Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Mind mapping my EdD

I'm still struggling to focus on a topic for my EdD research. My thoughts are all over the place...apparently, I am a flighty....or so I have been told.

I don't know why but as I'm getting older, I am needing to visualize my work more, as opposed to just relying on text. So here's a MindMeister mind map helping me work out what are the main issues I face as a midwifery educator...issues that may spark a question for my research.

If you're looking for a mind map tool, I would certainly recommend MindMeister. What I especially like about it is you can download your mind map as a text file, pdf or even image as well as embed it in a blog or website. The only snag is the free version only allows you to have three mindmaps on the go at any one time.


Martin said...

It's amazing just how many mindmap apps there are. So many that it's hard to keep track.

Naturally, someone decided to remedy that by putting them all together guessed it, a mind map!

Hervé said...

Feemind is also very good and is free.
Being open source guarantee that it does not contains any malware.
The mind maps are not available online as Freemind is installed locally.
I store the mind maps in google docs for online access.
Worth trying!

Ray Tolley said...

Hi Sarah,

I prefer CMAP ( ) I have used it equally with 11-yr olds, 'A'-level students and also for staff training. It is very flexible, you can have as many maps as you like and is free!

And yes, it does all the things that the others can do.

Best Wishes,
Ray T

Claire Thompson said...

Wow, you've got a lot of great topics from which to choose! It is interesting looking at your mind map and seeing how you've organized things.

You mentioned that as you get older you find yourself needing to visualize your work more. I'm finding the same thing. I wonder though if it is a symptom of age or if it's just that thinking visually was never something that was emphasized in my formal educational experiences. It's something that I have discovered rather recently and on my own as it were.

Good luck picking a topic!

starpath said...

Just listened (yesterday) to live streaming presentation from OU from four very successful post-grad PhD people presenting 'things I wish I had known'. Notably one said she took over a year to decide on her PhD topic but fininshed in 3 years. Her advice: "don't stress about the time it takes you to find your topic." So you could take her advice and don't stress. BTW I have always loved mindmaps. They simply changed my life and I realized I never thought in a linear way. They suit me.

Sarah Stewart said...

Hello everyone, thanks so much for your comments. sorry I am late in replying - have been sunning myself on holiday and in no rush to get back to computers :)

Martin, Ray and Herve: thanks for suggestions for mind map tools - no doubt I'll be trying them out over the next couple of years.

Claire: I feel the same as you - just starting to find visualizing things is helpful. Up until recently I was very much a list person. But as you say, I don't know if my learning style is changing or that I was never taught to think in this way. What I suspect is the wonderful online tools that are available to me is opening up different ways of thinking/doing/processing that were never available to me before.

Starpath: I feel that I am on a tight time frame because I "wasted" so much time on my PhD before I dropped out. And the EdD has a far more structured approach than a PhD does. But...slowly...things are falling into place :)