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Mind Mapping as a Training Tool

Currently, I’m working on developing a one-day workshop for staff to introduce them to our new website and library (e.g. how to search, etc.) and to a few social software tools: Del.icio.us, RSS feeds and news aggregators, and potentially blogs. For some individuals, the relevance of social software tools is immediate; for others, it can take some time. So, I’m thinking of breaking up our team into small groups and having them engage in a mind mapping exercise to explore the possibilities for these tools within our organization.

What are mind maps? A good definition provided on Wikipedia is:

“A mind map is a diagram used to represent words, ideas, tasks or other items linked to and arranged radially around a central key word or idea. It is used to generate, visualize, structure and classify ideas, and as an aid in study, organization, problem-solving and decision making.”

Mind maps are great group exercises, they’re fun and creative, and you don’t need to be an “artist” to do them. They assist with solidifying what’s going on upstairs in your brain by putting it out on paper or electronically. Essentially, they are a brainstorm, but with a visual end-product. A good site to check for mind map examples is Buzan Centre Australia’s Mind Map Gallery.

I think that making mind maps with coloured markers and flipchart paper is a great way to go (gives you time to “play”), but there are numerous free open-source and commercial mind map products. Depending on your needs, visit these links:

Have fun mind mapping!


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