This is part of the Online Learning series that explores the various online tools that are available for facilitators and teachers to use as part of their classrooms. It is primarily aimed at K-12 and HigherEd educators in India who have moved to the online setting recently
The world has changed. The shift towards online learning in the past few months has been remarkable. If you are an educator you must be doing online teaching a lot more than what you were doing in the last year. Many of us have adapted fast since we were familiar with the use of basic tools like email and video call software. But is that enough to provide the same quality of learning that we used to provide in the in-person classrooms?
This series explores the challenges, gaps in moving to the online classrooms and the tools available to fill them and even go beyond
We learn a lot. We are conscious of learning some of the time. We are not some of the time. Knowing what we want to learn and what we will be able to do after is a useful tool in learning. Having clarity about what to learn helps us focus on what we learn. Understanding what we will be able to do motivates us to learn.
What is a vision board?
a collage of images and words representing a person’s wishes or goals, intended to serve as inspiration or motivationDefinitions from Oxford Languages
The Internet has plenty of free tools available for making vision boards. Here are some popular ones: Canva, Pinterest, PicMonkey
You can use any photo editor tool or even paint app to make your vision board. My personal digital tool favorite is MS Powerpoint. But more often than not, I encourage learners to use cutout pics and make a physical vision board with charts and colors.
Why should I use vision boards for learning?
The traditional learning gives the ownership of learning to the teacher. It is not the case anymore. We want our learners to take charge of their learning. And there is also a shift in learning from knowledge to application. How can I use what I know? What else I need to learn to be able to do it?
Visions boards are a great way to do this.
Vision boards are like an empty canvas that you can use to paint your future.
Vision boards help the learners put down their thoughts and dreams about their future in a tangible way.
Vision boards help them to stay motivated
Vision boards provide clarity on what they are learning and why they are learning
They promote growth-mindset
The most important reason, is that vision boards help learners take ownership of their learning. Creating the vision board themselves, helps them connect to the goals, outcomes, and the motivation to make it happen
How do I create a vision board?
The first step in making a vision board is reflection. Think about why you are learning this? What is the goal you want to achieve? Think about them and make a list of outcomes you want from this learning experience
Collect inspiring quotes/words/phrases about it. You can also collect, draw pictures. Any other inspiring words come yo your mind? Note them down too.
Add sensory information – When you think of the future after the learning is complete – What are you seeing yourself doing? What else do you see?
What words are you using? What sounds are you hearing?
What do you Feel?
Is there any smell that comes to your mind?
What kind of materials, tools are you using?
Is there any taste that comes to your mind?
Now its time to collect the pictures. You can search for pictures that represent your goals, mindsets, and feelings. If you are good at drawing, make some to represent them. You can then take pictures of them to use it if you are creating a digital vision board
Think of a way you want to put them together visually – timewise, based on the theme, or based on how they make you feel. There is no hard and fast rule here. Use your creativity.
We are all set now. We can get started. In my sessions, I always prefer making vision boards with physical material. But since the objective here is also to get familiar with digital tools we will be using an online tool
I Am Excited. Shall we get on?
There are a variety of tools to create vision boards. My personal favorite is to use PowerPoint. But I am not going to use that. We will be using Pinterest to create vision boards. Pinterest is a cool tool. It’s not only used for creating a vision board, but a very useful way to gather resources, organize and view them.
Before getting started with Pinterest, make sure you have done the steps above and gathered the pictures, words, and quotes. And also a mental layout or a rough sketch
- Go to the Pinterest website
- Create an account for yourself, if you don’t have one
- Create a new board called the Online Learning Vision Board
- You can create multiple sections depending on how you want to group them
- Now you can add pins – Pins are nothing but images
- You can add words – There is no inbuilt feature to do this – You can write on a paper and take a picture. Or you can use software for that. I will show how to do that with Canva
- You can then organize and arrange your pictures
- Your vision board is done!
What to watch out for?
The main challenge while creating vision boards is to keep it specific and clear. It is easy to get carried away with dreams (And it is not bad) – But when you are committing it to the vision board keep it specific. After all, one of the objectives of doing a vision board is to give you clarity
Plagiarism. Make sure you are using images that are copyright free. If you are using images/quotes that requires attribution, you must do so.
Lastly, while using digital tools (And this is a common concern for all digital tools), be aware of the privacy issues. Be mindful of sharing your and your students’ work outside the classroom. Ask learners to use strong passwords. Most digital tools coming with collaboration options. Use those for sharing work. Never share accounts