Sunday, February 7, 2010
Free mindmapping / concept Mapping software
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.