macworld2012: Day Three

TT9102: Visual Note-Taking with the iPad (10:00am)

Speaker: Rachel Smith, Director, Digital Facilitation Services, The Grove Consultants

The iPad is the perfect tool for digital visual note-taking. Rachel pioneered this practice at Northern Voice, a Canadian blogging conference, just after the first iPad was released, and her visual notes were an instant hit among conference attendees. Bring your iPad loaded with your favorite drawing tool (Rachel prefers Autodesk Sketchbook Pro) to learn how to create beautiful records of meetings, conference sessions, conversations, and ideas that strike while you’re on the train. Who Should Attend? Anyone who wants to learn to use an iPad to take visual notes. All you need is an iPad, a drawing app, and a finger. Attendees Will Learn: Basic graphic recording techniques on the iPad, including lettering and drawing simple shapes; how to use brush tools, colors, and layers effectively to make note-taking quicker and easier; how to listen for key ideas and record them using text and imagery. If there is time, Rachel will also explain how to record the strokes and create a video of the drawing (a digital Chalk Talk).

If this session looks familiar, I wrote about it a couple of weeks ago. To recap,  I attended this session by Rachel Smith, called: Visual Note-Taking with the iPad. At first I was thinking that this was a giant step backward in terms of using the iPad to create notes that weren’t really searchable. Ack. But this also reminded me of the recent whiteboard videos where an artist takes a talk and creates a real-time info-graphic of the talk (a la Dan Pink’s video on Drive). This also reminded me of a friend who used poster-board graphics to improve student literacy (something called Project Glad, back in the day). One thing that I didn’t note previously is that she recommended using the iPad apps brushes, sketchbook pro for visual note-taking. Here’s a link to her visual notes journey:

Check out Smith’s video on visual note-taking:

 The Show Floor:

I spent some time on all three of the last days of macworld|iworld cruising the show floor. A lot has already been written and said about how the show floor and conference is only a shadow of it’s former self. I have to say that I was disappointed that vendors like Dr. Bott or Griffith Technology didn’t have store/booths where one could pick up all sorts of gizmos that one wouldn’t normally find in an Apple Store or Best Buy. That said, the floor was definitively alive with all of the wide variety of vendors catering to iOS devices and reaching well passed Mac-computer-centric sales. In a sense all of the highly motivated but small app and gadget producer was now the focus of the event. I got a chance to talk to the BusyCal guys (the whole company of two souls) and plead with them to produce an iOS version because I’m tired of the bad syncing experience between my desktops and iOS devices. And I got a chance to chat with several music/guitar on iOS devices that sound very interesting, particularly Blues Masters by G-Men Productions and GuitarJack by Sonoma Wire Works.

In all, as an Apple-affectionado, attending macworld|iWorld was worth the effort and I’m really looking for what the next year will bring in this crazy world-changing space.


All images by Joe Bustillos

One Comment

  1. Rachel Smith

    Hi Joe,

    Thanks for writing about my session (again!). As you mention, the iPad can be used to create sketch-movies like the Dan Pink one. What’s great about it is that the production time is very short, and one person can produce the whole movie — no camera crew needed. I use Brushes to capture the drawing and then pair it with audio in either iMovie or Final Cut Pro. You can check out some examples that I did for Education Elements, a company that helps schools implement blended learning practices, at I love the way the iPad makes it possible for me to create something like that without having to mess with video cameras… though that can be fun, too!


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