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Mindmapping at its best!

mindomo for citlHave you ever found yourself in a situation, where you have tried everything barring standing on your head, to get students to understand a concept or the interrelatedness of various concepts? I know I have, and at times like that I have often resorted to getting them to do a mind map.

No longer are the days of hunting down enough A3 size paper for the students to do their mind maps, which get lost anyway after only one or two days. With Web 2.0, there is now a variety of such tools available.

This alternative method to note-taking, is often claimed to work with both halves of the brain, thereby increasing and harnessing the powers of visualization and association, with memory and creative thinking being utilised. Mind mapping is way of linking key concepts, using images, text and links, with the central concept being linked via lines to other concepts and ideas. Essentially mind mapping is a concept of ‘radiant thinking’ – i.e. thoughts that radiate out from a single concept, expressed as a term or image (Mindmaps, n.d.).

The benefits of using a tool like mind maps, is that it enables the user to utilise both aspects of the brain; the right side for the spatial awareness and sense of wholeness, colour and imagination, whilst the left side utilises the lsense of logic and analytical aspect.

The method of mind-mapping is often associated with the psychologist Tony Buzan, who has got his own mind mapping software iMindmap from ThinkBuzan.

iMindmap offers both a free and paid version of mind mapping. The free version, referred to as the basic iMindmap, offers the user a full icon/image library, permits freehand drawn branches, smart layout and three months accessibility.

Mindomo allows for 7 free mind maps, and being able to create colourful maps where images, text, video clips, audio and URL links to be included. There is an extensive help section, as well as a small library of symbols. The beauty is that students can save the maps to a private folder, and share them via e-mail, or publish the map to a public folder making them available to the web.

MindMeister offers a free basic account with only 6 mind maps. The maps created can be exported as an image(with no further editing permitted), or publish (embed) them to a website. A useful tool is that collaborators can be invited, where each collaborator gets assigned their own colour – useful for lecturers to track contribution and effort. However, there are two limitations, the first being that, unlike Mindomo, you cannot add files to the node. The second limitation is that you cannot add images or change the appearance, you can only add symbols, notes and web links.

Here is a video on Mindomo:

 

References:

Emerald Group. (n.d.) Mind Maps. [Internet] Available from: : http://www.emeraldinsight.com/learning/study_skills/skills/mind_maps.htm [viewed 11 January 2013]

Imindmap. (n.d.) Imindmap. [Internet] Available from: http://www.imindmap.com [viewed 11 January 2013]

MindMeister. (n.d.) MindMeister, About. [Internet] Available from: http://www.mindmeister.com [viewed 12 January 2013]

Mindomo. (n.d.) Mindomo, About. [Internet] Available from: http://www.mindomo.com [viewed 12 January 2013]


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