Best Mind Mapping Software for Education
Mind mapping is considered as one of the most innovative and creative tool that helps both as a teaching and learning aid. Teachers use mind maps to simplify complex topics and provide a better understanding to students, while students use mind maps to reflect their understanding of topics and remember them. Mind maps help them to understand the connections between different ideas.
In education, mind mapping is often used for:
- Brainstorming sessions
- Visualizing concepts
- Improving critical thinking
- Decision making
- Improving reading and writing skills
- Advanced research papers or graduate projects
- Outlining written documents
- Storyboarding presentations
- Project management
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For students who are not process oriented, rather visually oriented mind mapping can prove to be an easy way out to put in all their random thoughts and then make the connections. For students who suffer from Asperger or Dyslexia, mind mapping proves to be more assistive in nature by helping the students to visualize complex subjects and remember key topics.
How does Mind Mapping Work in Education
Mind mapping is used in education for both teaching and learning. Teachers use mind maps as a note-making tool to develop their ideas on the subjects they are teaching. Students use mind maps as a note-taking tool to understand the subject being taught to them and remember the topics better. When teachers use mind mapping for planning, it creates an increased understanding of the module, and helps them to identify a structured and logical teaching methodology. This in turn helps students to remember the subject better.
Important Uses of Mind Mapping in Education
Students and teachers can utilize this simple and effective method both inside the classroom and at home. Given below are some important uses of mind mapping in education.
Taking Better Notes:
Mind maps help to write less and retain more in the following ways:
- Take more efficient notes in class
- Visualize hierarchies and connections between topics
- Use mental triggers to retain information more easily
- Add notes, links, attachments, images and videos to topics
- Search and filter the maps for quick revision
Engaging and Collaborating
Mind maps help the teachers to keep all the students engaged and help the students learn to work in a collaborative manner to:
- Exchange information and ideas
- Work simultaneously on the same mind map
- Infinitely undo all changes
- See who contributed what and when
- Make studying fun
Researching and Writing
Mind maps prove most effective in this area when the students have to research and write essays on a given topic, or write scientific papers. Mind maps help to:
- Collect notes, links and documents
- Evaluate and comprehend information
- Stimulate the logical flow of the thought process
- Simplify complex topics
- Develop and outline an essay structure
Minds maps help to visualize and communicate complex information. Students can:
- Turn maps into dynamic presentations within seconds
- Show the ‘big picture’ as well as details
- Zoom and pan to relevant areas of their choice
- Add notes and links to the slideshows
- Embed presentations in blogs and websites
Benefits of Mind Mapping in Education
Mind Mapping in education comes packed with benefits for both teachers and students. Research has shown that those students who use the mind mapping technique have better critical thinking skills and memory power. Students use mind maps to capture their thought processes and present their ideas visually. This also improves their communication and collaboration skills.
The Institute for the Advancement of Research in Education (IARE) at AEL conducted a research study in 2003 entitled Graphic Organizers: A Review of Scientifically Based Research. The study concluded that Graphic organizers:
- Improve reading comprehension
- Benefit students achievement levels
- Enhance thinking and learning skills
- Increase retention
- Support cognitive learning theory
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Benefits for Students
Mind maps hold the following benefits for students:
- Improved memory and recall – Mind maps are full of mental triggers that help the brain to comprehend and store concepts more easily. Students take less notes, need fewer revisions and still retain more facts than they would with linear notes.
- Free flow of ideas – The use of keywords, images and short phrases in mind maps, helps students jot down thoughts a lot faster than usual. This free flow of ideas help in brainstorming creative writing assignments and solve brainteasers.
- Structured Information – Mind maps can store and structure vast amounts of information. They display hierarchy, show relationships between single topics and enable students to see the “big picture” at a glance. This also makes them ideal for summarizing texts.
- Better Communication – Mind mapping software helps both students and teachers collaborate and communicate better. Since it is more of a visual aid, some of the most complex problems are broken down and solutions are found in the most efficient manner.
Benefits for Teachers
Teachers benefit with mind mapping because of its visual nature. They can monitor and assess the students’ understanding of the topics covered with the help of mind maps. This helps them to identify the gaps and plan out the future topics accordingly. Mind map software also help teachers map their thought processes in an organized way with respect to a topic or subject and this ensures they cover the topics in totality.
Mind Vector – the Perfect Choice for Education
Mind Vector is the best mind mapping software solution for teachers and students.
The automatically expanding canvas helps both teachers and students to keep on adding sub-topics and related topics around a main topic. The flexibility to add notes, images, icons, and web links helps the students and teachers add every minute detail to a topic, which later can be easily recalled.
Collaboration is important in education, be it teachers working together on a complex subject or students working together on a complex assignment. The Collaboration feature of Mind Vector is of great value when a mind map for a complex topic is being created. Almost 20 people can access the same mind map at any given point in time and add their thoughts, feedback, and ideas. Mind Vector is available in the Android, iOS, and Web versions therefore making it easily accessible to one and all.
We can therefore conclude that with easy availability of appropriate tools, mind mapping can be one of the most popular education aids.
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