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Archive for the ‘Mind Mapping’ Category

Ideas Abound with Mindmapping

I found a great article on Robin Good’s blog that goes over several mindmapping tools in a guide format. Although not an extensive list and it doesn’t focus on user friendliness, it does highlight the major players and gives great unbiased overviews of the tools selected. I highly recommend reading the whole article as it is truly a great resource that I have already bookmarked and intend to go back to often.

In the near future I will give a more in-depth review of the usability and functions of some of the tools that Robin Good outlines in his article.

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  • Mind Mapping on Steroids

    The folks at Webdesigner Depot have posted 50 Great Examples of Data Visualization. These tools enable one to view large amounts of data in a visual spacial fashion that helps to reveal patters, trends and groups that are not easily observed in the traditional format. Unfortunately, this site lists 50 tools and while I have used several, but not all, I cannot make a recommendation on which tools is the best. Furthermore, the tool you choose or will need will also depend on the type of data that you need to view.

    Educational Application:

    Being able to present data in a visual spacial format will help most, if not all, learners get better grasp of what the data can reveal.

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  • Filed under: Graphics, Learning, Mind Mapping, Presentation, Research, Tools
  • Etherpad: Realtime Collaborative Text Editing

    About the only limiting factor to Google Apps/Docs for collaboration on documents is that one still needs to have a Google account to access and collaborate on a document, spreadsheet or presentation. If your intended users/audience are not comfortable with creating a Google account or just do not want to, but you still need to collaborate on a document then Etherpad is the best way to go.

    You don’t need an account to start and Etherpad and anyone who you send or give the document URL to can start editing the document in real time. Users can identify their edits by color and name so it is very easy to see who has written what.

    Educational Applications:

    • This is one web-based app that you just need to “click and see” just how easy it is to use and what it can do for you.
    • Collaboration, engagement, brainstorming, mind mapping and so on….One is only limited by their own imagination.
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  • Filed under: Collaborative, Editors, Learning, Mind Mapping, Networking
  • Mind Maps: The Conclusion

    myWebspiration is very robust and the most fully featured of the three mind mapping applications. The list of it’s capabilities is impressive and includes the ability to:

    • add hyperlinks
    • images
    • color changing
    • clip art (although I am against such things, but I am a graphic guy which makes me very picky)
    • converting lists to mind maps
    • line customization
    • collapsible maps
    • collaboration
    • notes for specific bubbles
    • etc.

    So what’s not to like with this fantastic application that seems to do everything? Although it may seem like everything to everyone and has all the functionality of the first two I reviewed and more, all the functionality comes at a big cost, usability. It is, by far, the hardest application to use of the three and surprisingly doesn’t have a very robust export or embed feature. If you are OK with an extra 10 minutes of learning time though you can unlock much of the power of myWebspiration and create great mind maps.

    My pick for best Mind Map tool is (drum roll can be heard in background) Bubbl.us! Why? It is the best blend of incredible ease of use and its collaborative nature. There may not be all the bells and whistle but it looks good and when I invite someone to come and use it I know they will be able to figure it out with little to no instruction.

    How can mind maps be used in education?

    1. quickly mapping out complex plans like websites, marketing plans, business plans,
    2. A more visual way of representing a idea
    3. Give an overview of a plot line of a story
    4. show relationships between groups or individuals
    5. show relationships between almost anything i.e. (galaxies, solar systems, planets, moons, asteroids) or (the food chain).
    6. show a business hierarchy or any hierarchy for that matter.
    7. Mind maps can increase creativity for any area (even mathematics) by helping you think outside the box and make associations that you may not have thought about before.

    What are your ideas for how to use mind maps?

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  • text2mindmap

    Text2MindMap

    In part 2 of my mind-mapping tour I have chosen Text2MindMap. This is by far the easiest app to use as it is based purely on creating outlines. This online app takes your outline tree and creates a mind-map from the content therein. It also features the ability to paste an already created list in a handy text field so go ahead and use a different app like Word to create the list, copy it and paste it into the text field. It is that simple.

    Of course there are the obligatory options that you can change like the colors but at it’s core it is just a pretty list. And that is also a downside of Text2MindMap it is a bit too sparse in its features. There is no collaborative aspect, you can’t embed it and the only exporting you are able to do is to a Jpeg format.

    All in all it is the simplest tool I will review and that is it’s strength. If all you need is to visualize your outline then this is the fastest and easiest tool by far to use.

    How can it be used in education?

    Stay tuned to the 3rd part of my article trilogy to see how Mind mapping in general can be used in education.

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  • Mind-Mapping: a trilogy of visual thinking

    Part 1: Bubbl.us

    This is part one of 3 articles based around online mind-mapping applications. These 3 articles will end with me giving my pick for the one I like best and why.

    Part 1: Bubbl.us

    This mind mapping application is the probably the easiest to use and to enable the collaborative aspect right away. All you need to do is sign up and make friends with a colleague or student that has an account with Bubbl.us and give them editing access. Of course you can also only give them viewing access in case you don’t want them to muck about in your hard work

    It works very much like any other mind mapping application but doesn’t have the functionality of putting links, documents or other items like that into any of the bubbles but that is the charm in my mind the utmost of simplicity.

    Bubble.us has very much a web 2.0 look with glossy bubbles that contain your content.The creation of the whole map doesn’t even require using the mouse very much as all the functions for creating new bubbles can be done with the keyboard.

    It also has the functionality of being able to export to an HTML page, embed directly in a website or print to an image.

    All in all Bubbl.us is the tool that I tend to use the most because of its ease of use, collaborative aspects, control over group access, and the export functionality.

    How can Bubbl.us be used in education?

    Stay tuned to the 3rd part of my article trilogy to see how Mind mapping in general can be used in education.

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