Engaging Thinking

Mind Mapping with Mindomo

 

Mind Mapping is a fantastic tool that helps students (and teachers) to visualise thinking in an organised way. Personally, mind maps have helped me to learn a vast amount amount of information without needing to read through pages of endless notes.  Tony Buzan’s Mind Map strategy has helped educators around the world to break down the concept into simple rules to help students understand how they can organise their ideas in an effective way. Mind maps that are drawn by hand allow you the flexibilty to control various aspects of the map and until now, I have struggled to find a software program that allows you to manage various features in the same way. Other programs such as Inspiration provide the users with the ability to create concept maps, but not true, authentic Mind Maps.

Mindomo is an online application where users can create, view and share mind maps in their browser. Mindomo offers users a variety of features at no cost, with charges applying for advanced features (such as adding attachments etc.). It allows users to trial advanced features for free if linking the program to their Facebook account. 

What I really like about Mindomo is that it creates mind maps according to the Buzan structure:

  • A central image with branches and sub branches
  • All writing presented on horizontal branches
  • Each branch and corresponding writing are colour coded
  • Images linked to keywords
The program gives you the flexibility to change the visual features, layout, font, colour and theme of the map. The map can be exported as a pdf or embedded within your website or blog. Mindomo is the first online software that I think would help students and teacher to create and share authentic mind maps with ease.

I would really like to hear whether or not other educators have had success with this program! Click on the movie below to see a great tutorial demonstrating the program’s features.

 

 

 

 

 

‘New Horizons’ in engaging technologies

  • The New Horizon Project ‘identities and describes emerging technologies that are likely to have a large impact on teaching, learning, reasearch, or creative expression within education around the globe’ (pg.1). Pulling together a vast amount of research and expertise, the hope of the New Horizon Report is that it be a useful guide towards challenging the thinking of educators globally.  Each edition of the report identifies six emerging technoloiges or practices that are likely to enter the mainstream educational world over the next one to five years. It also reports on critical trends, movements and challenges that will influence and effect the integration of such technologies into educational practice. 
The New Horizon 2011 report has just been released and is a ‘must’ read for any innovative educator.  It helps us to reflect upon our current view of what is happening in our classrooms, challenge our thinking and also affirm our efforts to be inclusive of emerging technologies.
The following post is a summary of key points that resonated with my thinking and various ideas that have connected with my sense of direction for the implementation of technology as a learning tool in my school.
Key Trends  
1. The Abundance of resources and relationships made easily accessible via the Internet is increasingly challenging us to revisit our roles as educators.

2. As IT support becomes more and more decentalised, the technoliges we use are increasinly based not on school servers, but on the cloud.

3. Technology continues to profoundly affect the way we work, collaborate, communicate and suceed.

4. People expect to be able to work, learn and study whenever and wherever they want to.

5. The perceived value of innovation and creativity is increasing.

Challenges 

1. Digital media literacy continues it’s rise in importance as a key skill in every discipline and profession.

2. Economic pressures and new models of education are presenting unprecedented competition to traditional models of schooling.

3. The demand for personalised learning is not adequately supported by current technology or practices.

4. A Key challenge is the fundamental structure of the K-12 educational establishement – aka ‘the system’.

5. May of the activities related to learning and education take place outside the walls of the classroom and this are not part of our learning metrics.

Technologies to watch 

Within twelve months:

  • Cloud computing
  • Mobile devices

Within two – three years:

  • Game Based learning
  • Open content online

Within four – five years:

  • Learning Analytics
  • Professional Learning Environments 
The report itself gives a great amount of detail, examples and explanation of each trend, challenge and key area of technological innovation.  Educators and educational leaders in each and every school should take the time to read and reflect upon this report and consider whether or not their decisions are complimenting these predictions.  This report is here to help us make the right choices for our kids.
You can find the 2011 New Horizon Report @ The New Media Consortium – 2011 New Horizon Report




One Response to Engaging Thinking

  1. Great site here. So many websites like this cover subjects that can’t be found in magazines and newspapers. I don’t know how we got by 12 years ago with just magazines and newspapers.

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