Mind42 is a free online web application that has an incredible collection of features. You can collaborate with multiple users in real time, and see what people are doing right on the screen in front of you. You can communicate with them using a chat feature. The interface is relatively simple. You can grab images off the web and easily insert them in your work.
These are all the options, it seems to me, you’d want to include in an ideal application that, for example, “sister classes” separated by a wide geographical distance could use in joint projects.
However, there is one problem.
I can’t quite figure out what students would create that would be useful.
Mind 42 is what I guess is called a “Mindmapping” tool. Believe me, I have my students, both mainstream and English Language Learners, use graphic organizers all the time. They’re great. I just don’t quite understand what is gained, though, by doing this stuff online.
I’ve posted about Gliffy, another online mindmapping tool. My English Language Learner students have been able to use that tool to create nifty floor plans, at least, but you can’t do that with Mind42.
The only way I could think of using it with my students would be as a communication tool with a sister class we hope to have in our study of government. I can see my class and a class in another country using Mind42 to create diagrams of how our respective governments operate — that could be fun and educational. Other than that, though, I’m stumped.
I’m more than open to ideas, though. As I wrote earlier, the “parts” of Mind42 are great for online collaboration. I just have some questions about the “whole” that’s created.
I’ve placed the link on my Examples of Student Work page under Student Mindmaps.
I think this kind of online Mindmapping application would be great for collaborative planning, or for doing any kind of brainstorming in real time, when team members are in multiple locations. –Paul
That makes sense to me. It’s hard for me, though, to see K-12 students doing much of that online. Do you have any thoughts on how it could be used in that arena? I may very well be missing something. If so, it won’t be the first time, and it certainly won’t be the last, either.
Depends on the specific age group, but I guess study-support groups might find a collaborative mind map to be a useful focal point, where they need not always meet to work together. (As you can probably guess, I am not a teacher, so I may be off base.)
Apart from that, using an on-line mindmap tool, a student might access the same map from the classroom and from his home PC without having to carry a laptop around.
Several of these tools are completely free (Mind42, of course, WiseMapping.com and bubble.us), and require no installation. So they are good for students who want to experiment with PC-based mind mapping at no cost. FreeMind is completely free as well, but requires setup and has a steeper learning curve.
Bubble.us has virtually no learning curve and is very flexible – can’t do floor plans though . . .
Flowchart.com and Project Draw are like Gliffy but completely free. Gliffy only lets you have 5 diagrams unless you subscribe.
I’ve pulled all the details together here:
The master list of mind mapping &
information management software
As you’re interested in Mind Mapping, I just wanted to let you know about our free Mind Map tool called ExamTime (https://www.examtime.com/mind-maps/) which allows students and teachers to collaborate with each other by creating an online learning community.
Get to know us and let me know if you have any questions.
All the best,