Mind Maps & the Joy of Learning

Oh my goodness! Everyone needs to learn about this learning technique. It can be used in a variety of settings: classroom, while studying, seminars, researching, brainstorming, just anywhere! I had heard about mind maps before, but had never really successfully used one. Probably because I was trying to do it online and was diagramming a huge topic. It really should have been done on several maps. But I got tempted again when I saw it available on my Kindle.

I’ll start with one of the drawbacks on the Kindle. Pictures are there, but they are smaller and black and white so you lose some of the creativity of the mind map. That is the only thing negative I am going to say.

I have now used mind maps in my study of the Bible, listening to talks, brainstorming, and doing research. It has been wonderful. First, it brings more of your senses into the learning equation. Second, it apparently works more effectively with the way your brain works. Third, it is easier to see your notes and follow your thought process, or the thought process of the speaker. Here is an example:

One of my mind maps.

Looks like a mess doesn’t it! But it is really very easy to follow. Basically the main thought or topic goes in the middle, subtopics come out of that. Next are details and you keep going on from there. With a really big project you would do the same, but at some point you would start maps for the subtopics or the details. While it does look a mess it is easier for our minds to process than a more linear approach. And if it looks too much of a mess for you, redo it later with more care. Also you can use colors (as you can see with mine), shapes, doodles, anything that will help you remember that particular part of the talk or study or whatever you are tackling.

A book that I am reading now on mind mapping is called, “Mind Mapping” by Kam Knight. It is really basic, some of it explains things about studying that many of us know, but it is also very easy to understand when talking about the premise and use of mind maps. I highly recommend it.

Lastly I will just say that my intake of information seems more cohesive now. I can see the relation of one bit of information to another by taking notes this way. And this is a great way for kids to learn. I wish I had known this all those years ago.

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