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Mind Mapping software for trainers


Thirty years after Mind Mapping was first introduced to the UK, Terry Russell of Intouch Management Consulting says it's time to help learners use their heads with the latest Mind Mapping software.

The Concept Mapping technique was developed by Prof. Joseph D. Novak at Cornell University in the 1960s and Mind Mapping was first coined in the UK by Tony Buzan in 1974, in his book and BBC TV programme Use Your Head.

Mind Mapping in Training
The use of mapping techniques and concept mapping software since has achieved recognition in the education sector, so why shouldn’t these tools be applied to corporate training?

Whether we believe that the mind is organised into left and right-hand sides, or whether it is a less organised structure of various skills, what we do recognise is that we don’t learn in a neat or linear way.

Using mind mapping you start with a main theme, you can then explore in turn the categories and subcategories radiating out from these. Mapping therefore utilises a greater part of the brain, resulting in more effective learning. Such an approach makes training more enjoyable and effective, and learning more successful and engaging. It is a training win–win that multiplies its benefits over time and with use.

School and University taught us what to learn, but not how to learn. In this information age a crucial skill is to have mastered the process of learning how to learn and think, so that all content can be managed and used with maximum speed, efficiency and enjoyment.

The Software
While such mental activities help people to acquire, organise, and remember incoming knowledge more efficiently, computer-based mapping tools can do more than this.

There are several such applications available, including Inspiration and MindManager. Most deal with single level mind mapping, while others, such as SMART Ideas software supports single or multi concept mapping with multiple dimensions behind each concept.

Concept Mapping applications allow trainers and delegates to create unlimited sub-levels, expand simple maps and move quickly between levels.

Live web links, audio clips, photos, images, clip art, documents, movie clips and presentations can be easily attached to notes, making these applications useful for tracking and studying simple concepts up to complex projects or events.

Whether you are mapping out a new business structure or explaining complex systems or procedures, mapping enhances and supports the training and in turn the learning. Mapping is a route to achieving very high levels of cognitive performance, as it is used to map the way a group of participants perceive complex subject matter.

Benefits for Trainers
Mapping is a tool that can seem complex, time consuming, and easier to avoid. However when mapping software is used the learning process becomes easier and the benefits for trainers and delegates are clear.


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