Sunday, February 7, 2010

Free mindmapping / concept Mapping software

<span class=Screenshoot of Freemind 0.8." style="border: medium none ; display: block;" height="218" width="300">Image via Wikipedia

One of the most useful activities you can do with your class is a mind map. It can be to explore what they already know about a topic, what they have learnt about a topic and what they want to find out about a topic. I've seen it used for generating classroom rules and expectations, starting projects and planning out the day as a timetabling tool.

Most teachers will use the IWB software that comes with their board to do this - in the case of eBeam - "The Scrapbook". And while this is perfectly valid way to approach mind mapping (allows saving printing and bringing in media) - it is sometimes better to have a purpose built solution. Many schools have already bought something like Inspiration - unfortunately, the licencing costs are fairly high when you consider the alternatives.

Hence these three free programs that I have used for mind mapping / concept mapping

Freemind, A classic Open source Project (the homepage is a Wiki) - Not a graphic as the other two but still a valid way to get ideas linked together. This is more for secondary and university use than primary.

Edraw, If Freemind is the open source project then Edraw mindmap is the "commercial" side. Still free but with the opportunity to upgrade to more professional versions. The free version is not crippleware though and uses the new office ribbon interface. I really like this software for use on IWB's as it has large icons and easy drag and drop symbols and clip art.

VUE - From TUFTS University. Visual Understanding Environment. This thing is the grandaddy of Mind mapping - Is a combination of all the best bits about mind mapping and making it a presentation tool. If you have ever used Prezzi - this program does the same thing for your mind maps. A new version is out that should make it easier to use.


Mrs. Tenkely said...

The nice thing about the web based options, is that students can add to the mind map from home, the library, or anywhere they happen to be working on a project. Great for kids who are or were absent.

Nick Provenzano said...

I love using my IWB with my students to mind map. Using the web based options is a nice way to allow absent students and even parents to see what happened in class and share their thoughts as well.

generic cialis said...

Hello, I do not agree with the previous commentator - not so simple

Shalin Siriwaradhana said...

Another free to use mind map / concept map maker would be Creately online diagramming and collaboration software. There are 1000s of examples and templates to be used freely as well.