Last night I drove to Austin for an evening workshop on Visual Notetaking 101. It was put on by VizThink Austin and was a nice event but I didn’t learn anything new. . I went because I needed a recharge from Visual thinkers. They were there — specifically Dave Gray and Sunni Brown, a pretty powerful duo. They talked to the newbies, as you would expect of a 101 class.  I think I was the wrong audience. But that said, there appeared to be about 30% of us who were wrong audience members, who said they already took visual notes. . . and published/shared their notes.

Like these.

It was too casual, without the Socratic depth that can make casual powerful. Somebody has to be willing to lead deep dives, either the class or the facilitator.

If I put my instructional design hat on (and you know I wear it a lot!), I think about how I might have structured things. Start with a story/drawing experience. They did. Pull out key points from that experience. They did but they didn’t extend those points or probe those points or the points didn’t provoke. Use the points in a new reference; replay the experience at a new level.

The classroom makes a powerful community but this one wasn’t. Was it too short a time period?.

Where is a learning experience for those of us who have started Visual Notetaking? Like a 102?

I’ve been doing it now for about three years. I draw notes for myself. I only record ideas that I myself find interesting. So, I’m not aiming to change careers to Graphic Recording. But I’d like to refine my skills in Graphic Recording to add a tool to instructional design. Where are the experts who can help me get from here to there?

For that matter, where does any mid-level practitioners of anything go, beyond self-study? Can we find a learning community between newbie enchantment and deep, serious expert conversations.  Beginners are welcomed into new learning communities; veterans explore new ideas with veterans, someone of their own skill level. It must be thought of like playing tennis with a good player versus a poor player.

Or, is it that the practice is so new that people haven’t figured out how or what to share/learn/teach?

In academia and in the art and craft world, there are 102 level classes. . . and classes where all levels explore NEW techniques, which leads to interesting multi-level discussions. But if you can’t afford a global or national conference, then what?

One thing for sure about last night’s class. . . They did deliver value for the very inexpensive cost. Lots o’ goodies.

But, there’s a place for a Visual Notetaking 102 curriculum. and 201. Maybe on some off time. . . Wanna play?