M. Dushkova, S. Tsankov

University of Ruse (BULGARIA)
The XXI century is the century of Information Technologies. They are a part of the everyday life of modern man. Young people cannot imagine their life without computers, the Internet, mobile phones and social networks. New technologies are perceived as means for obtaining information, entertainment and communication. However, their role in education should not be underestimated.

It is of particular importance in modern education to be established interdisciplinary relations between the different subjects. This article links the instruction in Literature classes with Information Technologies. We offer methodological guidance which can assist teachers and learners in creating mind maps in Literature classes. In view of the learning content, we have designed several models of mind maps, focused on various issues of the discipline Children and Teenage Literature for Bachelor Degree students, majoring in Bulgarian Language and History at the Angel Kanchev University of Ruse (Bulgaria). The models have been devised using the specialised software packages iMind Map 8 and Inspiration 9, as well as Microsoft Word and Microsoft Power Point of Microsoft Office. Every student majoring in a pedagogical discipline, even though not being proficient in Information Technologies, will be able to access the proposed software because its use does not necessitate special skills.

The Mind map, created by the British psychologist Tony Buzan, is a learning and memory training method. It represents a graphic, netlike method of storing, organising and categorising information, in which key words and images are used, each of them being linked to specific memories which provoke new thoughts and ideas. The words and images are keys-associations to facts, ideas and information and they help to reveal our mind’s true potential.

The Mind Mapping method has been applied in Bulgarian schools and universities as a form of interactive method, however, the research carried out so far shows that it is not yet actively used.

The wider use of the Mind Mapping method in Literature classes will enrich the teaching tools and teachers will have more opportunities to influence students. We believe that for today’s learners – members of the young digital generation, the creation of mind maps will not only be a beneficial activity, but also an enthusing and challenging one. The implementation of the method will increase motivation for learning and enhance the interest in the subject studied.

Having acquired skills to design mind maps, the learners may apply them in their preparation for examinations in various disciplines, as well as in the elaboration of course papers and graduation projects.

As future teachers, today’s learners might themselves use the mind map as a type of interactive teaching and learning method by which they will present the learning contents to their students in an intriguing way.