A Key to Global Education

a key to global education: Vitruvian Man by Leonardo da Vinci

A Key to Global Education

WisdomMaps is a patented new generation of “mind maps”, invented in the Near East 2,000 years ago, and popularized more recently by Leonardo da Vinci as a way to unify knowledge (for when information is inter-related, it creates meaning).

WisdomMaps offers a key to global education. It offers a way to teach any subject, at any level of learning, in any language, to students anywhere in the world. It enables students in other countries to earn an American college degree without the need for any command of English and without the need to study in the United States. American colleges can enroll as many international students online as they like, with no significant cost to the college. Best of all, it enables the export of America’s most sought-after and valued product: 

Higher Education.

Interested? Please read on.

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Plan of Business: A Key to Global Education

Table of Contents

A Key to Global Education: Executive Summary

We hope to advance a new model of learning based on WisdomMaps and its patented Multilingual Learning Management System (MLMS). This will make American education at all levels accessible to global learners everywhere, in any language, as a key to global education. This will give global learners the means to earn an American college degree or other academic credential without the need for any English-language capability and without the need to study in the United States. And, it will enable American colleges and schools to benefit from new enrollment from international students.

WisdomMaps organize information into multimedia-rich “mind maps.” These enable the learner to see how information fits together and to develop meaning by inter-relating that information. As a result, it fosters an understanding of the unity of knowledge along with the insight, creative thinking, and solutions engendered by it.

a better way to learn

WisdomMaps provide a better way to teach and learn in any venue, domestic or global, online or hybrid, at any level of education, in any language. The maps are uniquely effective because of their ability to conform to the contours of the human thought process. They unify information and create meaning from those associations. And they engage learners in a galaxy of multimedia that directly engage learners and their mentors.

​As a visual learning technology, WisdomMaps needs to be seen to be understood. A sampler gallery of maps can be viewed on the homepage of WisdomMaps.info. Click on one of the images to link to the map, and go from there. The maps are intuitive, and the information in the map is presented in bite-sized “text-bites.” This is because reading long passages of text no longer works very well for the present generation of learners. More than ever, learners are visual learners. (Try to recall something without there being a mental image attached… it can’t be done. No images, no retention. No retention, no learning. Learners to day are given to tripping the light fantastic on the Internet. Like bees, they extract the nectar of whichever multimedia resources capture their attention along the way. People today are wired to take in information differently. WisdomMaps are designed to engage the learner’s interest in ways that work best for them.

WisdomMaps enables a level of learner engagement that goes well beyond teaching in more traditional ways. The results from their use in teaching college courses (since 2014) have been impressive. Those results are freely verifiable.

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As our venture develops, we hope to address several needs.

a) The need for a way to export America’s most sought-after and value-adding product: its higher education. Until now, there has not been a way to offer this to the world in a way that works and can be monetized for American colleges. We believe that we now have a way to make our most valuable industry available to the global market for American education: a key to global education.

​b) The need for global learners to access American education (at all levels), and to do so without the need for an English-language capability and without the need to come to the United States to study.

​c) The need of American colleges (especially small, private liberal arts colleges) for enrollment. There are 183 million college students globally, and 47 million in China alone. Great numbers of students in foreign countries want the opportunity to undertake an American college education. However, they do not have the requisite English-language capability. Or, they are unable to afford the cost of coming to the United States to study. Many of these colleges are increasingly distressed financially. They would benefit from additional enrollment of international students, especially if their education is online. This would make few demands on the college’s classroom space, faculty, or other resources.

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any language

​We believe that WisdomMaps and its Multilingual Learning Management System (MLMS) could make American education accessible to global learners. The success of this endeavor will give American education the key to global education, to the benefit of both global learners and American colleges and schools. Ultimately it will help lead more of America’s post-industrial economy to the high ground of the global knowledge economy.

​Most of all, WisdomMaps makes for a demonstrably better way to teach and learn. It is a way for learners to come to understand things in terms of what they mean. In this sense, we believe that WisdomMaps could form the beginnings of a new knowledge universe based upon meaning. 

Our Plan

Our vision is for WisdomMaps to advance a new learning and teaching model. ​We (meaning whatever entity is established for this purpose) will build a complete college curriculum of 180 WisdomMaps courses. This curriculum will include the core requirements of a Bachelor of Arts degree, Bachelor of Science degree, and a Bachelor of Business Administration degree. At the same time, we plan to develop the MLMS and its associated technologies, as discussed in the Our Technology section below.

​Global learners will learn and collaborate with each other in real-time translation, and facilitate cross-cultural fertilization. From this will come new friendships and associations in the burgeoning global online knowledge economy. These global learners will increasingly provide the leadership and talent for the global community, and will draw upon the understanding and perspective they develop during their shared cross-cultural learning experience in WisdomMaps. All this makes for a key to global education.

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our curriculum

​We will develop and teach this WisdomMaps curriculum on behalf of our affiliate colleges. The curriculum will be certified by the college as compliant with its standards for course content and implementation. Our mentors will then be hired by the affiliate college as adjunct professors to teach the courses.

​The student will enroll in an affiliate college of their choosing and remit tuition payments directly to that college, and then be enrolled by the affiliate college in its WisdomMaps curriculum. Upon completion of the WisdomMaps curriculum, the student will have satisfied the college’s requirements and will be awarded its degree.

​The feasibility and success of using WisdomMaps for instruction in college courses has already been demonstrated. Several thousand maps have already been developed on all subjects of history, religion, and ethics. These courses have been used in courses taught for colleges, universities, and high schools nation-wide since January, 2014.

​These colleges include:

  • Chaminade University of Honolulu
  • University of Hawai’i Community College System
  • Troy State University
  • Central Arizona College
  • New Mexico State University, Carlsbad
  • Central Virginia Community College System
  • Thomas Edison State University
  • Central Texas College
  • Ivy Tech Community College
  • Charter Oak State College
  • West Virginia Northern Community College
  • Tyler, Weirton, and New Martinsville High Schools in West Virginia

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liberal arts model

The same process can be used to create and teach WisdomMaps courses for all core and elective subjects included in American liberal arts college degree-track programs.

​An initial core curriculum of 60 WisdomMaps courses will be developed to conform to the guidelines for a Bachelor’s degree that are broadly representative of the guidelines of many liberal arts colleges.

our role

WisdomMaps will build the courses, teach the courses, host and support those courses, and find the students for those courses. This is “found money” from enrollment that the affiliate college would not otherwise have. All the college need do is offer the courses, using our mentors to teach them. There is no risk to the college, since courses can be cancelled in the event of insufficient enrollment. And since WisdomMaps curriculums are taught online, there will be few demands from this additional enrollment on the affiliate college’s faculty, classrooms, or other facilities and resources. We will charge our affiliate colleges a fee of 35% of the tuition that they charge the students we bring them.

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partner colleges

​WisdomMaps will affiliate with colleges in China to make the degree programs of our affiliate colleges in the United States available to students in the Chinese language. These colleges will market our program, under their auspices and sponsorship. They will make their laboratory facilities available to our students (for WisdomMaps courses that have a laboratory requirement. And, they will supervise their assessment using Proctor U or comparable service. For these services, WisdomMaps will compensate its affiliate colleges in China with a fee of 15% of the tuition charged students upon enrollment in our affiliate colleges in the United States.

​Students in China will appreciate having the choice of enrolling in any of our affiliate colleges in America. We expect that our affiliate colleges in China will build enduring relationships with our affiliate colleges in America. These relationships will serve the many purposes of cross-cultural intellectual exchange that come with our key to global education.

Our Technology

Our patents (U.S. 8,407,165 B2 and U.S. 9,037,529 B2) are for a multilingual learning management system (MLMS). This is specifically designed to support the online delivery of WisdomMaps courses. The patents also include a “relational ontology” that associates information with other information and develops meaning from those associations. To inter-relate information and develop meaning from that inter-relationship is the central premise and purpose of WisdomMaps.

We believe that our MLMS could become a key to the global learning market. This is made possible by a Google Translate plug-in for the Chrome operating system. With that, a map uploaded to Google Drive can display in the user’s choice of translation from among the more than 100 languages. Once configured in the MLMS, the process of uploading and translating the maps and all course communications and materials occurs seamlessly. Another benefit which comes from being able to toggle back and forth from the Chinese-language translation map to the English-language original is the education in reading academic English that it provides.

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​We plan to add multilingual discussion forums, chat rooms, and email to each map. This will enable learners to communicate directly with each other and with their mentors in real-time translation. Text-to-voice, voice-to-text, and voice-to-voice translation are all feasible and planned for the MLMS. All websites, articles, books, blogs, news, and even videos linked to by the maps will display in translation. So will all journals and other assignments posted to the map for others to view, and all learner assessments.

​The MLMS will enable learners and mentors to engage each other directly on the map in real-time translation. They will post and discuss their observations and questions. They will share their discoveries of multimedia resources, and the progress of the group’s intellectual adventure. This will enable a degree of learner collaboration and engagement with learning resources that is not possible in often-sterile and dissociated discussion forums.

​All the technologies needed to develop the MLMS are presently in commercial use or available as open-source programs. There is little original coding needed to develop the MLMS in its functional prototype. We plan for this purpose to deploy existing technologies in the configuration contemplated by our patents.

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other technologies

We also plan to develop other technologies for use in our key to global education:

a) A digital credential in the form of a dynamic Comprehensive Assessment Profile. This will be continuously updated to reflect the extent of learner engagement with WisdomMaps courses and their assessments. It will include extensive personalized mentor assessment of learner interests and progress.

​b) The automated creation from scanned text of precursor WisdomMaps (to be further developed with human expertise) with our patented “scan-to-map” technology.

c) The display of WisdomMaps in 3-D. This will enable their multidimensional display and operation in a way that emulates the omnidirectional nature of the human thought process.

A new search engine

WisdomMaps will form the basis for a new search engine technology using our “scan-to-map” technology. This works by aggregating search results and display them as a mind map, rather than as a list. This inter-relates search results and elicits the meaning of those associations. It opens new dimensions of meaning in an architecture that supports the overall unity of knowledge. WisdomMaps will enable the search engine to work in the way the human mind naturally works: by association. It inter-relates search results in terms of causes, means, and effects. And it does so in terms of shared and analogous concepts, meaning, and implications.

​One possibility is for the mind map of search results to display an illuminated “perspective trail” through the global mind map of relevant search results. This will accord with user-specified search criteria. This trail will highlight sections of search-result sites that relate specifically to user-specified interests. This will, for example, include women’s history, ethnic history, economic history, or labor history. It will elucidate the relevance of those associations to user-specified interests and outcomes.

​​This search engine will inter-relate information and anticipate developments and respond to them intuitively. In doing so, it will expand the reach of artificial intelligence. It also presents possibilities for a new “multidimensional” database technology in the context of a new universe of knowledge based on meaning.

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​Virtual learning venues

“Virtuality” is ultimately where all learning is going. The best learning is that which best replicates actual experience. (It’s true that it is generally not possible to understand anything without personally experiencing it.) Virtual learning venues will include, for example, virtual courtrooms and juries for law students to argue their cases in. Virtual biology labs for dissecting frogs. A virtual immersion in ancient Rome by way of a digitized Ben Hur movie and a virtual reality headset.

There will be virtual mentors. These will be modeled after the virtual assistants now in use on smartphones (Siri, et al). Virtual mentors in 3-D holographic display will be available to guide and counsel learners at every turn.

The integration of virtual venues (and virtual mentoring) with WisdomMaps-based search engine technology will form the matrix of a virtual universe. Artificial intelligence will be able to think intuitively to create meaning and unify knowledge and understanding.

There are many possibilities and there is great potential.

Competitive Advantages

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Better learning

WisdomMaps represents a new way of organizing information. It mimics the human thought process and results in greater learner engagement and better learning. This is impossible for other learning methodologies based on “linear learning” to achieve on account. This is because of the limitations of “spaghetti code.” This is information imbibed like slurping up a strand of spaghetti, read or heard one sentence or phrase at a time. Spaghetti code is difficult to untangle and organize. Most learners retain only a small fraction of what they read or hear in this fashion.

WisdomMaps enable the intake of information by association. This conforms to the way the human thought process naturally works. The maps enable the learner to retain far more that they would with traditional learning, because the topics are relevant to their interests. Better to allow learners to discover and engage a new subject on their own. This makes for a natural and relevant follow-on to their existing interests. It does not confront the learner with something new and dissociated that they may see no immediate relevance in.


Learners learn best when they’re having fun and when the topics of their study are relevant to their interests. The multimedia that the maps link to enable learners to watch videos of their choosing on topics that interest them. Studies have determined that learners learn several times as much from 15 minutes spent watching a video on a topic than from the same amount of time spent reading about it. The present generation of visual learners“trip the light fantastic” on the internet, absorb the essences of whatever web resources and multimedia they encounter… and then move on. Learners have less and less patience with being immersed in long static passages of text. Perhaps it’s true that the more learning comes to resemble a video game, the more they’ll like it.

WisdomMaps expose learners to hundreds of topics in each course. Each topic is linked to multimedia resources that enable them to delve as deeply as they like into those topics that interest them. There are no limits to the exercise of their curiosity. In the process, learners encounter new interests that they never imagined they might have. WisdomMaps foster this sense of discovery and shared learning adventure.

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each to his own

Each leaner contributes their discoveries and insights to the on-map collaboration. The group is exposed to dozens of topics (both salient and obscure) in each session. Together, they provide a comprehensive treatment of the subject being studied that week. Yes, there is some replication, but even the replications usually offer a different take on the topic. Students like to “wander and wonder” and share the discoveries of their learning adventures with their classmates. And teachers appreciate having the ability to engage and personally mentor their students directly on the maps. In this way, the maps become a big creative sandbox for all.

​Multilingual map display, instruction, and collaboration

Our patent provides for the multilingual display and instruction of WisdomMaps in any of the world’s most commonly-used languages. Translation is at the heart of our key to global education. The concise and truncated format of the information presented in the nodes of the maps enables far more accurate machine translation (though this must then be reviewed by human translation). This circumvents the pitfalls of using machine translation of large passages of text (or texts themselves). It mitigates much of the expense of human translation. Learners will be able to post to the map in their own language, and that posting is then made available in live-time translation to other learners and mentors in their own languages.

​A caveat: machine translation of mind maps by itself is inadequate, and must be reviewed and corrected by human translators. Ludicrous mis-translations cost credibility, and when credibility is lost, so is the game. However, it provides a good beginning. The concise and truncated nature of text wording in WisdomMaps is easier, faster, and more cost-effective for human translators to review and correct than passages of complex and nuanced text.

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Collaborative learning

Here’s how learning happens with WisdomMaps. Learning is a social activity. It benefits best from either a teacher or a friend who personally elicits the curiosity of the other (the closer their proximity, the better). Discussion forums in most online courses seem sterile and dissociated, and they are inadequate for collaborative learning, since learners are deprived of the kind of direct engagement (with the map’s information and multimedia and with each other and their mentor). But robust engagement can be realized when students collaborate with each other and their teacher directly on the maps. There, they can post their own journal, post comments on their classmates’ journals, and post relevant images, videos, website links, and more. Students generally learn as much from their peers as they do from their teachers. Their collaboration with each other on the maps enables them to teach each other, and in doing so, an astonishingly productive learning process begins to unfold. It happens this way because, as many teachers would affirm, the best way to learn something is to teach it.

Learners engage the subject at their own level

While some learners may draw upon more scholarly resources and multimedia for their journals, others may contribute resources that are more colorful and viscerally engaging; each learner contributes at their own level and in their own voice (a social process that everyone enjoys), and everyone has an engaging and productive learning adventure. But it is the “talented tenth” (or two-tenths) in any given class that benefit the most from having no limits on the exercise of their curiosity; these are the students who report that they’ve been up most of the night getting happily lost in the maps. In any event, no student need be left behind because they cannot keep up with advanced learners or because of a language barrier.

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Patent protection

Mind maps per se are not new. They were first developed in the Near East more than 2,000 years ago, and more recently popularized by Leonardo da Vinci some 500 years ago as a way to unify knowledge. However, WisdomMaps represent a 21st-century iteration of the art and science of mind maps; they are new and different on account of their “relational ontology” that performs that single most important function of a mind map: relating information to other information and eliciting meaning and insight in so doing. Competitors would be unable to develop and monetize any mind maps that embody this relational ontology without infringing on our patent. Competitors would also be unable to develop and monetize mind maps without deploying them in a learning management system of some kind; our MLMS is the cornerstone of the patent.

​Furthermore, competitors would be unable to automate the creation of mind maps without using the kind of language-parsing technology comprehended by the patent. Nor would they be able to develop any mind map-based search engine without using the same technology described by the patent, or develop the other technologies of 3-D mind map display, virtual mentoring and virtual learning venues that all derive from the MLMS.

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nothing to steal here

​Most of all, competitors would be unable to replicate our key to the global education: the availability to global learners of a degree-track program taught by American professors at an American college, in their own language and without the expense of coming to the United States to study. All other avenues to an American college degree that are presently open to global learners require a strong English-language capability and study in the United States.

​Misappropriation of our intellectual property in the global market would be mitigated by the fact that foreign learners want a college degree from an accredited American college or university. They will expect their courses to be taught by American professors. Any local variant of a mind map-based educational system that uses other than American teachers to teach its courses will not carry the same appeal. Nor will it offer the same opportunity for learners to earn the American credential. What’s more, it would subject any American participants to the penalties of U.S. patent law.


Our markets include both American college students and academically-qualified global learners with an interest in obtaining an American college degree. There are now more than 47 million undergraduate college students in China alone. There are more than 250 million globally, and some 600 million college students worldwide are projected by 2040.  By 2019, the number of international students at U.S. colleges and universities had grown to 1.1 million.

To recruit global enrollment, we intend to create a website in Chinese. This will market our program to Chinese students and affiliate colleges in China. Most colleges in China have far more applicants than they can accommodate, and the fee paid to our Chinese partner colleges is intended to compensate them for their services in enrollment, proctoring, and back-office costs.

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​U.S. colleges as academic affiliates

We would like to make our key to global education available to the more than 2,300 liberal arts colleges in the United States; most offer distance learning programs, and many are in dire need of enrollment.

​We will market bilingual WisdomMaps courses as a personally-mentored learning aid for foreign students who are preparing for study in the United States. Their appeal will be greatly enhanced once the courses come to include personalized tutoring in academic English. This will enable students to prepare and submit essays and other assignments in English. They will use Skype or comparable media to conduct verbal presentations and conversation with the mentor in English. The prices for these services will be determined by the mentor. We believe that this business model will prove attractive to the million-strong community of adjunct professors in the United States (most of whom are presently under-utilized and readily available).

Competition: MOOCs

Massive Open Online Courses (MOOCs) are modeled on some dubious assumptions. Foremost among them is the premise that learners will somehow teach themselves without personal interaction with a mentor. But more so, MOOCs are constrained by the limitations of spaghetti code.

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​The Problem with Spaghetti Code

Spaghetti code is information that is linear. This is information that the learner slurps up (by reading it or by hearing it) one sentence at a time, like a strand of spaghetti. Like pasta, spaghetti code is mostly empty calories. People typically retain only a small fraction of what they read or listen to.

Plus, a pile of spaghetti code is hard to untangle and pick through for nuggets of insight. This accounts for the common spectacle of learners furiously underlining and highlighting the essential points of whichever text they’re slogging through.

​But information is not meant to be linear. That’s not how it happens in the human mind. In the synapses of the brain, information instantly radiates everywhere through connections to other information. The thought process transpires naturally by association. By associating information with other information, it becomes charged with meaning. When that happens, the learner learns and welcomes new information into the realm of the familiar. The underlying flaw of linear thinking is that it ignores most of these connections. It reduces knowledge from omnidirectional to the linear and two-dimensional.

​No Interaction, No Learning

Learning cannot be effectively imparted by an assembly-line process. This is especially when learning is premised on the inter-relatedness of all knowledge. This requires the insight of a mentor to elucidate.

Information standing alone by itself is sterile and has no meaning. It only acquires meaning when it is considered in relation to other information. In its simplest form, it’s like pairing the color red with the concept of wine to produce a good Burgundy. That’s how meaning can transform knowledge into understanding.

Learners learn from each other at least as much as they learn from their mentor. Collaboration is difficult among the huge numbers of students who typically enroll in a MOOC. They speak many languages, and there may be no common language of instruction. The obstacles of orchestrating a dialogue on that scale are formidable. Without the guiding mind of the teacher, the learner is generally at a loss to draw connections of causality among information. He cannot elicit their meaning on his own. This can only be done by the mentor directly engaging the curiosity of the learner.

Active, reciprocal engagement between mentor and learner is the transacting and the doing of learning. Such engagement does not occur between an inquiring mind and a textbook. (Plus, it’s an open invitation to rampant ChatGPT.) A textbook offers no reciprocity and therefore no true communication. There is only ingestion of information, without the intellectual digestion and nourishment. The learner left alone with a textbook in a MOOC is hard–pressed to make the connections and develop the insights that make for true learning.

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​Poor-Quality and Cost-Prohibitive Translation

Machine-translation of extensive passages of complex and nuanced text is problematic. It suffers from numerous errors that undermine the credibility and integrity of instruction. Human translation of entire texts and other lengthy course materials is prohibitively expensive. It is especially expensive when it needs to be done in the many languages of a diverse global audience. Without accurate translation, learners with little or no English-language capability struggle, and the credibility of the course suffers.

However, the concise and truncated nature of the information displayed in WisdomMaps enables more accurate, more efficient, and more cost-effective translation. It is not feasible for MOOCs to offer translated texts and course materials (especially as the current editions are replaced by new editions) in each of the many languages used by the many students. But we can.

No College Degree

Global learners want both an education and a degree from an accredited American college or university. MOOCs offer a limited selection of courses that generally do not lead to a degree from their college or university. We do.

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The Benefit

As a key to global education, WisdomMaps provides a way to export America’s most sought-after and value-adding product: its higher education. Until now, there has not been a way to offer this to the world in a way that works or that can be monetized for American colleges and schools. We now have a way to make our most valuable industry available to the global market for American education.

​Perhaps we should think of education as fertilizer for the grass roots of an economy. WisdomMaps can make it possible for people to acquire as much education as they want. With that will come the opportunity for people to get better-paying jobs. As education raises people’s expectations, they spend more on the higher-value goods and services that are produced in advanced economies. This in turn creates an opportunity for Americans to manufacture and export more of those goods and services.

​Education, while not a perfect panacea, remains the best overall grass-roots solution to the miseries that afflict the human condition. The usual suspects? Ignorance, hatred, and poverty. Education empowers people. If we can help educate people globally to a higher standard, we provide a solution. This works by addressing not the symptoms but the foremost cause of poverty: the lack of educational opportunity. And if it’s true that violence is the last resort of the helpless, it should be borne in mind that education empowers the powerless by creating opportunities that offer an alternative to violence. Working smarter, not just harder, brings more opportunity, better pay, and greater social equity. It is more than a key to global education. It is a key to a better life.


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a key to global education: Vitruvian Man by Leonardo da Vinci
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