Tracing to See

While sitting in a session on sketchnoting with Sylvia Duckworth at last week’s #BIT15 conference, I started to daydream.  The session was amazing, but my daydream was what I needed at the time.  It all started when Sylvia showed us how to draw on top of a photo, then delete the photo.

My brain sunk its claws into that idea… essentially, tracing.  The session continued, but I stayed there.

I started pulling different photos from the photo library on my iPad to trace them.  I tried faces, objects, landscapes.  As I traced, I paid attention to different details in the photos – the textures, the colours, the finer details in the background.  Tracing made me really engage with the photo.

… And that made me wonder about how this might look in a classroom.

I saved one of my favourite classroom pics from Kathleen Keenan’s twitter feed, and I imported it into the Paper App.

Then I traced over it, using the app.

Then I got rid of the original photo.

Then I thought about the different things that I had to take into account while I tracing.

Obviously, the process would be different if done by students.  I had the benefit of trying this out on a Sunday morning with a fully functioning device (and a cup of coffee) but I wonder if the process would be similar in a classroom?  Might tracing, help students see and wonder?

Something to try.

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