Mind-mapping isn't brain surgery, but it was developed by a fairly well known psychologist named Tony Buzan, the same guy who invented speed-reading. The technique is rather simple and is outlined rather well on Buzan's website:
7 Steps to Making a Mind Map
- Start in the center with an image of the topic, using at least 3 colors.
- Use images, symbols, codes, and dimensions throughout your mind map.
- Select key words and print using upper or lower case letters.
- Each word/image is best alone and sitting on its own line.
- The lines should be connected, starting from the central image. The lines become thinner as they radiate out from the center.
- Make the lines the same length as the word/image they support.
- Use multiple colors throughout the mind map, for visual stimulation and also for encoding or grouping.
- Develop your own personal style of mind mapping.
- Use emphasis and show associations in your mind map.
- Keep the mind map clear by using radial hierarchy or outlines to embrace your branches.
Here is a mind map that actually demonstrates many of the guidelines that Buzan developed:
Ironically, this demonstration mind map is kinda hideous, but it does demonstrate the overall web that a mind map creates and how to make the best use of the technique. That said, these are actually pretty stringent rules and require practice in order to become natural, so I usually just mind-map very quickly. Here is a mind-map I recently did based on the word 'dead':
I broke some of the rules (or suggestions), but I used different colors and some imagery. Let's try to make our own mind-map in class based off of 'cemetary.'
Visual Brain Dump
Finally, let's try some visual brain dumping.
We need to have indentified specific parameters or goals for our sketching, such as, "foodtrucks and mausoleums..." or "make graves fun!" (ugh...). Once we have these basic guiding principles set, we can begin:
Draw! Begin by sketching visual ideas that are in your head. Try to fill the page with tightly spaced sketches.
Time Limit: lets try to draw 30 sketches in 30 minutes. Setting time parameters ensures we don't get bored, which results in diminishing returns. In other words, the sketches get crappier the more you sketch... Sorry, but it's usually true!
#cantstopwontstop: if you mess up, or your sketch doesn't feel perfect, don't stop to correct it. Just start drawing a new one that is more to your liking. This way your brain can keep moving forward.
This is the pitch video for the ¡Salud! Myths and Reality of Mexican Immigrant Health documentary that I am currently researching and developing with my students. This film is the product of my honors seminar course at Lehman College CUNY exploring the so-called 'Latino Health Paradox' – the better than expected health outcomes of recent Latino immigrants to the US. We want to create a broadcast two-hour documentary to explain this paradox through the lens of recent Mexican immigrants in NYC.
This pitch video will be used to help crowdfund the documentary.
Directed by: David Schwittek and Alyshia Galvez
Victor Borja Armas
I recently completed this short animation for the 2013 Sustainable CUNY Video Short Contest. The film features the voices of Natalie Goldberg, Lindsey Goldberg, and Abby Schwittek.
I made this short doc for the Bronx Children's Museum's 3rd annual Dream Big Initiative, shown at Cardinal Hayes High School in the Bronx. Bobby was a ton of fun to work with! His response to the film: " You do good work!"