I struggled for awhile, trying to find a software program to recommend for my students to use. I needed the software to meet certain criteria that I felt were important. The first was that it would be very easy to use, since the course is only eight weeks long and the idea mapping is done near the end in most cases. Second, that it would closely resemble the look and feel of a hand drawn map. Thirdly, I wanted a program that was completely free for my students and that didn’t have expiry dates or trial periods and didn’t require the students to give out unnecessary personal information. The two programs I recommend are either GoConqr.com or MindMaple Lite.
GoConqr is an online student resource that has a mind mapping feature that is very easy to navigate. If a student already has a facebook or google account, it is just a simple one-click login, otherwise it is a very simple account creation. MindMaple on the other hand is is a complete stand alone software download that does not require the downloader to enter any information to get the “Lite” version. It is easy to use and even though it is a free version, it has enough functionality for my students needs, and if they feel like they need the full version, it is only $10 USD for the year.
With both of these programs it has been very easy for my students to submit their completed maps via email which has made my job easier. just think.