Last January I wrote about my students’ favorite brainstorming tool, Bubbl.us. Over the year though, a couple other excellent mind map applications have “bubbled up”.
Mind mapping tools give students the opportunity to gather and manage information. They are great as a pre-writing tool, a place to gather research, or a means of formative assessment. Students can add images, video, and links to their notes. They are easy to use, and can be saved and shared with other learners. These tools assist students in meeting Common Core standards in both writing and reading.
One easy to use option is Popplet. This application allows for mapping and adding all sorts of goodies, including images, free drawing, and video. It can be saved and shared for collaborative use. Popplet is has both web and tablet options. The free version allows for 5 maps. Check out the classroom account for educators.
Another collaborative mind map option is Mindmeister. This application has a number of additional bells and whistles, including a notes sidebar - great for older learners. It too has both web-based and tablet versions, and free and educator’s accounts.