For any learner, a significant gap can form between subject matter and student if the learning method isn’t approached intuitively. SuperCamp equips students with a repertoire of valuable study skills and advantageous techniques that work specifically with their individual learning pattern.
A favorite for many of our campers is Mind Mapping®, a method developed by Tony Buzan in the 1960′s that promotes active learning through colorful picture and word associations. The goal of Mind Mapping is to get creative! Personalizing the information in a way that employs both sides of the brain is the key to this learning technique. Anyone who needs to organize information easily for absorption can use this technique, whether in preparation for an exam, a book report, planning an event, or tackling a challenging problem.
How does Mind Mapping work? The first step is to turn the page horizontally. This gives you room to spread outwards. Since it is important to always be aware of the big picture, your first addition to the page should be the main idea of the subject at hand. As an example, consider the life cycle of a plant. You could choose to simply write this in the center of the page, but it would be more beneficial to the learning process – and more fun – if a picture is included that will signify the topic, like a quick sketch of a plant. From there, draw branches stemming from the main idea that represent important points: how a seed germinates, where a plant gets its nutrients, the process of photosynthesis, and the pollination of flowers. Each point can be paired with a picture and at least three different colors should be used throughout.
The use of color stimulates the imaginative part of the brain – additionally, it captures and holds the Mind Mapper’s attention. The pictures paired with words will help the brain form associations that can be easily recalled at a later date. The final product should resemble the many branches of a tree surrounding a central idea. And remember – the more unique your mind map is, the easier it will be to retain the information!
Students can build a better foundation for their academic careers if they develop engaging learning techniques at an early age. Regardless of the subject matter, a student who is able to manipulate content in a mentally stimulating way will adopt a positive stance on learning for years to come. For SuperCamp graduate James Ohnoki, Mind Mapping was the turning point for his academic career. The visual elements helped him connect facts to a bigger picture, while the drawing and coloring aspects gave him permission to be as creative as he wanted.
Just as James Ohnoki discovered, the learning techniques students develop at SuperCamp will transform them into more interactive learners for the rest of their lives. It can effectively bridge the gap between a student and his or her coursework and start them on the road to academic success. Armed with learning techniques like Mind Mapping, students will find this path to success remarkably easier to traverse.