New Mindmapping Tools to Turn Inquiry into Understanding
Ah, the start of a new school year. We've just finished our first week of school and we're still into the "first two weeks of school" routine. Getting to know students and setting them up with all the accounts has been the start and finish with most lessons for me and I'm wondering if the person whoever coined the phrase "digital native" has had the trouble that I've had with getting students to write down usernames and passwords, and bookmark important websites.
After such organizational issues have passed, (and they will) I'm really looking forward to exploring some new mindmapping tools that I learned about over the summer. They can be used to gather information, research, and generate some content ideas and build a body of knowledge about any topic.
Popplet is a content creation tool that starts with a concept and then images, video drawings or text can be added around it. As soon as I started using it, I thought that it would be a good research tool, but I quickly learned that it has great applications as a glog type of display that could be used to showcase student generated questions that can be shared and embedded as below:
There is a catch, Popplet requires a sign in process and users get only 3 free poplets, so it is something you may want to use sparingly. Still, the product is sleek and versatile.
PearlTrees is not only a mindmapping tool, it is a sharing tool wherin the user creates "Pearls" that have links, pictures, videos around a central idea. Similar to Pinterest, Pearltrees can be shared among a community of viewers. PearlTrees has real applications if you're connecting with classrooms or doing cooperative learning where groups may be researching a topic but sharing their findings with others.
The real draw which I like about SpicyNodes is that they cater to teachers. There are a number of great lesson plans already on their website and students follow along, making "Nodes" as their form of a webquest.
Products can't be embedded, but users can see products via a URL. Here is a writing piece and here is a project overview about whether or not the prison system is working.
|Visiting SpicyNodes on their websites ensures an interactive experience|