Overview of Module 6 (July 13-19)

Key Ideas of Mod 6

  1. Review Module 5 learning and provide feedback to each other
  2. Record Final Project website ideas in a mind map
  3. Be sensitive and aware of opportunities to think and articulate thinking in different ways, e.g. the use of metaphors
  4. Work as a learning community


Mod 6 Resources


da Vinci's design of a giant crossbow

da Vinci’s design of a giant crossbow

“The explosion of creativity in the Renaissance was intimately tied to the recording and conveying of a vast knowledge in a parallel language; a language of drawings, graphs, and diagrams — as, for instance, in the renowned diagrams of Leonardo da Vinci and Galileo. Galileo revolutionized science by making his thought visible with diagrams, maps and drawings while his contemporaries used conventional mathematical and verbal approaches.

Once geniuses obtain a certain minimal verbal facility, they seem to develop a skill in visual and spatial abilities that gives them the flexibility to display information in different ways. When Einstein had thought through a problem, he always found it necessary to formulate his subject in as many different ways as possible, including diagrammatically. He had a very visual mind. He thought in terms of visual and spatial forms, rather than thinking along purely mathematical or verbal lines of reasoning. In fact, he believed that words and numbers, as they are written or spoken, did not play a significant role in his thinking process.” (Michalko, 2001, p. 9)

The language(s) we know predisposes our mind to think a certain way. Albert Einstein, Richard Feynman, Martha Graham, Leonardo da Vinci and Charles Darwin drew diagrams and maps in notebooks, and their ability to represent their subjects visually has been suggested as contributing to their genius.

One good thinking habit is to carry/have a notebook (digital or physical copy of one) with you all the time to doodle and write down your thoughts.

My own experience with mind mapping has been positive. I began learning it in 1998 formally and once I acquired the skill, I could not go back to linear note-taking without missing the richness of mind mapping. Mind mapping, a non-linear, visual-spatial form of thinking and notetaking, revolutionized the way I think. My understanding of course topics grew as I applied mind mapping to graduate school. This is one example of a mind map I drew rather quickly. Typically, using the Buzan style, we use one color per branch:

Yin Wah Kreher E-mentoring MindmapText Equivalent: Google Document

Check out two of Michalko’s writings; one article in the Documents folder about mindmappping and his blog post, If You Always Think the Way You’ve Always Thought, You Will Always Get What You’ve Always Got. These writings will activate our minds to think about how language can restrict or free us to think more or less productively.

Good news! In this module, you will have the opportunity to apply your mapping skills to your Final Inquiry Project site.

Another way to think and articulate your thoughts differently is to use metaphors. You were introduced to this concept of metaphors at the beginning of the course in Module 1. You were asked to compare thinking to something concrete and all of you had intriguing ideas as to what thinking means to you. The Art of the Metaphor (TED video, 5:39) by Jane Hirschfield offers you an interesting explanation of several metaphors we use to think differently about ordinary phenomena. Learn more about metaphors with the following resources, Your Brain on Metaphors and Vismet.



Mod 6 Activities

  • Course engagement is an ongoing activity.
  • In particular, check out other learners’ Module 5 reflection posts and makes aggregated on the Blog Hub.
  • Add comments to at least 3 different participants’ posts. Refer to How to Write Blog Comments as a guide.

Tweeting to connect with others beyond this course (By SundayThurs July 19 23, 10 points that count towards 30%):

    • Some of you are learning to interact on Twitter with our own learning community, that’s good but my hope is that you’ll find some amazing people, beyond our little group, who will become part of your Professional Learning Network, just as I have found mine.
      Image by Sylvia Duckworth on How to Grow a Personal Learning Network

      Thanks to Sylvia Duckworth for sharing tips on growing a Personal Learning Network: planting the seeds, nourishing the crop, weeding, harvesting the crop and re-generating the crop by harvesting & re-scattering.

      You have 2.5 weeks left in this course to learn to connect with other folks beyond our little group. Remember this is part of your Community Connect (30%). H/T (Hat-tip to Stephanie for sharing the following tip!)

  • If you haven’t yet, (1) start following at least 10 people in your profession or fields of interest.
  • (2) Follow at least one Twitter chat, live or after it’s over:

    Check out Twitter Chats 101 to learn how and where to take part in a Twitter Chat. Chat Salad is the place to go to find chats that are currently happening or taking place in the near future.

  • (3) Lurk (participate on the side quietly if it’s going on LIVE, see how others tweet or chat on Twitter) or read the Twitter stream after it’s over. Even if it’s over, you can still join and add to the conversation at a later time.
  • (4)  Add a tweet to the conversation. HOW?
    • You can retweet, favorite a tweet, or quote a tweet and add a comment to the tweet. Refer to The Story of a Tweet for more information.
  • (5) Embed at least 2 of your retweets/quoted tweets with comments/new tweets with newfound followers/users on Twitter in your Reflect6 blog post. Here’s how to do it:
    • Click on the … (3 dots/More) on your tweet(s).
    • Select Embed Tweet from the dropdown menu.
    • Copy the code.
    • Paste the code in your blog post when writing about it.
    • Done!
  • Happy learning from and with others beyond this course!



  • Connect the dots across these 5 pictures. Write a 25-word story with these 5 pictures. Not more than 25 words. It is possible. Have you heard of Hemingway’s famous six-word story? Check out the Six Word Stories website for inspiration.
  • Add VCUTHINK hashtag to your 25WordMake. Publish the post! Have fun learning to be concise and clear!


  • In this module, your Progress Report will take the shape of a mind map. Make sure you’ve read Michalko’s Chapter 2 found in the Documents folder.
  • In your Chrome browser, search for Mindomo, a free mind mapping software: http://www.mindomo.com/. There are not many free mind mapping software available, unfortunately. I use a paid software called MindManager by Mindjet. You can try it for 30 days for free.
  • Instructions on how to use Mindomo are described in this YouTube video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Q6SVnms6D-w
  • If you prefer to draw a mind map yourself without using Mindomo, follow the instructions at Mind Mapping for Brainstorming (the Tony Buzan style).
  • Map out a draft of the ideas/areas you plan to include in your Inquiry website. Include some details.
  • Add VCUTHINK as a category and tag it InquiryRpt4.

  • Be sure you have watched Jane Hirshfield’s video on The Art of the Metaphor first before attempting this exercise.
  • Create sketchnotes to visualize metaphors for ONE of the following concepts: learning, diversity, technology, college life.
  • Don’t worry about your drawing. Just do it. Brad Ovenell Carter has interesting sketchnotes on Google+ and Pinterest.
  • See examples for change, trust, danger by Sacha Chua.
  • Snap a picture of your sketchnotes and post it on your blog.
  • Add the category VCUTHINK and the tag VISMET to your post.
  • Summarize your reflection using the Headlines thinking routine. Include a picture that goes with the headline.
  • Expand on the headline in the body of the post. What have you been learning this week? What were the 2 most valuable takeaways for you? How did the group reflection exercise work out for you last week?
  • What do you need to work on further?
  • Assign the category VCUTHINK to this reflection. Assign the tag REFLECT6 to this post.
  • Publish the post.

Updated: July 16, 2015, 11:46 AM

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