6 Mind Mapping Uses for Teachers
When it comes to education, mind mapping is a perfect tool for both teachers and students who are trying to get the most out of their learning experience. As a teacher, you might not always have time to prepare complex lessons. And to be fair, those should be a thing of the past, especially now that you have so many mind mapping tools available.
The advantages of classroom mind mapping are almost countless. It will help you become a better teacher, while your students will be able to retain and recall with ease most of the information they’re being given.
What is a mind map?
First things first, we have to know exactly what a mind map is. In this context, a mind map is a powerful learning tool that allows both teachers and students to create visual representations of their ideas and share them with the rest of the class. Mind maps can be used during lectures, they can be used to take notes or even do research. It’s an extremely useful tool when it comes to education and can be easily adapted and customized to fit the users’ needs.
Using a mind map as a teacher
The benefits of a mind map to a teacher are almost endless. You will improve your lessons while making it easier for your students to follow the information they’re being given. In turn, this will help them remember and retain all the useful ideas so they can make good use of them later. On top of that, it’s also lots of fun. So let’s see how teachers can use mind mapping to better their lessons!
1. Lesson Planning
Teachers know just how much effort goes into lesson preparation. The amount of planning and documenting can become tedious after a certain point, especially if you’ve been doing this for a while. If you use mind mapping to prepare your lessons however, you will greatly reduce the amount of paperwork needed for your lessons, while coming up with clear and concise ideas that are easy to follow by both yourself and your students.
2. Lesson Delivery
The fact that students have short attention spans isn’t a secret to anyone. In the era of digitalization, people find it harder and harder to focus on blocks of information thrown in at once. This is where mind maps are extremely helpful – they put the focus on one main idea, while displaying the relevant information in easy to understand and follow bits. And if you’re trying to introduce your students to a new subject, a mind map is the perfect tool to do so!
3. Curriculum Organization
As a teacher, you might dread the unavoidable curriculum planning. As crucial as this is for your lessons, it is also a tiring and tedious thing to do and it’s easy to get overwhelmed by the amount of planning and organizing you have to do. Fear not, mind maps are here to help you! By using a mind map to plan your curriculum, you will save a lot of time by prioritising important topics and even adding deadlines if necessary. A mind map will also give you more control over the amount of information you’ll be giving your students.
4. Homework and Student Assessment
Whenever you introduce your students to a new topic, it’s crucial you evaluate their knowledge and understanding of the subject right at the beginning. This will help you get a better idea on what subjects will need more explaining and where your students might be struggling. A mind map is a great tool for both homework and student knowledge assessment. Who knows, in the future, we might see all the tests as mind maps!
5. Encouraging Engagement
Teachers have the partial responsibility to make sure their students develop critical and free thinking skills. That’s usually done by encouraging interaction during lessons, where students can engage with each other, ask questions and give their own answers and opinions.
A mind map is the perfect tool for boosting in-class collaboration, as it will allow every student to add their input so they can discuss it later. It will also encourage your students to make different connections between ideas, which in turn will further develop their critical thinking abilities.
6. Offering Handouts
Handouts are usually given at the end of the lesson as a quick reminder of the subjects that were discussed. They help students “cement” the information they’ve just been given and a mind map is perfect for that – it’s short, it’s colorful and it presents the lesson in a short and succinct manner that will be easy to understand by your students.
Our Final Thoughts
A mind map will allow both you and your students to focus on the big picture while still learning the small bits of information that complete the lesson. It’s something that should be used more often – by both students and teachers – inside and outside the classroom to take better notes, better collaborate with each other and do better research.
Mind maps are usually full of triggers that will help students better comprehend and store information. And because it mostly uses keywords and basic ideas, mind maps are also faster to create than your usual notes. The information will also be better structured, while your students will actually be able to recall what they studied.
What about you? Have you used mind mapping in your classroom before? Feel free to share your tips and tricks for classroom mind mapping in the comments below!