Monday, 22 June 2015

Mindmaps in class - Tips and Tools

What is a mindmap?
According to Wikipedia, a mindmap is 'a diagram used to visually organize information. A mind map is often created around a single concept, drawn as an image in the center of a blank landscape page, to which associated representations of ideas such as images, words and parts of words are added. Major ideas are connected directly to the central concept, and other ideas branch out from those.

Mind maps can be drawn by hand, either as "rough notes" during a lecture, meeting or planning session, for example, or as higher quality pictures when more time is available.'

Using a mindmap in class. What for?

Mindmaps in lessons are useful for:

  • individual or group brainstorming,
  • summarising information and note taking,
  • consolidating information one gathers from various search sources,
  • thinking on complex issues, drafting and solving them in a creative way,
  • presenting information in such a way that provides the overview of a project,
  • studying and memorising.

In order to use a mindmap effectively, no matter with online tool we go for, we must make sure that we use different colours so that the mindmap looks visually engaging, as well as using good key words and inserting symbols and images that encourage creative thinking.

Online mindmapping tools

  • Text2Mindmap: it is very easy to use; the author only has to key in text and bleed it, while the tool does all the rest. The outcomes can be downloaded as image and printable files.
  • Coggle: signing in with one's Google account is available. The team advertise that it will be a free tool forever; let's wait and see!
  • Mindmeister: its interface is in Spanish. The free version only allows designing three mindmaps.
  • Mind42: the outcomes can be downloaded, and they are also provided as an image file.
  • SpiderScribe: the free version allows you to create three private maps and unlimited public ones. Mindmaps can be enriched with texts, images, locations, files, calendar events and so forth. Your outcomes can be embedded in your own blogs, webs, sites or portfolios.
  • it can be tried for free for 30 days. The mindmaps can be exported as an image and with a link to be used in your blog, web, and so forth.
  • Cacoo: the free version only allows downloading created mindmaps as if they were a .png image, but it is a collaborative tool and up to 15 users can work on the same diagram.
  • Creately: the free version allows designing five public mindmaps and one project. 

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