Juggling family, work and community responsibilities is the ultimate challenge in our fast-paced society. In the high school Family and Consumer Sciences classroom, students are using Mindmeister
to apply their value system as they set goals and SMART objectives. For the first step, they analyze Maslow's hierarchy of human needs and a description of their role models to clarify their value system. From a beginning node in Mindmeister "MY LIFE", they list the values. Their goals and objectives are prioritized based on that value system. Then they brainstorm their goals from a node "DREAMS", in other words, things that they are passionate about now or wish to accomplish in the future. The next step is to add nodes called, "INDIVIDUAL, FAMILY, CAREER and COMMUNITY." They drag the goals to the appropriate location. The most difficult step for high school students is to break the long-term goals into short-term SMART objectives. SMART is an acronym for Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Realistic and Timely. Mindmeister allows the students to add a "note" to the nodes. On this note they'll add the objective, which must have a time frame within one month, a cost (if there is one), a specific action, which can realistically be achieved within the time frame, and the resources that are will be used to achieve the goal. They enjoy adding pictures, graphics, and colors to their Mindmeister maps. Sharing the mindmaps with their classmates and instructor allows them to collaborate not only within their own class, but also with anyone in the school, or for that matter, anyone in the world. Mindmeister, or any other on-line graphic organizer, such as bubbl.us
, provides the perfect opportunity for adolescents to critically think about their identity, now and in the future.