Friday, 19 February 2010

Creating Colourful Mindmaps Online

Mind maps are diagrams used to represent radial thinking – a natural function of the mind - which involves writing down a central idea and thinking up new and related ideas which radiate out from the centre. Mind Mapping (or concept mapping) can be applied to every aspect of life where improved learning and clearer thinking will enhance human performance, specially in education for brainstorming, organizing ideas or studying. It is very useful to develop visual memory.
  • Characteristics
The subject of attention is crystallized in a central word. The main themes of the subject radiate from the key center on branches. Branches may hold a key image/word printed on the associated line - details radiate out. The branches form a connected nodal structure.

 • Why using a mind map?

To clarify your thoughts, organize information, communicate clearly or take in information a mind map can assist. Mind maps may be used for different purposes: visualize, structure, and classify ideas, and as an aid in study and writing.

The elements of a given mind map are arranged intuitively according to the importance of the concepts, and are classified into groupings, branches, or areas, with the goal of representing semantic or other connections between portions of information. Mind maps may also aid recall of existing memories.

There are many mind mapping software available online, but now we are going to describe a free simple application:

Each bubble where you can introduce text or link presents different options to choose: You can choose the colour of the bubble, if you want to add a “sibling” or a “child” balloon.

It depends on why you are doing the Mind Map. A quick mini-Mind Map in one colour clears and facilitates the thinking process, but you should bear in mind that information is to be remembered, considered over time, looked at and enjoyed - then colour (one of your cortical skills) GREATLY enhances its effectiveness.

In standard notes, a very small percentage of words are really important. These are called key words. They are usually nouns or very strong action words that bring back the precise images and events that you want to remember. You should practice selecting them and see if they are the best ones for recall for you.

Once you have started your mind map, you can share it with your students or colleagues by clicking on the “sharing” tab and sending them an invitation to their email accounts. You can choose between the “Read Only” or “Full Edit” options. In the first case, they can visualize the mind map, but cannot alter it. Whether in the second, they can visualize and edit it.
This possibility is very interesting if you have a blog or website because you can illustrate your online space or make the ideas you want to express in your post clearer with this tool. You can also save your mind map as an image and use it in a power point presentation or to illustrate any printed material. Here is an example. If you place the cursor on the image and scroll the ball of your mouse the mind map will get bigger or smaller and you can even move it! Try: