Saturday 5 January 2013

Using mind maps with students

It seems that new mind mapping tools and software are created daily. There are so many tools that are similar in their design and performance that one may question the rationale for making more and more new applications but for the customers it means a wider choice, a possibility of finding a tool that suits your needs best.
A mind map is an indispensable learning tool for visual learners.

You can explore the vast range of mind mapping applications on my scoopit page. There you will find not only links to most mind mapping tools and software but also articles that deal with the theory behind mind mapping, tips for creating mind maps, examples and suggestions for the use of mind maps in learning.

I would like to share some of the ways how I use mind maps with my students.

One of the simplest ways how to use a mind map is gathering and sorting new vocabulary. The example shows city vocabulary organized in 3 groups. Students find it much easier to memorize the words which they see placed in a certain spot, connected to a certain topic. Works well with students of all ages.

This mind map was created with

Another way of using a mind map is giving students a task where they have to display a summary of some topic, for example, My favourite pastimes. Each bubble may contain more than one word or even a phrase. This mind map can be used by the student in the classroom for making a short speech or a comment about his free time. If a mind map is created by the teacher and shown at the lesson, it can be used as a basis for classroom discussion or a writing task.

This mind map was created with ExamTime which is my new favorite.

Older students may use a mind map for outlining their report or an essay.
This mind map was created with Popplet which is a versatile application and may be used not only for mind mapping. Bubbles can be filled with text or images, arranged in various ways and even used for visual storytelling.

Useful websites for learning more about mind mapping:


Tyson Seburn said...

One of my favourites is Spicynodes. I just find it aesthetically pleasing.

Baiba said...

Thanks Tyson! I think likewise.
I have loved SpicyNodes for years, the proof is here

naomi epstein - editor said...

Wow -you are quick! I just ask a question and a post materializes! Many thanks for this informative post - I have never tried using any of them.
A number of teachers and I are collaborating on a site for students to communicate. I'm going to suggest students post about their pastimes this way.

Baiba said...

Naomi, you should try using ExamTime with your students which is fantastic not only for mind maps but also for making flashcards. The site has been designed with students (not teachers) as users in mind.

Alexandra Gale said...

Mind mapping is usually used to generate, classify, and visualize ideas. It can greatly help an individual on solving problems, and enhance work morale. Since computers are our ideal tool for almost everything, software for mind mapping was developed. It’s been commonly used now by students to help them become more organized on their work.

Anonymous said...

Very interesting, as usual. I have been reading your blog from time to time and always enjoy your creative and nontraditional text mining projects. I will re-read them all again in the following few weeks to get ideas for my text mining class project.
Mind Mapping Template

Baiba said...

Thanks, Suzain, for your friendly comment. I am always glad when someone finds my posts useful. Isn't it the reason why we write blogs? :)

Unknown said...

Great templates! I definitely agree that students find it much easier to memorize the words which they see placed in a certain spot, connected to a certain topic. I also find this app - freemind app - very helpful for creating mind maps.
Thanks for sharing!

Evan said...

Mind maps are great for planning too. From setting up a simple meeting agenda to organizing a research proposal, the usage varies depending on your need. Our real-time collaboration features help you plan and organize better as a team. From what I've used, the real-time collaboration support is superb in Creately Mind Mapping Software . Its easy to create mind maps and there are 100s of mind mapping templates and examples as well. Has anyone used it?

Amy David said...

Mind map is a diagram used to visually organize information. A mind map is hierarchical and shows relationships among pieces of the whole. You can refer to different blogs and articles which will help you to refer in-depth about mind maps.