For one of my concurrent sessions at NECC today, I attended a presentation on FreeMind by Gyaneswaran Gomathinayagam. While I can appreciate the fact that he travelled all the way from Inda to give this presentation, it was almost completely incomprehensible. Even when I understood his English, I couldn’t understand what he was saying. The session was supposed to be a demonstration of the open source program. However, the example he used for demonstration was very esoteric and also hard to follow.
Unfortunately, the language barriers were impossible to overcome in this short session. I downloaded a copy of the program and played with it, but basically ignored the presenter. My impression was that it’s useful, especially if you can’t afford Inspiration or Kidspiration. It doesn’t have all of the pizzaz of those two programs, but does create a passable concept map. Plus, you can’t beat the price – free.
[tags]NECC, NECC 2007, FreeMind, Concept Mapping[/tags]
2 thoughts on “FreeMind – Alternative to Inspiration”
Thanks for the frank feedback about my session. I wish people had stopped me and asked questions if I was incomprehensible, instead of ignoring me while I kept on talking. I even asked if I was clear, very often. Nobody said ‘NO’ at that time.
I hope that due to my ineffectiveness in conveying the power and utility of mind maps and freemind, people don’t ignore it. I hope they’ll explore these powerful tools on their own. I hope Tony Buzan (inventor of mind maps) and the developers of FreeMind forgive me for showing their great inventions in poor light.
Whether others use mind maps and freemind or not, I am going to use it and benefit by it. I came all the way from India to share my excitement about this wonderful method of thinking and learning, but I have obviously failed in my attempt.
It only means that I need to become more of an expert in the use of mind mapping and freemind, before taking such sessions for others in the future. No wonder, Tony Buzan has trained and certified people to train others in mind mapping.
Here are some specific suggestions and criticisms. I’ll also send this via e-mail.
First – the session was supposed to be about Freeware. However, the focus was on mind-mapping rather than the program. Most of the examples given were images from a Google search, and could not have been created using the program advertised for the session. Even though the program was on the display screen, there was no direct discussion of how the program worked in the entire time I was in the session. The session needed to focus on either mind mapping or the program – not both.
Secondly, the sample concept “What’s wrong with education” was to complex and broad. If you want to demonstrate the program, select a simpler topic so that the power of the program can be demonstrated.
And finally, many of us did actually say that we could not hear and/or understand – repeatedly. Yet, you continued on.