D&T and Mind Mapping
D&T and Mind Mapping
D&T is a subject that attracts all levels of learners. It requires the more able to be independent learners, and calls for students to be well organised, particularly as the coursework requirement is 60%. This coursework follows the Design process and entails that students complete a lot of folder work.
Mrs Claire Jones, Head of D&T at Cranbourne, was keen to adopt Buzan’s iMindMap software as she saw Mind Mapping as an ideal technique for keeping track of what needed to be completed over the whole course. What’s more, the organic and visual approach of the software presented a unique and effective way to actively engage students in their work.
Integrating iMindMap in the Classroom
Since March 2007, Mrs Jones has incorporated the software into numerous activities and has used it across a range of pupil groups including year 7 low ability, year 9 whole year group, year 10 GCSE mixed ability group and year 11 GCSE mixed ability group.
Using Buzan’s iMindMap
By and large, Mrs Jones uses Buzan’s iMindMap every time she wants to introduce a project and to show pupils what is expected of them over the course of the project. Pupils can therefore see the ‘whole picture’ and are clear about what they need to achieve.
Over the course of the term, the software is applied to support students in various aspects of their work. It is used:
With individuals as a way of mapping out their project With GCSE students to Analyse their Design Briefs With GCSE students for revision note making To give examples of GCSE coursework to year 9 students thinking of taking D&T as an option
The reaction from the students to the software has been overwhelming. Mrs Jones comments: “Students have responded in a positive way, taking the software on like it’s nothing new and using it as second nature. That is the sign of a good piece of software – not having to explain how to use it.”
Fundamentally, Mrs Jones found that Buzan’s iMindMap software really lends itself to differentiation as it adheres closely to true Mind Mapping principles and allows the user to control the process, not vice versa. Although powerful, it presents a simple interface with lots of visual elements and functional options for pupils, appealing to a variety of learning styles. The software is easily accessible to less able pupils and those with weak writing skills but still challenging enough for more able pupils.
As Mrs Jones states: “Buzan’s iMindMap enables all abilities to access one of the easiest tools for learning. Low ability pupils are often visual learners and with iMindMap you don’t have to use labels, you can use pictures.”
Time-Saving Benefits and Versatility for Staff
The software has brought lots of time and labour saving benefits for teachers at Cranbourne. It is used to plan lessons, and to show lesson and learning outcomes quickly but with maximum impact. An invaluable tool for whole class delivery on an Interactive Whiteboard or projector, staff members also agree that it is equally effective for supporting individual work when used in the IT suite.
iMindMap offers a fast, streamlined approach for capturing information quickly, ideal for general note-taking at meetings. What’s more, teachers can easily share their work by exporting images of Mind Maps created with the software and emailing them for information or adding them to worksheets for their classes.
Pupil Benefits and Learning Outcomes
Some of the key benefits and learning outcomes experienced by Cranbourne pupils through using the software include:
Pupils are encouraged to work more independently as thinkers The majority of pupils enjoy using computers and iMindMap represents a way for pupils to complete a piece of intensive work easily Pupils can easily ‘come back’ to a piece of work Pupils are never restricted by the size of the piece of paper Pupils are able to produce their own mind maps easily If pupils make a mistake, it is easy to correct iMindMap helps to plan projects like a tick chart, ensuring that key elements of work are not overlooked It presents opportunities for collaborative work. Working in groups, pupils can share ideas and contribute to a group Mind Map.
From mapping out the objectives of lesson and projects to the likes and dislikes of tutor groups, Cranbourne school has discovered that there is no limit to the tasks that iMindMap can be used for. As Mrs Jones concludes: “Buzan’s iMindMap is certainly another tool in my workshop...”
Tony Buzan is the world’s leading expert on the brain and is the inventor of Mind Mapping®, the thinking technique used by over 250 million people worldwide. Whilst many products have claimed to allow you to Mind Map on a computer, none have managed to fully duplicate Tony’s world renowned process. Until now that is… iMindMap™ gives you the infinite visual variety, portability, freedom, brain friendliness and effectiveness of traditional, highly proven Mind Mapping® techniques. iMindMap™ is the ultimate thinking tool which allows you to work, learn and think smarter so you can excel in any area of your life.
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