As a student, I learned best in lecture/note-taking environments. I loved for my teacher to stand up in front of our class for about 75 minutes (block scheduling!) and talk while my classmates and I frantically copied down notes from the lecture in a nice, neat outline form. Ahhh 🙂
However, through my teaching experience, I have realized that not all students learn this way…especially not in our digital age. Our students learn through videos, hands on activities, class discussions, as well as traditional lectures.
When it comes to taking class lecture notes, some students struggle with the typical outline format…which was mind blowing to me! Some students seem to digest information more effectively if they can see a document in a visual representation…which doesn’t always mean pictures and images. Sometimes, this can mean a mind map!
If you haven’t checked out the new add-ons for Google Docs, you really should. The EasyBib add on will most likely be the most used in my building next year!
The Mindmeister add-on is amazing as well! Mindmeister is also a Chrome app…so check that out, too!
The Google Docs add-on allows users to create a bulleted list in a Google Doc, select that list, and then insert a mind map directly in their Google Doc! This tool is amazing for classrooms and will benefit most every student!
Using the Mindmeister add-on can also be a great way to teach students about how to actually create outline notes. It seems as though the Roman numeral outline system I learned in school is no longer emphasized, and when students are required to take notes in this fashion, they have no idea where to start! By creating an outline or bulleted list and then viewing their notes as a mind map, students can actually see the structure of the outline itself!
Mindmeister would also be a great way for students to create outlines for essays and projects. Teachers can also use this tool for unit and curriculum mapping! It’s great!
Check out the image below to see the mind map I made from a section of US Constitution notes…it literally took me 2 minutes! (Click here for the Google Doc itself!)