My Mind (you don’t want to go there)

Imagine using a Mind Map to reflect your actual way of thinking – I would need one in 3D with multiple platforms operating simultaneously with sound effects for an accurate portrayal. I am not a mindmapper. I am a ‘lister’ – I like lists and post-it notes stuck on my computer and purse, and notes scrawled on scraps of paper all over the place. And yet my mind can visualise EXACTLY where something is, like the absent-minded professor, so never ever, ever clean my desk or I won’t be able to find what I’m looking for! As soon as I attempt to reorganise into some semblance of order I got side-tracked how to file things under specific areas, and re-arrange and re-sort and can never find what I’m looking for and yet my mind can visualise the EXACT colour pen used on the EXACT coloured paper and the EXACT spot where that important scrap of note WAS located.

New Mind Map (2)And yes you guessed it – I had to draw a mind map from a list written with pen and paper before trialling this program! Ok I admit it – it was fun, fiddly but fun. We learn by doing, however, and this little exercise has shown me some of the benefits of the wonderful world of ICT – no paper wastage or re-writing, ease of drag ‘n drop, colours for visuals. Just takes a bit of practice adapting and becoming familiar with new techniques.

This makes me reflect on individual learning styles and ways of thinking. Sure we should be providing students with the skills of the 21st century but we must also be mindful that different minds work in different ways. I am a firm believer in the pen-n-paper method as I find for myself personally (and saw an article recently) that minds can remember information better if written by hand. If I write down a phone number I never forget it, if it is typed into my phone contacts I never remember it. If I write my shopping list and leave it at home I can still visualise that list in my mind when out shopping.

I have used ‘mind maps’ written on the whiteboard whilst on prac (even using circles not lists!) but the advantage of this program keeps a permanent copy for future reference that can be pulled out at any time and edited. And keep older versions for comparison.

Learn by doing otherwise your mind can close off potentially advantageous avenues! Never say never (which is what I said when presented with this task).

Golly gosh the gadgets we take for granted – I have forgotten internet and emails from my list of ICT tools.

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