I was first introduced to mind mapping by friends. One of these friends was effectively using mind mapping for presentation delivery as he is an instructor of those who teach English as a second language. As I observed his presentations I was very impressed by his ability to sound very conversational and he had good audience contact. I knew that this method of delivery was something I needed to explore, unfortunately he moved very far away before I could tap into his knowledge.

So I set about doing research on mind mapping what it was, if it works, and could I use it. The more research I did, the more reading I did, I found some very sound logic to why mind mapping could be very effective in engaging the whole brain during learning.

My use of mind mapping was anything but automatic. Even though I had learned how to mind map and the principles behind it, I really struggled to apply it. I guess when you have become so accustomed to doing all your learning and presenting in such a linear fashion it’s hard to break that pattern and it’s just easier to return to your old patterns. It was bothering me that I hadn’t yet made good use of the skills I had learned, so I decided that I would start off small. I picked some short lessons in Second Period, dissected them and laid out the information in a mind map complete with pictures and diagrams.

I realized how beneficial mind mapping was going to be when created my own, based information I needed to present. When I looked at my mind map that had color and curved lines, pictures, diagrams and only the necessary information and even though it wasn’t in the traditional linear format, it was still very logical for me to follow, everything was on one page and it was also enjoyable creating it.

So my excitement for mind mapping grew as I saw the practical benefits.

This endeavor with mind mapping has been a positive one and I’ve been happy to share my experiences with colleagues at RDC and with those outside the campus but who may be quite familiar with mind mapping and this has been received favorably.

I wanted to further enhance my skills at mind mapping. So I contacted an author by the name of Jamie Nast who wrote the book “Idea Mapping”. During a phone conversation she asked me to send her examples of my work and she was very interested in the results I was having with my class. She also asked if she could see some of their work. She was very impressed with both mine and my students work and has since featured various mind maps on her blog in which it was stated that these were from Electrical Apprenticeship students at Red Deer College.

After meeting her in person at one of her workshops in December she wanted to feature me in a magazine that she regularly contributes to called “Using Mind Maps”. I was the first in a new series entitled “Impact Educators” (January 2014 edition). This magazine is available through the iTunes store or Google Play store. It is in 11 languages and boosts a fairly decent circulation for a specialty magazine.