My ICT based lesson consisted of a PowerPoint, a projector and a link to an online mind map creator (https://www.mindmaps.app/). I was being observed teaching a Philosophy and Ethics lesson on Situation Ethics. My mentor, whose class it was, also wanted me to facilitate work on revision skills. I decide to incorporate ICT to facilitate knowledge on mind maps.
Balum (2013) writes that mind maps were designed by Buzan during the 1960’s and were based on the premise that the brain can make many connections in a short space of time. Mind maps attempt to integrate the functions of the left and right hemispheres of our brains. Mind maps are inherently visual, using the brains natural merging and correlation functions to store information.
Balum (2013) writes ‘Recently, the importance of visual presentation of knowledge has been acknowledged; therefore, some software appropriate for learning and teaching techniques have been developed’. Balum goes on to recommend The Mind Manager software, however, mindmaps.app is free and easy to use for my learners. My learners can therefore use the software in their own time.
As a starter activity I gave my students a worksheet to fill in questions on Situation Ethics. After this task I then asked one student to volunteer making a mind map on the teacher’s computer, using mindmaps.app. This mind map was displayed by the projector, so the whole class could observe its construction. The worksheets from the starter activity helped scaffold the task. Learners who were not making the mind map were asked to dictate what the virtual mind map should consist of. After five minutes of making the virtual mind map, I asked the other learners to start making their own based on the online mind map displayed. The student making the online mind map was told to continue and send the document to print once they had finished.
I think this activity was very successful, though during making the online mind map as a class, some learners seemed disengaged. I think this was because there was not enough work for everyone to be directly involved. Next time I would put my class into pairs and give each pair an iPad. I would ask learners to construct their own mind maps on the online software, and to present them to the class at the end. During the class presentations learners would have time to add missed information.
Balım, A. (2013) Use of technology-assisted techniques of mind mapping and concept mapping in science education: a constructivist study, Irish Educational Studies, 32:4, 437-456, DOI: 10.1080/03323315.2013.862907