Mind Mapping & Creative Thinking

December 13, 2008

Buzan iMindMap & Mind Mapping

Filed under: Design Technology — Editor @ 6:52 pm
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This is a review written as a result of a telephone interview following my training as one of the first 10 Licensed iMindMap trainers in the world.

 Buzan's iMindMap

“I am a highly visual person. I love the draw and images are a key part of the way I learn and teach. For me, iMindMap is great because it allows me to convey ideas in a visual format.”

Until December 2008 Tim Fulford was Assistant Head ~ Systems at Bootham School, York. He left the teaching sector in December 2008 after 23 years to pursue becoming a Full Time iMindMap Trainer.

Tim has been Mind Mapping for years and first discovered Mind Mapping as a concept when he was at school studying.
For Tim, the idea of visual learning and the relationship between children drawing and expressing themselves in this way is something he feels is key to the learning process. Whilst studying at University he became interested in the way Mind Mapping seemed to bridge this gap in the learning process.
He first came across iMindMap after sampling the free trial of V2 earlier this year. He was gripped by the software, bought it straight away and proceeded to demonstrate it to his school and get it integrated with the curriculum from September 2008.

In Lessons:
Tim uses Mind Mapping frequently in his lessons and it is always received with great enthusiasm by pupils. He uses iMindMap to prepare materials for pupils in the classroom and to enhance learning. It has captured their imagination and this can be seen in the enthusiasm they show for Mind Mapping. Visual learning techniques are of particular interest to Tim as he feels imagination is a key part of the learning process. The children love drawing Maps, using the colours and imagery.
Tim finds iMindMap a particularly useful tool when working with dyslexic pupils as it helps them to lay out their ideas and organise key thoughts, without have to worry about long chunks of text.

“I give out part made Mind Maps which allows them to separate out ideas and gain clarity. They are then able to add to their own thoughts to the branches and order their ideas more clearly.”

Tim has really seen a difference in the way pupils with learning difficulties respond to teaching using Mind Mapping as a means of visual learning: “it’s fantastic to see a pupil go from struggling to being successful by simply using a Mind Map.”

In Meetings:
Tim also finds iMindMap a useful tool for meetings and minute taking. He uses iMindMap to plan the agenda for meetings and take notes once the meeting in underway.
Using his Mind Map it is then much easier to stick to the agenda and ensure that the meetings stay on track.
Even in an open meeting situation with 50-60 people in the room – using Speed Mind Mapping Mode he has been able to document what people are saying quickly and clearly. iMindMap enables the information to be laid out clearly which means that points can be added to or easily located without having to trek back through reams of notes.

“Writing up the minutes using iMindMap tales about 90 minutes, whereas with the note taking method it would have been hours of work!”
After transferring the data from iMindMap to a written document, Tim said he received a ‘complaint’ from the Head of the School who said that he liked it better in the form of a Mind Map – as a picture!

During School Inspections:
Tim is also a school inspector and uses iMindMap when undergoing to inspection process. He finds it a great way of pulling out key information, particularly when conducting interviews with teachers and students. He has found that with iMindMap the information is easier to identify as it presented together on one sheet of paper.

“Not all questions will be relevant under every circumstance. If they are written out in a list, it is far more difficult to identify the relevant points quickly and without having to go back and forth between pages.”

Whilst sitting on the train after a training day, Tim was Mind Mapping the course and the girl sitting next to him asked him what he was doing. He explained about Mind Mapping which also attracted the attention of the passenger sitting opposite him. So, just sitting on the train, he gave an impromptu Mind Mapping lesson. As Tim says:

“I use iMindMap for anything and everything. I find new uses for it all the time – it’s taken over my life…in a good way. I wish it had been around years ago”

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