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.
“It just looks messy.” This is an excuse I hear quite often, and yes, sometimes, an Idea map can look rather messy, but this is usually the case when someone is mind mapping a meeting or a lecture and they are trying to get the information down rather quickly and not worrying much about form. If neatness is desired, the mind map can be redrawn by hand or one of the many commercially available software programs can be used.
I will be giving a 75 minute presentation entitled “Passive to Active with Idea Mapping” on February 19th at 12:30 PM. This will be for CATCA 2015, which is the Central Alberta Teacher’s Convention Association and the theme for this year’s event is “Redesign….The Future!”. I feel that speaking about the positive benefits of Idea Mapping, particularly in the educational setting will fit in nicely with this theme. Here is my synopsis: This session will examine how Idea Mapping can be used effectively in a variety of educational settings and will show how our students can take the most mundane assignments, and by using Idea Mapping, they can take ownership of the information they need to learn. We will look at how unique our brains and the associations we make are, my students work, and resources and software you can tap into.
My session link & Event Page
I don’t know how many times I’ve heard that when I start to explain Idea mapping to someone. When I think about something that’s very linear, a ruler or a timeline comes to mind. It’s hard to imagine that anyone could be such a linear thinker that their memories would be stored in their brains or recalled in a chronological manner. Often times our memories will be linked to one of senses, such as smell. When we catch a particular scent, such as a familiar perfume, it can trigger memories, most likely ones with the strongest emotional ties. Therefore our brains are naturally associative and when we allow ourselves to daydream and stop thinking about thinking it is amazing where our thought process goes. This is all due our incredible minds, which do not process new information, old information, memories, feelings and emotions in a linear fashion. This is why mind mapping works so well, as it closely resembles our natural thinking process.
– this is an excerpt from my article “Becoming a Mapping Mentor” in the April issue of “Using Mind Maps” magazine.
Hello fellow mappers,
I just found some fantastic pens for mapping. The’re called FRIXION colors and they are made by Pilot. The pack I got comes with 12 colors (just like the picture), they don’t bleed through the paper and best of all they are erasable! With these pens you don’t actually rub the ink away but the rubber type end of the pen when rubbed on the paper produces heat and the heat causes the ink to disappear. My family found this out the hard way, my father-in-law was preparing for a lecture he was going to deliver in a few days time. He had used a ball point Frixion pen to write out his linear outline (sadly not a convert yet) and my mother-in-law used his notepad as a convenient place to set down her hair straightener. When he went to go over his notes the next time you can imagine his surprise. So a word of caution, if you choose to use these pens for your next map don’t leave that work of art on the dash of your car in the middle of August.