In the first post of this education series, I gave a general background on mind maps (what they are, how to draw them, how to use them) and described how students can use mind maps to learn. Now I want to show you how teachers can use mind maps to teach and connect with students.
Mind maps are a great tool to consolidate information from reading material, whether the information is coming from one source or multiple sources, and look at it from varied perspectives in a highly visual, interactive format. Mind mapping allows for better organization and clearer connections among concepts and topics, which, in turn, allows for more thorough examination, understanding, and presentation of subject matter.
How mind maps help teachers
Mind mapping enables teachers to manipulate ideas and concepts with great ease and flexibility, and helps present available information visually in a comprehensive and clear manner. Properly organizing information allows you to easily understand and evaluate existing knowledge and opens the door for effective communication of your knowledge.
The benefits of mind mapping to teachers can be summarized by five general functions:
1. Course planning: Mind maps help teachers manage their many classes and numerous activities throughout the hectic semester
2. Research for lectures: Mind maps help teachers find and collect information for lectures. They also help teachers to keep track of latest development in their field and share that information readily with students.
3. Lecture compositions: Mind maps help teachers summarize, organize, and present lecture information.
4. Presentations: Teachers and students can collaborate during the lecture by jointly manipulating the lecture mind map, making lectures fun and creative.
5. Assessment of students: Mind maps express students’ misconceptions just as clearly as their correct conceptions and can help students and instructors diagnose and remedy these misconceptions.
See the mind map below for more information on all five functions.
Although the benefits listed this article focus on teaching and learning, they span far beyond education and include uses in business, meetings, project management, and problem solving (see previous post).
Give mind mapping a try. It may be the key to unlocking the full potential of your teaching and your students’ learning.
Toni Krasnic is the author of CONCISE LEARNING: Learn More & Score Higher in Less Time with Less Effort. He is a mind mapper, a student success coach, and an educational consultant. He also publishes the free, biweekly Student Success Newsletter. His Web site, www.ConciseLearning.com, has many free, useful resources on mind mapping for students and teachers. You can connect with him on Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, and YouTube.
How do you use mind maps in teaching and elsewhere? Please share your experiences, ideas, questions, and suggestions as comments below.