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Assistive Technology: X Mind

Introduction to X Mind

An Introduction to Concept Mapping


Concept mapping is a technique to visually illustrate relationships. Concpet maps begin with a main idea (or concept) and then branch out to show how that main idea can be broken down into specific topics so that they can be used to organise and represent knowlege of a subject. X Mind is a commercial product used for mind mapping which also has a free downloadable version.

Concept Mapping and the Specific Learning Differences Dyslexia and Dyspraxia


In their book, 'The Dyslexic Advantage', Brock and Fernette Eide discuss the  dyslexic processing style where they suggest that dyslexic processing predisposseses individuals to  important abilities as well as creating challenges with certain academic skills. These abilities may include....

  • Three-dimensional spacial reasoning.
  • The ability to perceive subtle relationships and patterns
  • The ability to understand abstract information in terms of specific exanples   
                                                                                                                            Eide & Eide, 2011: 15

Concept mapping makes use of these abilities to address the challenges faced with organisational skills and academic writing and it can be used for...

  • Brainstorming and generating new ideas
  • Identifying the key concepts for further elaboration
  • Moving from a holistic view of a concept to a linear format for academic writing
  • Drafting, planning and organising written work
  • Integrating new concepts with older concepts

Using X Mind for Concept Mapping


You can access X Mind on the Institute of Education student network by clicking on the arrows next to 'Accessibility' at the bottom right of the task bar on your computer screen.

You can also download and install X Mind for free on your home computer at http://www.xmind.net/downloads/ where it is also possibel to upgrade to X Mind Pro for more advanced features. 

This guide shows written instructions for using the basic features of X Mind but there are many videos on You Tube which explain both basic and more advanced concepts including collaborative facilities.

IT Services and Disability & Wellbeing Support run several joint trainigs a year which cover a range of X Mind features and these can be found on the IT Services training webpages.