

Stage 8: Publish & Share

The final step was to add each of the final video lessons to the resource kit!

For those who have already picked up that kit, I hope you enjoy the new lessons.

To learn more about the kit, check out the details here.

I hope that you were able to pull something useful out of this behind-the-scenes look at my process. Good luck applying and idea or two to a future project of your own!

Cheers,

-Doug

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Want To Dig Deeper?

If you’re new to the idea of sketchnoting and excited to develop more visual thinking tools, I think you’d enjoy our foundational course An Introduction To Visual Note-Taking.

If you’re an educator interested in bringing visual note-taking into your classroom, check out Sketchnoting In The Classroom.

If you’d like to use your sketchnoting skills to make engaging videos, we’ve got a course for that too! Check out How To Make Sketchnote Videos.

And if you want to create new personal and professional opportunities by sharing the authentic journey of your skill development online, check out Learn In Public.