What is Mind Mapping and why is it important for learning?
What is a mind map and where did it come from?
A Mind Map is a very visual method of recording a wide range of ideas, revision and key words. They help to create pictures in your mind and make learning a specific topic or theme easier. The great thing about mind maps is that it is a great way to record all your ideas without being limited to a specific written structure. Mind maps have a very long history! They have been used, in various forms, for hundreds of years. Some of the greatest philosophers used tools such as mind maps to work through some of their ideas related to how the mind works and the human condition. More recently, mind maps have been essential in academic study and creative industries as a method of recording many thoughts around one central theme.
How are mind maps used?
A mind map is a visual organiser. When studying it is best used to map out your revision or a specific topic that you need to learn. It’s a great way to get everything you know down on paper and can help you see where the gaps in your learning are. You can even use mind maps to plan out essays or projects so that it is broken down into smaller, manageable chunks. Planning this way will allow you to move ideas around until you have the perfect format for your work. It also works well for group planning – your mind map can be the project overview and each stem can relate to a team member; the possibilities are endless. Another great thing about mind maps is that you are not limited to just writing. You can colour code and put pictures on and you can make up your own set of rules so that it becomes truly personal to your learning, here at Phi we cannot recommend them enough!
The best mind map software
Mind maps do not just need to be handwritten and there are lots of online options if you prefer to work on a computer. If you prefer putting pen to paper you can download a mind map template to get you started and then develop this as you go, there really is no wrong way of creating a mind map as long as it is helping you to learn and revise. The benefit of downloading your own mind map software is that you can use it even in places with no internet, ideal if you are trying to find somewhere to revise without the allure of social media! However, using an online version has the plus of being easy to collaborate with other students.
Our top three mind map packages are:
Bubbl.us – is free to use but is online only so you will need an internet connection Mindomo – has a free option and then subscriptions start from £6 per month Scapple – offers a free trial and then an educational licence is £13.60 These are all tried and tested products that are waiting to get you started with electronic mind maps – try them all and then decide which one is best for you. If you already use a specific software that we haven’t mentioned let us know – we always appreciate suggestions!
How can Phi help me with mind maps?
At Phi we are always working hard to help you develop your knowledge and prepare for your exams. We recognise the benefits of using mind maps in your work and encourage you to use them as a valuable way of organising all your ideas! Get in touch to arrange some tuition today!