Sunday, 19 April 2009

Can anybody find me?

I find that I increasingly need to draw when I am explaining my thoughts, ideas and concepts. I have always been a visual learner and see images, pictures, and scenes in my mind. I can remember at college planning my approach to essays using bubbles and lines - I later stubbled across mind maps and thought 'hey that's what I was doing 10 years ago.....'.
So I've been drawn to mind maps as a way of supporting my thinking, finding that my mac (and all computers) tends towards the written word and vertical relationships. I need (and strangely it is a need!) to use more fluid ways of showing links when I am being creative or thinking through an issue.
I've explored (and paid for!) many different forms of mind map and they haven't been what I've been looking for - most of the time they are very 'flat' in feel and the images are too 'clean'. Mind maps are about mess - lots of different lines and bubbles to reflect different importances and different relationships. Packages like Novamind seem to structured, too straight, even too 'male'. Omnigraffle whilst not a mind map as such, came close in terms of wonderful graphics, although I found the structuring and how to use it a bit complicated. I also needed something that I could carry on my iPhone and then ping to my mac.
The best answer I've come across to date is ibluesky which is a very very simple mind mapping tool for the iPhone (find it on iTunes apps) and for the mac itself Freemind. These seem to work well together and since I got them (a couple of weeks back), I've found myself drawn to use them in a way that the previous packages didn't. Importantly, Freemind is free! So that's a bonus.

I will though keep looking since what I am really after is a mind map app that works on both iPhone and mac to which you can attach files, photos, videos etc if you want to - that has hyperlinks to those documents and that enables a more messy and more creative approach (couldn't we have templates with bubbles as clouds....more images please!). So virtual community out there....find me something....preferably free!

Saturday, 18 April 2009

Facebook, blogger and twitter

Hopefully I have connected all my two blogsite and my twitter account so you and I can get to them all via Facebook. Fingers Crossed.

Sunday, 5 April 2009

Learning Sustainability and more

I haven't written this blog in a while so there's lots to tell since I've been a bit busy! In terms of mind food activities (thinking and writing), I've returned from a trip to Dublin to talk about New Thinking for a New Generation at the Construction for Health and Industry Conference. Ireland has a school building programme to deal with the increase in the population and the conference was looking at how to make the best of the programme in terms of sustainability. There was a lot of focus on the physical asset - how do we make new buildings carbon zero or carbon neutral, what's the best form of glass structure to prevent heat loss - that sort of thing.
I spoke on the key issues facing us in terms of the growth of technology, the economic crisis, climate change and exclusion of young people from school and the importance of the people in the buildings as well as the buildings themselves. In particular, I emphasised that without new ways of learning and teaching, new forms of schooling, new ways of creating innovation, we won't create the green collar job solution that we need to regenerate the world's economy and the world.
The speech went down well and I made some wonderful contacts of like minded people.

This brings me neatly onto my new venture - the Learning Sustainability Foundation.

Alongwith some like minded others, I am in the process of setting up a not for profit organisation devoted to learning sustainability. The focus for the organisation will be to support schools, councils and other places of learning to create new forms of organisation, learning and leadership that have at their core using the technology to create new green skills. The organisation will be titled Learning Sustainability Foundation and will support the research and development needed to create 21st century learning for 21st century schools and colleges. The Foundation has a webpresence since I've registered the name and we have an email address ( Over the next couple of weeks I'll sort the website and the charity will get registered. I'll let you know about it using this blog.

So a busy time with much to do for the future.