Using Mind Maps with Lifelong Learners

  • November 28, 2017

Brain Mapping Techniques

A mind map is a powerful graphic strategy for organizing information. Beyond the idea of brainstorming and classifying information about a topic, a mind map provides lifelong learners with the ability to use critical brain skills: words, images, numbers, logic, rhythm, color, organization, and spatial awareness. Almost 60 years ago a man by the name of Tony Buzan created the mind map. Today mind maps and are used by millions of people around the world – from the very young to the very old.

What we like about using mind maps with lifelong learners is:

1. A mind map is a new learning strategy; our current population of lifelong learners attended school when the teacher possessed all the information and all the student had to do was memorize the information and pass the test
2. A lifelong learner possesses a lifetime of experience and brings multiple concepts to the process that younger students are usually not aware of
3. A mind map can occur anywhere and can be about any topic
4. A mind map is a “living” document and can be added to at any time (this concept alone encourages lifelong learners to find new information on their own about a topic)
5. A mind map can be an individual project, a small or large group project
6. A mind map is graphical; use sticky notes for each response or create images to replace a word

Steps to Implementing Mind Maps
Like any good teaching strategy mind maps need to be used frequently but not for every class. Follow these easy guidelines to generate your first mind map with your residents.

1. To become familiar with how varied mind maps can be search the internet for examples
2. Write the topic in the center of a large white board or flip chart
3. Have the residents brainstorm the sub-topics (do this as a separate list and have the residents select the sub-topics)
4. Create a wiggly line for each sub-topic
5. Lifelong learners then decide on the words or concepts that are assigned to each sub-topic

Mind mapping is one of the best ways to capture thoughts and bring them to life in visual form. Beyond just note-taking, though, mind maps can help lifelong learners become more creative, remember more, and solve problems more effectively. For a different take on mind maps visit Lifehacker at the link below.