“Doodling is to make spontaneous marks to help yourself think” ~ Sunni Brown on How Doodling Facilitates Learning…*

In this short engaging TED talk from 2011, co-author of GameStorming: A Playbook for Rule-breakers, Innovators and Changemakers and Bright Spot I.D. founder and creative director, Sunni Brown, urges her audience to rethink…* the value of doodling. Noting that, “there is a powerful cultural norm against doodling in settings in which we’re supposed to learn something,” Brown aims to disrupt the current cultural status of doodling as a childish time waster. Highlighting some of the cognitive benefits of doodling–enhanced focus, creative problem solving and deep information processing–Brown argues “doodling is really to make spontaneous marks to help yourself think,” and, “it is a tool that we need to remember and to relearn.”

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“I think that our culture is so intensely focused on verbal information that we’re almost blinded to the value of doodling.”

“Doodling is an incredibly powerful tool and it is a tool that we need to remember and to relearn.”

“People who doodle when they’re exposed to verbal information, retain more of that information than their non-doodling counterparts. We think doodling is something you when you lose focus, but in reality it is a preemptive measure to stop you from losing focus.”

“It [doodling] has a profound effect on creative problem solving and deep information processing. There are four ways that learners intake information so that they can make decisions:

  1. Visual
  2. Auditory
  3. Reading/Writing
  4. Kinesthetic

Now, in order for us to really chew on information and do something with it, we have to engage at least two of these modalities or we have to engage one of those modalities coupled with an emotional experience. The incredible contribution of the doodle is that it engages all four learning modalities simultaneously with the possibility to have an emotional experience.”

“Under no circumstances should doodling be eradicated from a classroom, or a boardroom or even the war room. On the contrary, doodling should be leveraged in precisely those situations where information density is very high and the need for processing that information is very high.”

Sunni Brown: Doodlers, Unite! | via TED.com, published September 2011

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