Drawing for Learning with the Sketches School App (Video Tutorials Included!)


As a long time sketchnoter, I have learned from experience that drawing is a powerful strategy that can impact recall and processing of information. Studies have shown that those who draw as a part of their learning process double their memory of vocabulary and concepts. (Fernades, Wammes, and Meade: https://www.edutopia.org/article/science-drawing-and-memory) So any time that we can include creating drawings or visuals in our lessons can be a huge win for our students.

Then why draw on an iPad? When students have their own iPad, drawing materials are right at hand. There is no need to pass out paper, markers, or crayons. There is no mess to clean up at the end! There are a variety of digital tools that realistically simulate everything from pencil to ink to paint in all the colors of the rainbow. Drawing digitally also is forgiving - students can edit, undo, and erase which saves much frustration. Digital drawing truly opens up new creative potential and freedom in our classrooms!

I personally love the Tayasui Sketches School app for student drawing on iPads. It is free and is intuitive for students of all ages to use. It has a great assortment of beautiful drawing tools that take advantage of the pressure sensitivity of the Apple Pencil (which is helpful, but not essential to use, fingers also work for drawing). The watercolor and the calligraphy pen are especially amazing! Sketches School also includes some helpful shapes and the ability to draw with symmetry. In addition the eraser and knife tools make it easy to edit and adjust your work. 

Tayasui Sketches School app (free): https://apps.apple.com/us/app/tayasui-sketches-school/id1354087061

[As a side note, I use the Tayasui Sketches Pro for most of my sketchnotes. It has more drawing tools (which can be customized) and lets me use layers and other helpful features so I can draw in an easy creative workflow.]

Tayasui Sketches Pro app: https://apps.apple.com/us/app/tayasui-sketches-pro/id671867510

I recently recorded two video tutorials to help students learn how to use the Sketches School App app. Part One gives and overview of how to begin a drawing and introduces the main drawing tools.

Introduction to the Tayasui Sketches School App Pt 1 - Drawing Tools:  https://youtu.be/caUhQgjyl78

Part Two shares how to use the additional tools and gives some helpful advanced hints. It covers adding background papers, fill, text, shapes, blending, the knife, ruler, and symmetry tools. (This video is longer, but is divided by chapters so you can easily find the tool/skill that you are interested in learning about.)

Introduction to the Tayasui Sketches School App Pt 2 - Editing Tools: https://youtu.be/6nbwyrM5DQ4

I hope these videos can help you and your students explore how digital drawing can impact both learning and creativity!

All Comments

Posted on September 17, 2022

Karen, thank you for sharing such great resources!

Posted on September 17, 2022

Thanks, Tami! Always happy to make it a little easier for my teacher friends!

Posted on September 17, 2022

These are great - can’t wait to share with our teachers. We have Sketches School for students and Sketches Pro for teachers.

Posted on September 17, 2022

That's great - I hope the tutorials can be helpful and save teachers some prep time when introducing the app to their students. And I'm impressed that the teachers have Sketches Pro - I hope they are enjoying using it.

Posted on September 17, 2022

So impressive Karen, thanks so much for the tutorials and information on the benefits of sketching. Teachers have noted that sketching and drawing in class is an engaging activity and one that supports learning. So thanks for the help in incorporating this skill.

Posted on September 18, 2022

These are amazing. Thank you so much for sharing your expertise! ❤️

Posted on November 01, 2022

Great resource to integrate across all learning areas!

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