SAN JOSE, April 4, 2017 — Across the world, educators and students are uniting with one simple goal: to complete and share one drawing a day. The #Sketch50 movement, while amazingly simple in it’s foundational goal, strikes on something much deeper: sketching as a means of unleashing creativity, building artistic confidence, and tapping into growth mindset.
It all started with an email titled, “I have an idea :).” Cate Tolnai, an Academic Technology Specialist for Santa Clara County Office of Education, was still buzzing on the EDUhigh of the 2017 National CUE conference when she reached out to members of her sketchnoting network and asked them if they wanted to take part in a social experiment with her. Cate writes: “What if we set out to do a push for a sketch-a-day campaign to get anyone who has the sketching bug to just do it? We could start on the following Monday, and that would be 50 days of sketching culminating on May 16, which is National Drawing Day.” Lucky for Cate, the group she reached out to has a habit of saying yes to innovative ideas, and just like that, the movement was born. Within the next few days, the group had a domain, a website, a variety of social media accounts, and a spreadsheet to collaboratively generate prompts.
It didn’t take long for this movement to attract thousands of hungry educators and creators. The prompt on Day 1 was to sketch a lightbulb. Hundreds of posts emerged including themes of inspirational educational quotes, students and families drawing together, and perhaps most significantly, teachers and students who were hesitant in their artistic abilities jumping in. From digital doodles in apps like Procreate and Paper53 to sticky notes and notebook paper — sketchers young and old are finding their #sketch50 entrypoint.
Another exciting and unexpected outcome of this viral movement has been the interest of select professional artists and authors to share and inspire #Sketch50 in their own way. Based off of emails and tweets from Pablo Diaz, Wanda Terral, and Cate Tolnai, the group has partnered with Mike Rohde, Mauro Toselli, the Sketchnote Army team, Wendi Pillars, Sunni Brown, Javier Perez, and others. Their generosity of time, daily sketches, and donations of books and webinars have made an incredible impact on the thousands of sketchers included in the #Sketch50 community.
The themes covered across the 50 days of sketching include: Communication, Personalized Learning, Design Thinking, Sketching Basics, Celebrating Success, Social Justice, Creativity, and Growth Mindset. All are invited to earn Sketch 50 Digital Badges hosted on the Badgelist platform that aim to celebrate the individual progress of each sketcher and help her capture and share her #sketch50 journey.
Since the movement focuses on active learning while having fun, it seemed appropriate to culminate on National Drawing Day with #PlayPD sessions hosted by moderators and passionate sketchers throughout California. PlayPD hosts pop-up, informal professional development sessions where educators gather to experience EDUtools/strategies and brainstorm their implications for instruction.
For more information on the #Sketch50 movement, please connect with us!
*Twitter: @sketch50 and @Play_PD
*Facebook: sketch50 Instagram: sketch_50
You can also contact any of the #Sketch50 organizers (Cate Tolnai, Lindsey Blass, Wanda Terral, Pablo Diaz, Ann Kozma, Genevieve Pacada, Jo-Ann Fox, Misty Kluesner, Nicole Delasio, Matt Miller, and Sylvia Duckworth) on Twitter or via email at [email protected] Whether you joined the movement on Day 1 or plan to join on Day 50, we encourage you to lean into your growth mindset and throw some creativity into the universe!