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  • 19 February 2010 12:04

MindManager helping academics to hone young minds at WelTec

Collaboration and personal productivity solution visually connect ideas, information and people to save time, improve business processes and drive innovation.

Infotech students at Wellington Institute of Technology (WelTec), in New Zealand, are being exposed to the intricacies of mind-mapping – not because it’s part of their syllabus but because a nucleus of senior academics are enthusiasts.

They use Mindjet MindManager to plan and present courses, to stimulate creative thinking, to save time, to present material succinctly and to clarify ideas. The enthusiasm of Doug Webb, Co-ordinator of WelTec’s Computing Made Easy programme, who has used the MindManager collaboration and personal productivity tool for 15 years, has led to colleagues using it too.

“Whenever a new version of MindManager is released, we pester the IT boys to buy it!” says Doug.

Mindjet software and online solutions visually connect ideas, information and people to save time, improve business processes and drive innovation. Mindjet is the only company to combine a visual productivity application (mind mapping) with a comprehensive collaboration service (Mindjet Catalyst) providing secure, shared workspaces and web conferencing.

In his present job, and in former positions teaching information technology to Certificate and Diploma levels, Doug Webb relies on MindManager for planning programmes, courses or daily lessons. Other mind mapping uses include summative assessment planning, strategic planning, document planning and presentations.

Planning a document for the design of a course might encompass what to put in or leave out, and how the course is structured. The completed document can be exported from MindManager into Word, into a PowerPoint demonstration to show colleagues, or to a web site.

Doug and a colleague use MindManager to simplify their course notes. “When I taught Communications, I would create an 18-week course in key-point format on a single MindManager page, give the printout to students and teach from that,” said Doug. “All I needed to carry into class was a single sheet of paper – having such a clear and concise document keeps you on track. Mind mapping allows me to see the big picture rather than looking at words, phrases or paragraphs.”

Discussing the way in which MindManager helps WelTec academics to achieve their objectives, Doug says the software makes it difficult to leave out important things because all the key elements are set out on the map.

“Key points are not obscured in pages of text. Mind-mapping allows me to capture thoughts speedily and rearrange ideas without having to re-type documents. It helps to clarify thinking because you actually see the picture, rather than read it. Immediately you think, ‘hey that doesn’t fit’, whereas in Word you might have to read four or five documents to achieve the same results.”

According to Doug and his colleagues Robert Nelson, project Manager/tutor; and Bob Robertson, workplace capability tutor, the key outcome from using MindManager is time-saving. Bob takes MindManager ideas out to industry.

When Doug asked a colleague how long it could take to conceptualise a diploma paper they decided on two hours. But using mind-mapping they achieved it in 10 minutes. It took another 10 minutes to refine the paper, but in 20 minutes they planned and refined a diploma course to the conceptual plan stage.

Doug said: “All three of us would say that this ability to get something done quickly and accurately, and have a working document after the planning stage, is an exceptional benefit. Other benefits of MindManager include ease of use and speed.”

Succinct presentation of ideas also helps the learning process. When the WelTec academics show their students a mind-mapping picture, they grasp the points their tutors are making very quickly. “It saves explanations,” said Doug. “A MindManager document doesn’t bore them - they will say: ‘Oh, I can see that fits’. So Mind-mapping works for them.”

Bob Roberston adds: “MindManager allows creative thinking by linking ideas. You get a large amount of information on a single page and the software allows you to alter parts without having to re-create an entire document. You can track things and add parts to other parts. Especially for those who are visual learners, this is extremely good tool for perceiving ideas and concepts.”

Along with ease of use, the academics find that ease of export is important, allowing them to output the maps they create to other applications such as Word, but just as easily to PowerPoint and to html for web sites.

Doug Webb said: “I would use the export button most to transfer maps to PowerPoint, which it does beautifully. MindManager 8, which we are using currently, also has a great facility that pops up our maps as html in just two clicks, so we can show students what they are doing on a web page.”

About WelTec Wellington Institute of Technology has held an important place in the wider Wellington region of New Zealand for more than 100 years. It offers a comprehensive range of education to over 11,000 students each year. Teaching is enhanced by the positive industry relationships that WelTec develops and enjoys. The institution works closely with employers to develop a mutual confidence in knowing that graduates have the skills required to succeed in the workplace. WelTec is future focused - teaching staff are specialists and researchers in their fields, and the institution is investing in exciting new technology to ensure that it remains at the leading edge of training and learning in New Zealand.

About Mindjet Mindjet provides collaboration and personal productivity solutions that visually connect ideas, information and people to save time, improve business processes and drive innovation. Mindjet is the only company to combine a visual productivity application (mind mapping) with a comprehensive collaboration platform. So whether you are driving the sales process, managing a project, building a strategic plan, running a brainstorming session, conducting a meeting, or simply getting organized, Mindjet helps you succeed with almost any business or personal productivity challenge.

Used by more than 1.5 million professionals around the world in 48 of BusinessWeek’s 50 “World’s Most Innovative Companies,” Mindjet solutions dramatically boost productivity and team effectiveness. Surveys across several industries show that Mindjet can increase productivity by up to 25 percent by making meetings, common communications and project management tasks more efficient and effective. Mindjet’s software and web-based solutions include the world’s leading visual productivity application, document and file sharing, secure workspaces, web conferencing. Mindjet products are available for free trial or purchase at www.mindjet.com/products/overview or through an extensive partner network at www.mindjet.com/community/partners/overview. Founded in 1997, Mindjet is headquartered in San Francisco and has offices throughout the U.S., Europe and Asia.

About Mindjet

Mindjet provides collaboration and personal productivity solutions that visually connect ideas, information and people to save time, improve business processes and drive innovation. Mindjet is the only company to combine a visual productivity application (mind mapping) with a comprehensive collaboration platform. So whether you are driving the sales process, managing a project, building a strategic plan, running a brainstorming session, conducting a meeting, or simply getting organized, Mindjet helps you succeed with almost any business or personal productivity challenge.

Used by more than 1.5 million professionals around the world in 48 of BusinessWeek’s 50 “World’s Most Innovative Companies,” Mindjet solutions dramatically boost productivity and team effectiveness. Surveys across several industries show that Mindjet can increase productivity by up to 25 percent by making meetings, common communications and project management tasks more efficient and effective. Mindjet’s software and web-based solutions include the world’s leading visual productivity application, document and file sharing, secure workspaces, web conferencing. Mindjet products are available for free trial or purchase at www.mindjet.com/products/overview or through an extensive partner network at www.mindjet.com/community/partners/overview. Founded in 1997, Mindjet is headquartered in San Francisco and has offices throughout the U.S., Europe and Asia.

Mindjet distributors in Australia are: Aquion (sales@aquion.com.au); Mindsystems (www.mindsystems.com); Lifeboat Distribution (www.lifeboatdistribution.com); and PICA Australia (www.pica.com.au). In New Zealand, MindManager is distributed by MindLogik (www.mindlogik.co.nz).

For more information Phil Novack Mindjet 415.229.4310 phil.novack@mindjet.com

David Frost PR Deadlines for Mindjet +61.2.4341 5021 davidf@prdeadlines.com.au

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