Sunday, April 22, 2012

Teaching mindmapping to 10th Standard Students of Millenium National School

I learned mindmapping about 10-12 years back from Tony Buzan's Mindmap Book. For me Mindmaps work and i have used for everything from documenting software design, planning customer visits, preparing for training sessions/presentations etc etc.  Few years back, I taught mindmapping to my daughters. My elder daughter is now a regular mindmap user and she studies all the subjects using mindmaps. 

Many years I have been thinking that mindmapping will be an excellent life skill if we teach it our students at around 8th-9th grade. So I approached my daughters' school. Millenium National School and asked if I can teach mindmapping to 10th standard students.  School's director Arpita Karakare ma'am and Radhika teacher (coordinator) , Smita teacher were very enthusiastic about the idea. (BTW, I think this enthusiasm about trying out new ideas that can potentially benefit students is the distinguishing character of Millenium school.). Arpita ma'am and few Millenium teachers were already using mindmaps. Hence the concept was not new to school. 

We decided on following format 
  1. 4 hour introductory session for each division
  2. At the end of session give 4-5 topics (from science, history/civics, maths, geography) and students have to submit these 4-5 mindmaps in about 8-10 days time.
  3. I will evaluate these mindmaps and give suggestions for improvements.
So far I have done many corporate trainings on various topics. This was my first experience of teaching students. It was GREAT experience. Students enjoyed it. Some teachers also attended sessions. 

Interestingly many 'C' Division students made really Good mindmaps. 'A'  division students had many more questions/doubts and quickly wanted to try out different ideas. Also many 'A' division students tried mindmapping topics other than the topics for experiences. During followup sessions I could see the gradual improvements in mindmaps as students practiced more. And Mindmapping does require practice. Even after 12 years of using mindmaps, I still have to revise my mindmaps multiple times to completely organize my thoughts about a subject.

I don't know how of these students will remain regular mindmap users. But even if few of them use it regularly, it will give me great satisfaction.

In fact, Arpita ma'am told me about one student. His father called her and asked her that his son is suddenly very enthusiastic study and he is drawing all these pictures/maps. And is that ok ??.  She assured him that 'yes it is ok'. Its a 'great feeling' to be a part of such transformations.

Thanks Team Millennium for the opportunity and your support. (especially Radhika teacher, Smita teacher and Arpita ma'am and all the 10th Standard Students).

As usual here are few good links about Mindmapping.
  1. Tony Buzan's Mindmap Book on Google Books
  2. Tony Buzan giving a quick introduction to Mindmaps
  3. How to mindmap a Text book 
  4. 7 mind-mapping uses for Students. 
  5. Mindmap Art - Have some great examples of mindmaps.
 Some good Mindmap Software:
  1. MindManager Easy to use and has great MS Office integration
  2. iMindmap is developed by Tony Buzan. The iMindmap mindmaps look great.
  3. XMind - Open Source available in Linux, Windows, Mac. Good software to start.
  4. FreeMind -