At all levels of education, teachers and educators often face difficulties when trying to find the best way to communicate important topics to their students.
Traditional teaching methods can sometimes lack certain elements that are essential to students’ understanding and retention of knowledge; not to mention, lectures are not always very engaging, and learning becomes impossible when the students aren’t paying attention in the first place.
This is where mind mapping for learning comes into play.
Mind mapping and the power of visualisation
You may have heard the expression: “a picture is worth a thousand words”. Within a split second of seeing an image, your brain comprehends information in a much quicker way than if it was text.
The same goes with mind maps. Because of their visual nature, they can be an excellent teaching tool that’s both effective and fun for teachers and students alike.
A mind map is a graphical way to present ideas and concepts. It’s a visual tool that helps gather, capture and structure information and hence supports the user to better analyse, comprehend, synthesise, and recall information and knowledge.
In a mind map (as opposed to a linear text), information is structured in a way that resembles much more closely how your brain actually works. Since it’s an activity that’s both analytical and artistic, it engages your brain in a much richer way, assisting in all its cognitive functions.
How mind maps help teachers
Mind mapping has been established and accepted as a modern learning methodology.
The simple and easy-to-use format of mind maps enables teachers to manipulate ideas and concepts with great ease, and helps present available information visually in a comprehensive and clear manner to their students, as well as their colleagues.
Here are a few ways in which teachers can use mind mapping:
- Use mind mapping to plan your lessons. Mind mapping is a great way to develop a curriculum, research a lesson or plan your next lecture. Enrich your maps with tags, visuals, links and documents to have a structured and dynamic view of all your preparation work.
- Stay organised with mind maps. Mind mapping is the perfect tool for keeping track of tasks, lesson plans, to-dos, and information about your students. Transfer your important information from paper into a mind map and use this as your central dashboard to organise your work.
- Incorporate mind maps into your teaching. Mind maps as a teaching tool are invaluable for group brainstorming, presentations, and for generating discussion. Their non-linear and visual framework make them more engaging for students than a PowerPoint deck. You can also use mind maps to present new topics, and even print them off for students to take home as study notes.
- Encourage mind mapping for creativity. Students work better when their minds are allowed to work at a natural pace. Mind mapping frees students from the confines of pen and paper (or a Word document), allowing them to be more creative. Encourage your students to use mind mapping when generating new ideas or plans.
- Use mind maps to assess and track student progress. Mind maps are great for keeping track of students’ performance information. Data and notes can be kept in a centralised, easy-to-access location that you can use for creating report cards, or briefing yourself before parent-teacher meetings.
- Mind mapping for greater comprehension. Finally, mind mapping has been proven to help students understand and retain information more effectively than many traditional teaching methods. If your students are struggling to understand more complex or challenging topics, then consider presenting the information to them in a mind map. This framework makes it easier to draw connections between different pieces of information, helping to formulate a complete understanding of a topic.
Register for the live webinar: ‘Mind mapping for higher education: a primer for teachers & faculty’.