Thinking Visually with Omar Lopez

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Closes January 15, 2018

Episode 12

Guest Star

Omar Lopez

  • Teacher - Irene Garcia Middle School - La Joya ISD
  • 8th grade Science
    • Previously taught 7th and 8th grade ELA as well
  • Avid Sketchnoter
    • Graphic Recorder 
  • Twitter: @OmarLopez0207

G Sweet Ideas

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  • Avid Sketchnoter & Graphic Recorder 
    • Twitter: @OmarLopez0207
  • Aced.Tech/Privacy

ACEd Topic


  • Visual Thinking = Thinking Visually
  • Hope to spark or reaffirm interest in thinking visually.
  • Goal of educators: find the best way to help students learn
  • Asking others to visualize is natural - almost automatic!
  • Putting ideas into a visual - Thinking Visually or Visual Thinking
  • Popularity of Sketchnoting or Visual thinking products?
II. What is Visual Thinking?
  • Visual thinking is a way of conveying something complex – a concept or a process – in a way that is easy to see and understand - others or self.
  • It’s a way of seeing words as a series of images, pictures or symbols. 
  • Doesn’t have to be an illustration. 
  • Example: Annotated article - highlighted, symbols, underlined words, notes to the side
  • Don’t have to be an artist to be a visual thinker!
  • Quote: “Visual thinking does not mean replacing the word “car” with a drawing of a car. And being a good visual thinker has absolutely nothing to do with your ability to draw. ” 
III. Benefits of Thinking Visually
  • Target different learning styles
  • Auditory learners listen and draw key ideas
  • Helps with spatial awareness
  • Kinesthetic - gallery walk
  • Hands on or tactile -  Ex: using Legos 
  • Especially helpful for English Language Learners (ELLs)
  • Studies support it drawing as a cognitive learning practice 
  • It’s easy to do - drawn map vs written directions!
  • Students take ownership
  • Visual information is processed more quickly than text.
  • Improve retention of information and deeper understanding
  • There is no wrong way of doing it
IV. Tools
  • Analog - Common inexpensive way - more accessible
  • Colored pens markers and paper
  • Favorite Personal tool: iPad Pro with Apple Pencil
  • Devices in school
  • As an educator and for student use: 
  • Google Slides and Spark Post - same username
  • Icon add-on on Slides
  • Easy to insert what they see in their heads
  • Less time consuming
  • Collaboration
  • Initially - strict and specific parameters
  • Tailored and prescriptive objectives
  • As Students progress more freedom is given
  • Focused visuals help with STAAR writing - 
  • Deeper development of ideas
  • Supporting DETAILS
  • Flow and coherence

Beyond EdTech

ACEd Apps

Review Previous Apps
    • Great for creating visuals of ideas or concepts.
      • Experts to Novice
      • Readily available templates “to remix”
      • Suggested styles
      • Easy to share across multiple platforms - social media and Google Classroom
      • Spark for Education - Sample lessons
      • Check out for teacher resources.
    • Many final products
      • Students can create and shore projects for almost everything
        • Self Expression
        • Vocabulary
        • Explanation of Concept
        • Persuasive Ads
        • Real World connection
      • Club and organization use
      • Use icons and images
      • Font style allows for clearer message
    • Web Based or App
    • Spark Post works perfectly on Chromebooks - good for schools!
    • Is it available on iOS? - These two (2) apps are also available in iOS for free!
      • Navigation menus is slightly different in iOS than web based!

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