Dr. Brian S. Friedlander
Dr. Brian S. Friedlander is an author, professor and assistive technology specialist providing assessments, workshops and individual training in educational technology. He uses MindManager to develop and deliver graduate courses on special ed and educational technology at the College of St. Elizabeth.
Mindjet: How do you use MindManager Pro 7 to develop and organize classroom lectures?
Brian Friedlander: I’ve been using MindManager for a few years now, primarily as a professor teaching graduate students who are teachers themselves. With a map, my students can see where the lecture is going and what’s coming up. A lot of my resources are digital and so I can easily attach PDF’s and Microsoft® Word® documents in addition to Web URLs and launch them within the MindManager map. This allows me to move through my content quite efficiently when I am teaching.
MindManager is indispensible for organizing my classes. I use it to build the courses and break each lecture down by class – allowing me to see the big picture. It essentially becomes my dashboard for driving my classes.
MJ: How do you engage the entire classroom with MindManager Pro 7?
BF: I use MindManager as a presentation tool, both in presentation mode and in regular mode, to capture information as the class goes along in the notes field or as a callout, like during a discussion of what should be part of the assistive toolkit. Then I provide my students with a printout of the map, or export within MindManager as PDF and post it to Blackboard. It’s really that easy!
Students like the approach I’m taking and they understand the power of graphic organizers. MindManager is an incredible tool, both as a standalone application and in part because of the tight integration with Microsoft Office®. MindManager is also an educational tool; and on the higher education level it’s quite powerful as a model of how to use and integrate technology. I use this visual learning tool to teach my students the power of visual learning.
MJ: How is using MindManager Pro 7 a more visual way to access and comprehend the information you’re presenting in the classroom?
BF: Students with milder disabilities learn well through graphic organizers and visual supports, and MindManager aides in capturing their attention. I think the same could be true for adult learners who can more readily see the connections and ideas that are being made in a map.
MJ: What are some other ways that you could see students with mild disabilities use MindManager Pro 7?
BF: Many students with writing disabilities not only have difficulty organizing their ideas but also may require some prompting along the way to help them get started. A MindManager map, which has been set up with call outs and prompts, could be an ideal way for students to work through their writing projects. Once they have entered their ideas into Notes on their MindManager Pro 7 map they can easily export it to Microsoft Word to help them jumpstart the writing process.
I myself find it easier to write and organize my ideas within MindManager. Having the ability to move my ideas around the map makes it an ideal tool when I am writing proposals. MindManager Pro 7 is the perfect tool for writing proposals especially for the way that you can include Excel® spreadsheets within your map. Once you export your map to Microsoft Word, MindManager elegantly brings in your Excel spreadsheet and formats your proposal in a very readable and structured format – making it very easy to read.
MJ: What are some other ways that you use MindManager Pro 7?
BF: I use MindManager Pro 7 for organizing the editorial content for Inclusion Times, a special education and educational technology newsletter that I publish, as well as for deciding on content for my blog. Through the blog, I’ve met and had the chance to interact with so many wonderful people, and have had the opportunity to share my perspective on software and solutions that can make a difference in people’s lives. That’s the fun part of the work that I do.
Dr. Brian S. Friedlander publishes a newsletter on special education and educational technology called “Inclusion Times,” and was recently featured in the video “Assistive Technology: A Way to Differentiate Instruction for Students with Disabilities,” and maintains a blog at assistivetek.blogspot.com. Listen to his Mindjet recorded webinar on using MindManager Pro 7 to innovate both in and out of the classroom.