Weekly Technology Lab # 10
Mind Mapping Software
I consider myself as a novice in this technology as I have never come across it before. As traditionally, students are accustomed at outlining and note taking in a linear manner, which basically rely on relations and cause and effect, this didn’t allow going from the big picture to the details in a structured and creative way to develop links between the different concepts they are learning throughout the units. When I searched resources on the internet, I’ve found useful information about the advantages of Mind Maps. It’s more free-form and visual, allowing you to make connections and quickly mark down subcategories suggested by categories without being as constrained by space and organization as you are in a formal outline.
In its simplest form, a mind map is the product of brainstorming on paper. It consists of a central idea (normally represented by a large circle), related ideas (smaller circles), and lines connecting them together. They are sometimes referred to as concept maps or cognitive maps.
Here are some of the ways mind maps are used:
- Organizing ideas
- Planning projects
- Decision making
I consider what I learned through navigating many sites are theoretically adequate but I think as any new approach you have to try it on the ground and collect observations on how it can be best used. I expect it would be worth of trying but the barriers we have in Palestine concerning the availability of this new technology for our students might be difficult to overcome for the time being. Still the concept itself implemented on paper or on the board can be very applicable and very useful to teach reading and writing. For Example instead of asking a question about what they read, teacher can put a question in the center of the board. Ideas and concepts will grow off as discussion is continuing. This allows learners to see how the ideas are unfolding and recognize the most important concepts were in the reading, if there were patterns, and if those concepts and patterns relate to another at a glance without much effort and try hard to remember what was read before.
I can see myself using Mind Mapping in teaching as it is suitable for both fast and slow learners as the pace is dictated by students and not teachers. Mind Mapping also facilitates organizing students’ thoughts, help them to keep ideas in memory and then retrieve them easily.
I think all types of students with different learning preferences especially visual learners would like and enjoy using this technology as it is flexible which means that different students can express and demonstrate their learning using different modalities. It is also time-saving, engaging and appealing to a generation of students who live in the new digital age. Students with visual impairments “blind” might find it difficult to use it, though it might be possible to be used with a screen reader.