West Kent College Dyslexia Dept
Further Education/ Assisted Learning
Understanding on Course Work, Creating Essay Frameworks, Simplifying Presentation Creation,
MindGenius is ideal for those with dyslexia as it means they can go back to the map, change their mind and easily move misplaced branches and check their spelling.
Dyslexia Department Tutor, West Kent College
West Kent College Dyslexia Department use MindGenius to Support Students with Course Work and Literacy
West Kent College in Tonbridge, Kent (now known as Kent College) installed a MindGenius site licence in September 2004 which gave access to their 2,300 full-time and 12,000 part-time students on all of their 1,500+ PCs and laptops.
Former dyslexia tutor Chris Sellers, herself a dyslexic, persuaded the college to purchase a site licence after researching suitable electronic mind mapping software solutions.
MindGenius is used across campus by students, tutors and lecturers. In this edition of the newsletter, we will look at how the Dyslexia Department are applying MindGenius to support students with dyslexia with course work, literacy and developing strategies to cope with specific dyslexic difficulties.
Nicky Williams, is a Tutor in the Dyslexia Department and uses MindGenius on a one-to-one level with her students. She delivers courses on dyslexia with maths being her speciality. She herself has dyslexia and says she is "evangelical" about MindGenius. Nicky’s students have really bought into the software:
"It can be hard for some students with dyslexia to start using something different like MindGenius because it takes a lot of energy to change their developed learning patterns. However, the more the software is used the more opportunities can be discovered. "
Nicky believes that MindGenius is dyslexia friendly – everyone can disseminate information and the act of building a map is a very positive experience.
Students use it to classify information, sort out what to include in essays and presentations, explain thought patterns, organisation, sequencing, forming a logical argument, and grouping facts.
Although it can be difficult at first for some, if they can talk about building their map this can help to internalise the main structure of what they're trying to do and they can take ownership of their ideas.
MindGenius is ideal for those with dyslexia as it means they can go back to the map, change their mind and easily move misplaced branches and check their spelling. Nicky had tried hand-drawn mind mapping techniques previously but students would become frustrated when mistakes were made, or more information had to be added and the map had to be re-created from scratch.
Another feature that is commonly used by students in the Dyslexia department, and across campus, is the export to PowerPoint. The trigger words created in the map for the presentation help to reinforce learning of the relevant facts. She shows her students how it works - then "presses the button" for the export to PowerPoint and watches their reaction! This simplifies the process of creating presentations and helps the students to focus on the content of the presentation before they move on to making it visually attractive.
Nicky herself now uses MindGenius for everything from brainstorming to planning and revision. She has also used it to develop ideas for a conference, planning potentially difficult situations, developing coherent arguments, planning student essays and lesson plans.
Nicky believes MindGenius is an excellent tool for developing lesson plans as she tends to include too much into them. Working with MindGenius allows her to get a picture in her mind of all her thoughts then 'dump' them into a map, where they can be refined, sorted and organised. Once the map has been developed, Nicky is able to achieve a clearer picture of how tasks will fit into the allotted time.