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From Collecting Dots to Connecting Dots by Mind Map: From Collecting Dots to
Connecting Dots
5.0 stars - 6 reviews range from 0 to 5

From Collecting Dots to Connecting Dots

Drawing on his experience of introducing mind mapping in education, Toni will be exploring how students and teachers can use mind maps to transition from collecting information to connecting information.

Key lessons learned about how students learn

Traditional educational paradigm

Focus on WHAT students need to learn

Little emphasis, if any, on training students HOW to learn

Stick (test) & carrot (grade and degree) approach

Ken Robinson: Changing Education Paradigms

Seth Godin: Stop Stealing Dreams (What is School For?)


Focus on exams, not learning

Focus on memorizing information (collecting dots; not connecting dots), Not processing information, Not thinking critically, Not understanding, Not learning

Academically Adrift by Richard Arum & Josipa Roksa (2011)

Are students really LEARNING in college?

45% of college students made no significant improvement in critical thinking, reasoning or written communication skills during their first two years of college

After 4 years, 36% showed no significant gains in these so-called "higher order" thinking skills

Students need to learn HOW to learn

Teaching students HOW to learn is as important as teaching content in promoting lifelong learning

BPUN16 mind mapping conference!

Mind mapping in education

Learning & Memory

Information Processing Model

Sensory memory, Last 1/2 second

Short-term memory, Last 1/2 minute, 7 bits of info, Encoding, Thinking

Long-term memory, Relatively permanent, Unlimited, Semantic (deep processing), Meaningful learning

Levels of Processing Model

Shallowly (maintenance) processed

Deeply (elaborately) processed

GOAL: Deep processing of information through meaningful learning to long-term memory

“The principle goal of education is to create men who are capable of doing new things, not simply of repeating what other generations have done - men who are creative, inventive and discoverers.” —Jean Piaget

Jean Piaget (1896-1980) was a Swiss developmental psychologist and philosopher known for his epistemological studies with children. First psychologist to make a systematic study of cognitive development.

Learning strategies that enhance student learning & memory

Improving Students’ Learning With Effective Learning Techniques by Dunlosky et al. (2013)

Reviewed efficacy of 10 learning strategies, Popular with students, Evidence of effectiveness

Most effective, Practice testing, Boosts long-term memory (retrieval of key concepts), Signals what needs to be "re-learned" (know vs. don't know), Distributed practice, Practice distributed across time, Opposite of cramming

Promising, Interleaved practice, Practicing different types of problems across time, Elaborative interrogation, Explain why, Self-explanation, Explain how new info is related to what you already know

Less useful, Highlighting, Focus on terms rather than connections, Rereading, Does not enhance understanding, Summarization, Paraphrasing, Extensive training needed

Effective learning strategies (mind map)

Using mind maps to enhance learning & memory

Mind maps visually organize and connect concepts

Key benefits for learning

Visible thinking, YOUR mind map = YOUR understanding

Filtering of key information, Separate key concepts from fluff

Connections, not just concepts, Notes are just ramblings until they are connected

Scaffolding of knowledge, Breadth, Depth

Big picture & details, Forest, Trees

Analysis & synthesis, Breaking down into parts, Combining into whole

Individual & collaborative


Connect key concepts

Connect new info w/ existing knowledge (elaborative interrogation and self-explanation)

Connect different types of information (interleaved practice), Textbook, Lectures, Other info sources, Practice exams

Mind mapping process for learning, Key concepts, Connections, Critical thinking, Key questions

Build mind maps over time (distributed practice)

Before class, Preview, Skeleton mind map, Student, Teacher

During class, Participate, Growing mind map, Student, Teacher

After class, Process, Practice, Exams

Test your knowledge (practice testing)

Examples, Recreate mind map, Hide branches, Branch 1, Branch 2, Notes, hyperlinks, attachments, Practice tests, Apply what you've learned to real-world problems

Self-assessment, Identify gaps (what you don't know), Correct false knowledge

Self-reflection, Learning process, Mind mapping process

Mind mapping + effective learning strategies = Improved learning & memory

Getting started with mind maps

Explore mind maps

Biggerplate, ~13 million map views, ~100,000 members

Connect with other mind mappers at G+ Mind Mapping community (~2,500 members; ~1,000 posts)

Mind mapping research

Additional resources

Try mind mapping



With peers & teams

Examples, School, Work, Book

Stay motivated

Autonomy, Your choice, Self-directed

Value, Learning & memory, Grades & performance, Value to others

Competence (mastery), Practice, Learn from others, Teach others

“The difficulty lies, not in the new ideas, but in escaping from the old ones, which ramify, for those brought up as most of us have been, into every corner of our minds.” —John Maynard Keynes

John Maynard Keynes (1883-1946) was an English economist whose ideas fundamentally changed the theory and practice of modern macroeconomics and the economic policies of governments. As an educator, I am always somewhat wary of anyone who proclaims a new technology as radical and game changing. Sometimes the technology is revolutionary but we have all seen technologies introduced with great fanfare, only to watch them disappear. Hence, we can’t always blame our schools for being so slow to embrace new technology and change. Nevertheless, mind mapping, and visual thinking in general, is presenting a great opportunity for improved learning in schools and work. We can do a lot more to promote mind mapping for learning in schools and workplace, but not by naively promoting mind maps as the magic bullet. Mind maps work for some people but don’t work for others, for various reasons. Key is to share examples, best practices, real stories, and case studies that show how mind maps add value to learning, how they help manage and make sense of information, and other key benefits of mind maps, so that others give mind maps a real consideration for implementation in schools and workplace. Stories about how mind maps can help solve problems, and improve teaching and learning, are much more powerful, and easier to embrace, than stories about how mind maps work like brains. It's not about mind maps. It's about benefits/solutions that mind maps provide. I hope this presentation will spark at least few students, teachers, and others, to try mind mapping. I’m sure they’ll be glad they did. Thank you.

Additional information

Toni Krasnic

Let's connect,, LinkedIn, Twitter, Google+, Facebook, Google+ Mind Mapping Community

Books, Concise Learning, How to Study with Mind Maps, Mind Mapping for Kids

Mind maps, Biggerplate library, MindMeister library



#bpun16 Conference

#bpun16 Program



Mind map library