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3 Mind Mapping

Page history last edited by Kate 13 years, 2 months ago



In our third class session, we have organized our group into five subteams, each with specific areas of responsibility to the seminar group, and the semester project. The teams are named for the five principal islands for which we are planning the network of primary schools, and that team will develop island-specific data and recommendations for implementing the schools for that location.


In addition, each team has an identified area of focus for researching, analyzing, selecting, and implementing the project management tools that will be useful in organizing the semester-long Bijagos Schools Project. Look in the SideBar on this wiki to see the names of the teams, the team members, and links to their pages where the full descriptions of their responsibilities can be found.


Also in our third class session, we introduced the topic of Mind Mapping, an organizational tool for collecting and structuring ideas and information. Your assignment for this week, is to learn how to use this tool, and then to deploy it within your team as a collaborative mechanism for organizing your team responsibilities.


Here are the primary steps for this assignment:

  1. READ UP. As we discussed in class, there are many different mind mapping softwares available, and you may wish to google around the internet to read up on the different options. A good place to start would be to read the Wikipedia page about mind maps, which has a general introduction to the concepts, and then to look at this link to a comparison of different mind mapping software applications.
  2. TOOL UP. A more complete comparison of the pros and cons of the different applications will be left up to the team that is responsible for this genre of tool, so once you have read through the pages above to learn about the basic concepts, the next step is to get started with using mind mapping. For this week's assignment, you should all use the XMind software, which is available as a free download from the Xmind.net website. There are free versions for Mac and PC. And Linux and Ubuntu, if you're into that. The reason we are selecting this application to experiment with is that it is one of the newest on the scene (which usually means it offers significant advantages over previously available options, and because it claims to have features specifically designed for collaborative mind mapping over a network, which will be very useful for our projects. Once you've downloaded the software, try it out--go through the tutorials if needed, but I'm guessing that many of you will be able to quickly figure it out and start using it without too much time spent in learning it. You might even want to experiment with a few mind maps for other topics to try it out on your own--I think it would be perfect for programming for your studio projects.
  3. TEAM UP. Gather the three or four other members of your team (in virtual or physical space) and try out the collaborative functions of the application. Work together on this--the idea is to allow simultaneous collaboration, not just sequential tasks or divisions of labor.
  4. MAP UP. Once you are comfortable with using the tool for collaboration, organize your team through a mind map of the areas of responsibility outlined for your team, and figure out who will focus on which aspects. I would suggest that you follow the process we used in the last class to organize the top level of organization. Start with a brainstorming session of all of the things that you can think of that might relate to your focus area, and get them onto the screen, in any order at all. Then try to group them into logical branching structures. For instance, if there are 4 people on your team, you may want to try to create 4 major subtopics under which you organize all the different items on your brainstorm list, having one person responsible for the further organization of the items falling under that branch. Since each team has a page on this wiki already (see the side bar) you can start adding ideas and topics and suggestions to that page right away, even before you get to the online mind mapping session. If you think up a great topic or idea that doesn't fall within your team responsibilities, feel free to open other teams' pages and contribute ideas there as well.
  5. STAND UP. In next Wednesday's class, each team will present its own mind map structure for the team responsibilities. This presentation should be done through the live, interactive mind map interface, so we can can all, as a group, help to critique and refine the structure once it has been presented.

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