Monday, June 23, 2008

Mind Mapping and Improving Visual Clarity for Learning

One of the barriers to learning is seeing how ideas are connected. What a student needs is a road map of how ideas are connected by relavance. One tool used to improve clarity and understanding is Mind Mapping. Mind Mapping is the process of linking ideas by drawing a map of how ideas are connected. Forming Mind Maps helps visualise the ideas to see how they are relevant to each other.
Text2MindMaps is a free online tool used to create Mind Maps. It is a basic web application that outputs a .jpeg file, making it easy to include on a website. Another online Mind Mapping tool is mindmeister. It is a more complete web application that allows you to include icons for added visual stimulation, plus a whole lot more. Mindmeister have a public libarary of Mind Maps created by members that you can view without joining, and is interesting browsing. WikiMindMap is different type of Mind Map tool. Use it to create Mind Maps on topics from Wikipedia the online encyclopaedia. when you search a topic the results are diplayed in a Mind Map, the map shows linking topics relevant to your search.
Mind maps don't need to be created on a computer. Mind Maps drawn by hand on paper are easy to create and just as effective. A hand drawn mind map is better in some ways, because you aren't limited by the software. You can include personal colours and pictures to help create a more individual learning aid.

image by sirwiseowl