Thursday, July 17, 2003

Head First and Mind Maps

Here's another one I saw on Slashdot. O'Reilly has a new book out called Head First Java. Instead of being like many other text books, they are trying to use a more visual and interactive approach for the reader to learn the material. It looks like this may be the beginning of a whole series of books. If that's true, I will be a very happy camper.

If there is anything that has happened to help me assimilate information in the past year, it is the understanding that most of us learn visually. (By that, I mean with pictoral symbols as opposed to just written language.) In March of this year, I attended a conference on doing ministry in a post-modern culture. One of the books we were encouraged to read was The Mind Map Book by Tony and Barry Buzan. (It's a good book, but I think a 30-60 minute demonstration could teach you everything you need to know about mind maps.) It helped me learn to put things down visually on paper in ways that fit my normal thinking patterns. The only problem I see, though, is that unless the images you use are readily understood by another reader, they don't transfer well to others.


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