Down with Devices

By Red Rohl, Special for  USDR

Getting kids to pay attention has always been a challenge for teachers. But this is even more true today when most students own multiple devices that entertain, offer them instant gratification, and divert their attention from traditional book learning. Teacher and illustrator Red Rohl believes he has found the answer to engaging, inspiring and exciting students, thereby creating a classroom of energetic learners. He calls it sketchnote inspired art and this purposeful form of doodling is the basis for his new book series, Heavy  Sketches.

Rohl says, “In the classroom, students have various learning styles and if they aren’t tuned in, they are bored, disengaged, and apathetic. This causes them to miss educational opportunities and fall behind in the required curriculum. That discord is what started me on my mission to make a  difference.”

This form of sketchnoting, he observes, works especially well for students who are visual learners and those who learn by hands-on activities, which typically fade after middle school ends. Surprising as it may seem, Rohl says students who doodle may be paying more attention than those who don’t. Teachers can use this cross-curricular approach to help students pick up math, social studies, science, and writing skills in the classroom. It is even finding its way into the corporate world where adults are using the form of visual note taking to remember key points made in business  meetings.

The Heavy Sketches series, which came out in January, is an Amazon bestseller in the categories of cartoons, anthologies and manga. It features 30-years’ worth of original illustrations combined with facts, fiction and other educational  content.

Credentials: A lifelong illustrator, Red Rohl has 20 years of experience teaching at-risk students; he often incorporates his drawings into the lessons he teaches. He is currently traveling the U.S., visiting schools to promote his art and literacy program, Red’s Reading Revolution. He posts a biweekly cartoon blog for kids covering timely topics and important historical figures on his  website.

SOURCE Red  Rohl

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