Courtyard Thinking Photo Credit: Swamibu via Compfight cc

Privacy is an interesting thing – it relates to so many facets of our lives. What we say, what we think, what we share all have levels of privacy attached to them.  Sharing this idea with our students is so imperative.

Thinking about privacy as a creative person, I automatically think of my sketchbook.  It is the place I draw, I write, I reflect.  It is a black book of hand drawn images, text and blank pages (possibly too many these days).

What I post online is another set of ideas and often these two things come into contact with each other.  What I want to share publicly are things I am now actively thinking about sharing.  I have earmarked these points as things I want feedback on, ways to possibly extend a conversation, or thinking that needs some resolution.

My sketchbook on the other hand has walls built around it – and I love that about it.

Helping our students demarcate spaces is so important.  Please don’t get rid of student’s journals, please don’t lose the sketchbook.  As we move more and more to digital means of creation explain to students the joy of creating something, writing something, for their eyes only.

Image Source: en:User:Cburnett



9 thoughts on “The Courtyard – Delineating Spaces

  1. Matt, I am currently struggling with digital vs sketchbooks and have given my DP 11 class the option of choosing. There are 5 in the class, one is going digital while the other 4 will continue with a book. They just turned in their first assignment of this trimester and I have to say how easy it was to grade the one online BUT I felt it lost it’s creativity, it’s personality if you will. I will keep experimenting but will strongly encourage them to keep the books. It is just with the IB changing how the exam goes, they don’t really need to keep the books anymore. Sad but true.


    1. Anne, I understand. I actually wonder about the number of artists that continue to work with a sketchbook. Probably verify few. I also struggle with this as well. I have gone the digital route and now come back albeit with a digital portfolio as well.
      Thanks for your comments.


  2. Matt, How much of your sketch book’s privacy comes from its physicality? How important is the literal closing of the covers? Could we physicalize digital content to make its feel more private or at least more intimate, more worth of the respect that is required for privacy? As always, a thought provoking post.


    1. I think the privacy totally comes from its physicality. The closing of the cover and placing on a shelf is a tangible action that I relish about the time and experience I have with it. I feel I do not receive the same feeling with an online interface. Perhaps this is due to my digital migrant status? As a non native I will always hold on to the relics of the analog. Sounds like a good song lyric. 😉


  3. Great thoughts here, Matt.

    As a PYP & MYP art teacher and a Course 5 COETAILer, I have struggled both with the art-related as well as the professional-vs-personal notion of privacy.

    My students have sketchbooks, and — as my two visual art colleagues and I have passionately agreed — I want them always to have that tactile, burgeoning, growing object as a physical ‘thing’ that represents their artistic development. I love what technology affords me and my students, and we use technology frequently — as tools for research, communication and sharing, assessment, documentation — but it’s not replaced the sketchbook in my classroom. Obviously, the challenges can be different for IBDP teachers.

    From a COETAIL standpoint, I find that I have made myself far more “public” than ever before in my life. It was extremely uncomfortable for me at first: the blogging felt like running down the street naked. I’ve become more at ease with it over the past 5 courses, but I remain a very private person. I’ve come to see, however, the great benefit of opening myself up (my questions, doubts, classroom experiences, and ideas) to others: there is so much to reap from it, so much learning from fellow teachers when I simply throw myself into the mix.


    1. Aaron,

      Thanks for your weighing in on the subject. The hammer and the IPAD – both really are important for us to know how to use and know when to use.

      Throwing yourself in the mix – I am getting there, but trying not to forget that I need to thrown myself into a lot of mixes lately.


      1. Indeed, Matt, there are many mixes. Finding the balance is the big challenge for me: students’ needs, my own professional development, and particularly the differing perceptions & demands (my own and others’) about them.


  4. I am still with the physical sketchbook Matt, although I love the iPad mini for my visual note taking (as I can delete/erase and rework things!). But there is something about the actual feel of a sketchbook and the sound of pencil on paper that cannot be replicated digitally. All our students work in real sketchbooks and they relish them – from the covers to the contents. There is a new gadget called isketchnote that apparently sits under your paper and lets you doodle whilst digitally saving the writing or drawings. Sounds like the best combo to me and I am happy to fork out for it when it is out! What do you think? Did you ever try the Evernote moleskines?


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