Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Using Mind Maps to Learn Stuff

My sabbatical project is on mind mapping: using these web-like, image-laden diagrams to study, recall and communicate information. Although I usually draw my mind maps by hand, I am fond of a few of the programs available. Today I'm experimenting with MindMeister. This program is interesting because it allows the mind mapper to store mind maps in The Cloud and access them from anywhere. Cool. These mind maps can also be accessed by others for collaboration and brainstorming purposes. Very cool. The stripped-down sample MindMeister is free, and there are two more elaborate versions that cost some money. Free is for me, or course, so whatever you see here from MindMeister will be from the free version unless I fall in love and dish out some precious cash. (It's possible as it's really not that expensive.)

My first experimental MindMeister Mind Map will be used to map stuff for the mind map article I am working on. What I plan to do since I am studying mind maps in education and learning, is to learn something completely new to me and evaluate how effective mind maps are in helping me learn and organize information. My background is in the arts, and more specifically in Music, but recently there have been some very interesting books on how the brain processes music. The brain part--Science--is completely unfamiliar to me intellectually. I am fascinated by the brain and how it works, especially after losing my father to a stroke and my mother to dementia. First hand I saw, twice, how the brain can go haywire. Both cases were horrifying and heartbreaking at the same time that they were fascinating. I couldn't (and didn't want to) take the time when I was living through those ordeals to learn more about the brain, but I can now. Linking what I learn to music will make it even more interesting to me.

So here is my MindMeister Mind Map, begun this morning, on that project. I am sure I will be adding lots to it and becoming more familiar with its functions. Click on the square icon in the bottom bar to open the map in a new window and view the whole thing.

1 comment:

  1. Hi Margaret:

    Glad to see you are using MindMeister- a wonderful mind mapping application in the cloud. I have done a number of reviews on MindMeister and find it easy to use and great for publishing to the web.

    If you have the chance take a look at Comapping ( . You may find it to be a valuable addition to your mind mapping toolkit. It also now includes Context Organizer which can summarize web sites from URL's, along with PDF's & Word documents.

    Brian S. Friedlander, Ph.D.
    AssistiveTek Blog
    Skype: assistivetek