How Teddy Turns Complexity Into a Plan – Preparing a University Course
Could you tell us a bit about yourself?
My name is Teddy Svoronos and I’m a Lecturer in Public Policy at the Harvard Kennedy School.
Is there one situation or project in which mind mapping helped you the most?
MindNode is the app that I use to begin the process of developing new classes. When staring down the barrel of a new class session, there is a seemingly infinite number of paths I could go down - huge numbers of topics, examples, and in-class exercises that could conceivably be incorporated into the class. MindNode helps me turn this complexity into a plan. I can group ideas into categories, which then link to one another in ways that gradually emerge as a class plan.
How did you get your thoughts out of your head and into a mind map?
I start by creating as many Main Nodes as possible - using ⇧-Enter to dump all the ideas that pop into my head into a messy group of unstructured ideas. As I do this, I often start seeing connections immediately, so I’ll drag them on top of one another, or creating connection lines between them. If there are images, examples, or tables that I want to reference, I’ll drag them onto the map as well.
How did it feel to finally see all your thoughts in a mind map?
The best part is the transition from feeling overwhelmed and without structure to seeing a concrete set of steps to move forward. The mind map ends up being the starting point for further content - handouts and slides and such - but the map is always visible and always guiding how I conceptualize the class.
Where can people find out more about you and your work?
- Teddy's Public Policy Class Mind Map
References: Kleinberg, J., Lakkaraju, H., Leskovec, J., Ludwig, J., & Mullainathan, S. (2017). Human Decisions and Machine Predictions. The Quarterly Journal of Economics, 133(1), 237-293.