Educon 2.6 day 1, drawn…


Educon 2.6, conversations & a conference, brought together people who are passionate about learning from many perspectives. This 3 day sliver in my year allows a safe space for difficult conversations, big questions with unknown answers and the kind of change in thinking that inspires action (or so I hope). My biggest take away from this year’s conference – What will I/we DO next? I’m plotting something…, probably drawn….

Educon 2.6 is hosted by Science Leadership Academy (SLA), a public magnet school in Philadelphia focused on inquiry-driven, project based learning. SLA partners with the Franklin Institute throughout the school year and hosts the Friday night panel discussion. Enough words, have a look through my visual notes….

Find resources including information about using visual note-taking (& other visual learning techniques) in your classroom/learning environment at the bottom of this post….

DAY 1 – Opening Panel Discussion at the Franklin Institute

This year’s theme, openness, challenges the mere walls of school, paying homage to learning in many forms, not just in school and not just via testing. Panelists include: David Wiley of Lumen Learning (@opencontent), Kin Lane (@kinlane) of Department of Veterans Affairs, Sunny Lee (@soletelee) of Mozilla Open Badges, author Homa Tavangar (@growingupglobal), & Global Education Evangelist at Google, Jaime Casap (@jcasap).



- Last year’s Educon 2.5 visual notes:

- SLA & the Franklin Institute -

- Educon’s website -


Visual note taking, sometimes called sketchnoting or strategic doodling or …, can help us better understand and connect information since not all information is best understood linearly. It asks the note-taker to take paying attention to the next level. to deeply understand the content AND context as well as ‘do something’ with the content – turn it into pictures. I encourage learners to take their notes this way. It’s not about creating something beautiful. It’s about listening, filtering, organizing & drawing with your own style (and you don’t need any prior drawing experience). Teachers, if a student asks to take notes like this, please let them. Remind them it’s ‘strategic doodling’ which means their doodles need to directly relate to the content of the class.

Feel free to reach out via email (amanda(at) or twitter (@amanda_lyons) for visual note-taking tips, or to schedule a school visit for student classrooms or teacher professional development, or to share a visual tool/technique used in your classroom for my blog, or to simply chat visuals! I’d love to hear from you!

I also build visual activities based on particular lessons or take-aways. These are generally custom designs, some of which have evolved from the experiential education world.

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