TeachersFirst Edge - Concept maps/Mind Maps

 

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iCharts - iCharts, Inc.

Grades
2 to 12
5 Favorites 0  Comments
 
iCharts creates a new place to publish online charts (with interactive info on mouse-clicks) based on public or private data. Format charts as you see fit. Share charts using Facebook...more
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iCharts creates a new place to publish online charts (with interactive info on mouse-clicks) based on public or private data. Format charts as you see fit. Share charts using Facebook or Twitter or embed them in a website or blog. Clip and save iCharts that you like into your account. You can also browse all types of interesting charts made by others.

tag(s): charts and graphs (195)

In the Classroom

This site is great for classroom work or teacher-created mapping. You will want to play with this tool before using it in class, but it is very simple to use. Use with any numerical data that is best shown in a chart. Collect data in a science lab, survey, or math class, and display it using different graphs to discuss the advantages and disadvantages of using each graph type. In reading class, practice reading charts/graphs that accompany informational texts using the various examples here. Use for quick creation and sharing of graphs. Create charts together easily on an interactive whiteboard (or projector) when introducing the different types to elementary students, then embed your examples on a class web page for students to revisit. Have students operate the board so their peers can see how the tool works and give each other oral directions as they problem solve together. Then make the iChart site a small group center during math class for further practice on a computer or interactive whiteboard. Save this site in your favorites for quick retrieval any time students need to make a quick chart. For student practice, have them chart time spent on homework or hobbies, choice of favorite pet, etc. Reinforce good study habits in middle school by having students make charts of their average grades or time spent on independent reading.

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Mind42 - IRIAN Solutions Vienna

Grades
1 to 12
1 Favorites 0  Comments
 
Mind 42 is an easy to use mind mapping (or concept mapping) tool. You create the format and easily add links, notes, to do lists, images, or even a Wikipedia ...more
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Mind 42 is an easy to use mind mapping (or concept mapping) tool. You create the format and easily add links, notes, to do lists, images, or even a Wikipedia article. Import the result into documents or perhaps a Skype conversation. Bring mind maps/concept maps to a new level!

tag(s): concept mapping (22), mind map (24)

In the Classroom

This free organizational tool can be used in classrooms at every level. Teachers can use this tool to help organize learning units and share the orgnanization on screen so students see how pieces fit together. Share the unit map with other teachers, students, or parents, to highlight goals, objectives, learning tasks, assessments, and resources. Share before your unit and expectations become very clear. Use as a yearly overview for parents showing units with resources at the beginning of the year at Open House. Let parents see the multiple ways their child will be assessed through the year. Students can use this tool for direction in problem based learning situations. Use this tool in science for collecting data, experiments, or science fair outlines. Use the tool in writing class to make writing guides for narrative or expository writing. In reading, use for predictions, sequencing of stories, inferences, or organizing genres of books each student has read. Have students map multiple ways to solve a single problem in math class. Have students keep daily requirements or schedules with readily available resources as links. Let students enjoy taking notes from content based classes. Have a student scribe create the notes each day and share with the class. Have student groups map the current unit before the test as a review activity.

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Decico - Decico.com

Grades
4 to 12
3 Favorites 0  Comments
 
How do you make a decision and weigh all of the factors? Use Decico. This decision making tool uses a decision matrix technique to look at the problem in context ...more
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How do you make a decision and weigh all of the factors? Use Decico. This decision making tool uses a decision matrix technique to look at the problem in context and calculate favorable alternatives. Select the alternatives you want to compare, choose how you want to compare them, and then compare the generated score. Highest score should be given consideration. Create a login to save your decision matrices. Link, download, or embed the results.

tag(s): concept mapping (22), debate (41), mind map (24), persuasive writing (54)

In the Classroom

Use for many kinds of societal, political, or environmental discussions and decisions, such as paper or plastic bags, drilling or not in ANWAR, etc. Use in literary discussions of alternatives faced by characters. Use in preparation for debates or persuasive writing. Generate a list of actions and alternatives and create the decision matrix. Use multimedia or conventional posters to generate information about the advantages and disadvantages of each position. Try a site like Piclits (reviewed here) or Typogenerator (reviewed here). Create a case study about a real life situation where a decision would have to be made and provide roles for students. Students use the decision making matrix with their assigned role to generate a vote for the issue. Consider using this tool for a project actually occurring in their neighborhood. For example, a field and trees being taken down as well as the changing of the landscape for a proposed development. Use the decision making matrix in Decico to determine why the decision to proceed happened or should happen.

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The Outliner of Giants - Simon

Grades
7 to 12
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The Outliner of Giants is a free, web-based outline program designed to support large, complex documents, such as reports and academic thesis. You can embed content from sites, such...more
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The Outliner of Giants is a free, web-based outline program designed to support large, complex documents, such as reports and academic thesis. You can embed content from sites, such as YouTube Videos and PDF documents or simply attach your own files. You can export your outlines at anytime to your Google docs. The service uses Google's own user account system and an HTTPS internet connection. You and your students will be able to access your outline on your computer, iPads, tablets, smart phones, and Androids.

tag(s): college (43), concept mapping (22), letter writing (20), process writing (40)

In the Classroom

On an interactive whiteboard or projector, create an outline of facts or concepts in any subject area. You can assign students to "outline" a chapter or story or assign groups to create study guides using this tool. Why not use a student-operated IWB at the side (as a "sidebar") during lessons and have students continuously add to the outline as a set of class notes. This will help them to become familiar with the traditional, formal outlining format. The class can create outlines together, after a brainstorming session using a tool such as Popplet reviewed here. Use Outliner of Giants for literature activities, research projects, social studies, or science topics. Create family trees or menus in family and consumer science. Have students collaborate together (online) to create group outlines before tests on a given subject. Have students organize any concepts you study: outline a story, plotline, or plan for the future; outline a step-by-step process (life cycle). As students discover whether they are more visual or verbal, allow them to choose between outline and mindmap/concept map as a planning tool.

This is a great tool for you or your students to use to plan a resume, a masters thesis, or any academic thesis. You may want to suggest Outliner of Giants to students to plan their letter of introduction when submitting college applications. You might even want to use it in your own graduate program!

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Science Pipes - The Cornell Lab of Ornithology

Grades
10 to 12
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Use Science Pipes to find graphs and charts of chosen biodiversity data sets. View the most popular or featured pipes on the front page of this site. Pipe your own ...more
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Use Science Pipes to find graphs and charts of chosen biodiversity data sets. View the most popular or featured pipes on the front page of this site. Pipe your own data by registering with the site and logging in. Choose data sets and various ways to compare them. View such parameters as migration data, various states and counties, and species comparison. Determine the types of birds to view and create a graphic using all the parameters piped into that graphic.

tag(s): birds (51), charts and graphs (195), data (149)

In the Classroom

Allow students the opportunity to choose various data and view the charts that follow. Ask questions about various trends noticed and research behavioral and environmental reasons for better understanding. Assign a various types of data and allow time for groups of students to manipulate in different ways to learn how various data sets can be interpreted differently by scientists. From each question asked, use more data sets to learn more about various species of birds or environmental factors.

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SlateBox - SlateBox

Grades
4 to 12
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Use this free site for mind mapping (concept maps) and collaboration. Sign up is easy by using existing Google/OpenID/Facebook logins or creating a new login. Review the simple tutorial...more
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Use this free site for mind mapping (concept maps) and collaboration. Sign up is easy by using existing Google/OpenID/Facebook logins or creating a new login. Review the simple tutorial after sign up for the basics. The FREE account is only for ONE user. So if you plan to have students use the site, you will have to have each student register individually, or each group create an individual account. Note that free accounts make all your "slates" public for others to collaborate/change.

View the video for a quick introduction on copying, moving, and linking boxes. Use the template panel to drop nodes needed for your new slate into the drop panel. Hovering over the box shows tools for editing text, creating links to other boxes (click and hold on the icon while dragging to another box.) Control the colors, borders, template, etc. in the right navigation pane. Export your slate to a pdf document or create an embed code to place into a wiki or blog.

tag(s): concept mapping (22), mind map (24)

In the Classroom

Create a template mindmap and add collaborator leaders (perhaps one in each group) who can --in turn-- add the rest of the group to collaborate. Assign portions of a template to a group of students. Groups can collaborate on paper or your whiteboard and then choose the best ideas for the slate being created. You can also use Slatebox with a whole-class account. Show SlateBox creations using an interactive whiteboard or projector. Edit or change elements easily with class input. Use for mapping content being studied in the current unit, problem solving, vocabulary, and more. Use this site to help students interact with and organize ideas. Construct points of a short story, identify main points of passages, or generate a map of the basic points of paragraph development. Wrap up a lesson by having the students create a "diagram of the day" (the main points of the lesson). Students can use this site to map ideas in passages of a textbook. If each student or group maps a specific passage, ideas from chapters can be seen visually. Be sure to include the links to student-created "diagrams" on a class wiki or web page so students can use them for review. If your students have Internet access outside of class, assign them to create a simple diagram of an assigned reading as homework and embed it into a wiki or blog.

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Wisemapping - Wisemapping Corporation

Grades
8 to 12
2 Favorites 1  Comments
 
Create a free diagram (concept map, graphic organizer) to represent words, ideas, or tasks to aid in studying, organizing, or problem solving. Link documents to a wise map and share...more
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Create a free diagram (concept map, graphic organizer) to represent words, ideas, or tasks to aid in studying, organizing, or problem solving. Link documents to a wise map and share or embed diagrams with other maps.

tag(s): concept mapping (22), mind map (24)

In the Classroom

Users must be able to navigate the icons for editing and creating a mindmap. Icons and commands are the same as in any office and free applications that most people use. View the free demo for an introduction of using Wisemapping. Use the demo editor to play with the tools and learn what they do. Note: the demo function does not allow you to save your creation as it is a sandbox area for learning. Allow students an opportunity to learn to play first without teacher direction as each person will find different ways to use wisemapping for their best benefit. Click on a set of words to edit the words, color, font, etc. in the bubble. Drag items easily around the screen by clicking and dragging the icon to drop into a new configuration. Add "icons" and flags anywhere on your mindmap. Add a "note" to a bubble anywhere. The note appears like a little sticky note on the bubble and expands when clicked on. Add a "link" to any of the text on the wisemap that leads to any link on the web you specify. Export as a scalable vector graphic (svg), PDF document, or image file. "Share" to work collaboratively with others. Users must have a login in order to share and publish. Click on the "history" of a wisemap to view the contributions of others.

Assign sections of current curriculum topic to groups of students to map out and explain in detail. Link to outside web pages and pictures and create notes with additional study hints and information. Assign a different group to review information for accuracy and add additional information and explanations. Using this process, a wisemap of a chapter or unit can be created easily and efficiently while benefiting all learners.

There are countless possibilities at this mental mapping site. Demonstrate the activity on an interactive whiteboard or projector, and then allow students to try to create their own graphic organizers. Use this site for literature activities, research projects, social studies, or science topics of study. Use this site to create family trees. Have students collaborate together (online) to create group mind maps or review charts before tests on a given topic. Have students organize any concepts you study; color-code concepts to show what they understand, wonder, question; map out a story, plotline, or LIFETIME; map out a step-by-step process (life cycle); map a real historical event as a choose-your-own-adventure with alternate endings based on pivotal points; plan a "tour" for a "thought museum." Use this mapping website as an alternative to a traditional test, quiz, or homework assignment in literature or social studies: have students demonstrate their understanding by completing a graphic organizer about the main points. Be sure that they RENAME it before they start work to an individual name so you know who did it (they could EMAIL it to you!) or have them print their results to turn in.

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david, TX, Grades: 9 - 12

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Simple Diagrams - Daniel McQuillen

Grades
5 to 12
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Simple Diagrams is a free download desktop application useful to create diagrams and flowcharts. This easy-to-use tool turns ideas and concepts into a visual explanation. You merely...more
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Simple Diagrams is a free download desktop application useful to create diagrams and flowcharts. This easy-to-use tool turns ideas and concepts into a visual explanation. You merely drag and drop icons from the available library onto either a chalkboard or a whiteboard background. Insert personal photos or type written notes on virtual index cards or post-its directly into a diagram. Select colors, adjust alignment, magnify or minimize images and arrange content in layers. One annoying feature of the free version is that it is constantly asking users to upgrade to the paid full version. The free version does not allow you to save their diagram but it is possible to export work as a PNG file on your computer. Insert the PNG file directly into a presentation or interactive whiteboard lesson. Simple Diagrams uses an Adobe AIR platform and runs smoothly on Mac, Windows, and Linux.

tag(s): charts and graphs (195), drawing (77), graphic organizers (42)

In the Classroom

Simple Diagrams is a useful tool for any subject area. Project diagrams onto an interactive whiteboard or projector and write upon them while lecturing. Ask students to demonstrate their understanding of a lesson by creating a diagram of their own. For example, students can demonstrate the chain of events behind the French Revolution, map out battle strategies, or explain the cause and effect of Industrial Age with a diagram. Science teachers may want to ask students to explain the steps of a science experiment or explain a water cycle with a diagram. Solve word problems with diagrammatic illustrations or create family trees full of digital photographs. PE teachers may find this a great tool to use to use when discussing strategic plays or relay races. Suggest using diagrams as a study tool for finals. Simple Diagrams provides a unique opportunity for students to create a visual explanation of key concepts.

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Popplet - Notion, Inc.

Grades
K to 12
7 Favorites 1  Comments
 
Popplet combines a great number of features for creating mindmaps into one package. Share and collaborate with others. Create detailed and easily customized mindmaps. Be sure to check...more
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Popplet combines a great number of features for creating mindmaps into one package. Share and collaborate with others. Create detailed and easily customized mindmaps. Be sure to check out the features section and video tutorial found on the main page. A small amount of example Popplets appear on the main page for inspiration. Change the color of Popplets (mindmap boxes). Draw or insert images and videos from Flickr, Facebook, You Tube, and even your desktop. When you begin your Popplet, follow the mini tutorial that appears to quickly learn the features. Create up to 5 Popplets for free. Though Popplet looks simple and limited, it is probably one of the easiest to use. Have an iPad? Use the Popplet app!

tag(s): mind map (24), myplate (28)

In the Classroom

Users must be able to navigate the simple controls in this online tool. Videos and other information are found on the site and in your account page for a quick overview of learning the tool. If having difficulty saving the Popplet, be sure to remember to save a screenshot using the Print screen function on a PC or the Ctrl/shift/4 on a Mac.

Use this tool for brainstorming or creative planning. Create a concept map of facts or concepts in any subject area. Plan an experiment in Science. Determine the sequence of events in History. Create study materials that are easily edited and shared by others. The class can create organizers together, such as in a brainstorming session on an interactive whiteboard or projector. Or you can assign students to "map" out a chapter or story or assign groups to create study guides using this tool. Use this site for literature activities, research projects, social studies, or science topics. Use this site to create family trees or My Plate food group portions in family and consumer science. Have students collaborate together (online) to create group mind maps or review charts before tests on a given subject. Have students organize any concepts you study; color-code concepts to show what they understand, wonder, and question; map out a story, plotline, or plan for the future; map out a step-by-step process (life cycle).

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david, TX, Grades: 9 - 12

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Exploratree - Futurelab

Grades
4 to 12
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Exploratree is a free online library of thinking guides where you can choose a graphic organizer/mind map and fill it in. Or, you can create your own thinking guide. There ...more
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Exploratree is a free online library of thinking guides where you can choose a graphic organizer/mind map and fill it in. Or, you can create your own thinking guide. There are many highly interactive features: printing, emailing, and collaborating with others in real time. The home page has several videos that show you how to use the features of the site, and it has many ideas for how to use Exploratree in your classroom.

tag(s): brain (70), brainstorming (23), graphic organizers (42)

In the Classroom

Play with the tools and toolbars to create a mind map; use toolbars to collaborate, publish, or print diagrams. Creating the organizers is of easy to medium difficulty depending upon how elaborate your organizer is. You and your students must be registered and logged in to share, or comment on each other's thinking guide. Note: to use the collaboration feature, collaborators need individual email accounts to gain access. You can also export the mind maps in pdf format, text, or as an image (gif).

Make sure your students use a code name or number when registering. Be sure to save their names/numbers, for when they "forget."

Have students create graphic organizers in cooperative groups as a study guide for unit content, to collect information for a group research project, or show examples of an important concept. In science classes, have groups generate visual illustrations of processes such as photosynthesis. In literature, generate story maps or diagram the relationships between characters. In social studies, illustrate different factors that lead to a war or economic meltdown. Share and compare the organizers on an interactive whiteboard or projector in class and allow classmates to suggest changes. Use student-made organizers as an informal formative assessment part way through any unit.

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Spicynodes - IDEA

Grades
6 to 12
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Create a website map or mindmap easily with this free site. Create a login (requires an email address.) Add interest to your site as visitors choose a node and new ...more
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Create a website map or mindmap easily with this free site. Create a login (requires an email address.) Add interest to your site as visitors choose a node and new options open up for them. Spicynodes is a mindmap but all portions are not displayed until they are clicked on, activating greater interactivity to your sitemap or mindmap.

tag(s): graphic organizers (42), mind map (24)

In the Classroom

Create a new map by entering the details such as a title. Choose from the template styles given. Preview the template, zoom in and out, and scroll around the mindmap using the simple tools. Click the "Edit Content" tab to change each node in your mindmap. Edit the name of the node, the description, and upload or link to a picture. Nodes can also link to a You tube video. When done, click preview to not only see the finished mindmap, but to publish on the Spicynodes site or copy the embed code for placing on a wiki, blog, or other site.

There are countless possibilities at this mental mapping site. Demonstrate the activity on an interactive whiteboard or projector, and then allow students to try to create their own graphic organizers. Use this site for literature activities, research projects, social studies, or science topics of study. Use this site to create family trees. Have students collaborate together (online) to create group mind maps or review charts before tests on a given subject. Create a site map that guides users throughout the features of your class website.

Collaborative Projects: Have small groups research together a topic such as unsolved mysteries of the world, planets, legends from their countries, plants, famous mathematicians, or any topic that can be broken down into parts. Each student would have their own node and color and would then upload pictures, videos, links, and other information they have found about their part of the topic. If the whole class is researching a topic, students with the "like" assignments could get together to share information and create their part of the small group node (also know as jigsaw in cooperative learning). Once all the nodes are completed, the original small group would share information with each other. There are a variety of ways students could use this mindmap. You could just leave it at the small group share out. Or, you could have the groups decide what information is important enough to present to the class and put their ideas on a Writeboard document reviewed here. A third step could be that once they've honed down the information, they could create a presentation for the class in a variety of formats: Glogster reviewed here, or Animoto reviewed here are only two of the many presentation formats we have reviewed on TeachersFirst.

Student project ideas: Have students... organize any concepts you study; color-code concepts to show what they understand, wonder, question; map out a story, plotline, or LIFETIME; map out a step-by-step process (life cycle); map a real historical event as a choose-your-own-adventure with alternate endings(?) based on pivotal points; plan a "tour" for a "thought museum."

Use this mapping website as an alternative to a traditional test, quiz, or homework assignment in literature or social studies: have students demonstrate their understanding by completing a graphic organizer about the main points. Be sure that they RENAME it before they start work to an individual name so you know who did it (they could EMAIL it to you!) or have them print their results to turn them in.

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MindMeister - MeisterLabs GmbH

Grades
4 to 12
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MindMeister is a free mind mapping program. It is easy to use online, on your mobile, or offline. Only the BASIC plan is free, allowing you up to 3 free ...more
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MindMeister is a free mind mapping program. It is easy to use online, on your mobile, or offline. Only the BASIC plan is free, allowing you up to 3 free mind maps. This is a device-agnostic tool, available on the web but also available for free as both an Android and iOS app. Use it from any device or move between several devices and still access your work. App and web versions vary slightly. There are many highly interactive features: printing, sharing (emailing), and collaborating with others in "real time."

tag(s): brainstorming (23), DAT device agnostic tool (192), graphic organizers (42), mind map (24)

In the Classroom

Use this tool easily in your Bring Your Own Device (BYOD) classroom since all students will be able to access it for free, no matter what device they have. Realize that you can only make 3 maps for free, but you can always delete old ones to make room. Play with the tools and toolbars to create a mind map; use toolbars to collaborate, publish, or print diagrams. Creating the organizers is of easy to medium difficulty depending upon how elaborate you desire your organizer to be (don't miss the notes feature!). A handy revision "history" helps you see what changes were made when. See the blog for helpful video tutorials and tips. Note: to use the "real time" collaboration feature, collaborators need individual email accounts to gain access.

Note that maps that are "published" can be seen by the public (read only, so they cannot be altered). If a map is shared via a URL, only those that were "invited" to view the map will be able to see it. However, this does require each viewer to sign up (free) to MindMeister to be able to view this map. You can specify members who may collaborate and make alterations to a map that is not "published." You can also invite other members to view (but not change) unpublished maps.

The class can create organizers together, such as in a brainstorming session on an interactive whiteboard or projector. Or, you can assign students in cooperative groups to create a mind map as a study guide for unit content, to collect information for a group research project, or show examples of an important concept. Use this site for literature activities, research projects, social studies, or science topics. Use this site to create family trees. Have students collaborate together (online) to create group mind maps or review charts before tests on a given subject. Have students organize any concepts you study; color-code concepts to show what they understand, wonder, and question; map out a story, plotline, or plan for the future; map out a step-by-step process (life cycle).

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Cacoo - Nulab, Inc.

Grades
7 to 12
2 Favorites 0  Comments
 
Looking for an easy way to create diagrams? This free site is easy to use and allows collaboration in creation of drawings. View the overview video on the front page ...more
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Looking for an easy way to create diagrams? This free site is easy to use and allows collaboration in creation of drawings. View the overview video on the front page of this site to familiarize yourself with its functions.

tag(s): charts and graphs (195), drawing (77)

In the Classroom

Users must be willing to play with this great resource. Drag shapes from the stencil area. Use the Inspector to add text, change colors, change sizes, and rearrange among many other functions. Use the toolbars along the top to upload an image, add items such as lines, take a snapshot, as well as other snapshots (hover over these buttons to read what each item is.) Use the buttons in the upper right, to export as a PNG, save, or share your drawing. Use the Save URL to embed in a wiki, blog, or other site.

Though an email is required, it is not necessary to begin using this resource. The tool does not show which work is attributable to which student. You may want to require that students initial their contributions in order to get credit. If students are using as a group, you may want to spell out specific consequences for project "vandalism," depending on your students. You may allow students to self-register, but be sure to keep a written record of their passwords for when they "forget." It may be worth your time to do advanced registration for your younger students.

Use Cacoo much like other drawing and flowchart software. Use to take notes, create decision-making flowcharts, illustrate concepts, sketch a story/plot pattern, and more. Create classification diagrams on the type of animal being studied. Create dichotomous keys for identifying any kind of object or making a decision. Use to identify roles and responsibilities as pre-planning for a group project. Use as a storyboard as part of pre-production for a movie or podcast to be created by either individuals or a group. Ask students to share their storyboard or group responsibilities with you. Use as an alternative to a quiz by having students diagram a process such as oxidation or the steps from a bill to a law.

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Flowchart - Flowchart.com

Grades
7 to 12
2 Favorites 0  Comments
 
Create flowcharts easily with this free resource. This is not just a graphic organizer but more like a simple flowchart that allows great possibilities for use. ...more
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Create flowcharts easily with this free resource. This is not just a graphic organizer but more like a simple flowchart that allows great possibilities for use.

tag(s): charts and graphs (195), concept mapping (22), mind map (24), venn diagrams (16)

In the Classroom

Users must be able to play to find the best way to create their flowchart. Learning of tools is easy with a little play. Users must decide the best use and remember to create templates for use. Users must manage the saving of flowcharts and the exporting to other formats. If using in another site, users should be able to use embed codes.

Create a new flowchart by using a blank template or one of the stored templates shown. Click the folders under "Cliparts" to find objects to place in the flowchart. The "General" folder holds boxes and arrows to get started. Drag an object to your building space. Double click on it to add text and click "Set" to place on the box. Objects will remain small, though clicking on it brings up boxes to drag to the required size. Use the right-hand side toolbar, to draw items directly in the workspace. Click on an object desired and draw that item effortlessly. Change colors and other parameters of the object with the on screen toolbox. Save the chart, save as a revision to go back to past versions, or even save as a template. Export flowcharts as PDF documents or even images. Print your flowchart easily or generate an embed code to use in a blog, wiki, or other site. Record a chart to show the process of the flowchart as it unfolds.

Consider creating a class account and have groups of students work on flowcharts for specific portions of the class work (each group could work on a different part.) Print flowcharts or download for easy sharing or flowcharts to provide simple step by step directions.

Use this resource for showing how a scientific process works, planning a how-to or step-by-step directions for a piece of writing, or documenting events leading up to a war or other historical event. Create a template to show the process of scientific review of articles or other writing types. Require students to enter their information in the sections of the template prior to actual writing of the assignment for a more effective way to plan their work. Use a scientific process flowchart to show how to use inquiry to solve a problem and learn information. Provide a flowchart of how students should learn unknown information. Even the simplest tasks become easier to follow using a graphically constructed flowchart.

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bubbl.us - Kirill Edelman and Levon Amelyan

Grades
K to 12
14 Favorites 1  Comments
 
This simple and free online tool allows you to brainstorm ideas and create concept maps with no special software! Bubble.us features some highly interactive abilities: saving your mind...more
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This simple and free online tool allows you to brainstorm ideas and create concept maps with no special software! Bubble.us features some highly interactive abilities: saving your mind map as an image, sharing (emailing) your work with a friend, printing your organizer, creating colorful mind map organizers, embedding your work into a website or blog, and working with friends. You are able to "play" at this site without registering; however registration is necessary for saving, embedding, emailing, and other features. NOTE: the free version only allows you to SAVE three maps, so you will want to save your completed maps as images, then deleted them from your membership to make room for more freebies. Here is an example of a bubbl.us map embedded in a page. Click and drag on the background to read more, or try the zoom controls to see more or less.

tag(s): brainstorming (23), graphic organizers (42), mind map (24)

In the Classroom

Click "Start Here" to type the subject of your concept map. Hitting your Enter key creates a new level (branch) within the map. Tab creates an additional branch on the same level as the current topic. Experiment with the small icons on each "element" to change colors, drag, make new connections, etc. Save and set sharing (read-only or open access) in the area at the right. You can "send" a read-only link via email or copy the embed code from the Menu at lower right), but you cannot find the URL directly from your map. "Send" it to yourself via email to copy the actual URL.

There are countless possibilities at this mental mapping site. Demonstrate the tool on an interactive whiteboard or projector, and then allow students to try to create their own graphic organizers. Use this site for literature activities, research projects, social studies, or science topics of study. Use this site to create family trees. Have students collaborate together (online) to create group mind maps or review charts before tests on a given subject. Have students organize color-code concepts to show what they understand, wonder, question; map out a story, plotline, or LIFETIME; map out a step-by-step process (life cycle); map a real historical event as a choose-your-own-adventure with alternate endings(?) based on pivotal points; plan a "tour" for a "thought museum." Use this mapping website as an alternative to a traditional test, quiz, or homework assignment in literature or social studies: have students demonstrate their understanding by completing a graphic organizer about the main points. To minimize the number of maps on a free account, have students screenshot or print their results to turn them in. See more ideas in the linked example above!

Comments

david, TX, Grades: 9 - 12

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Wordle - Jonathan Feinberg

Grades
2 to 12
17 Favorites 1  Comments
 
This site takes any quotation or poem and creates a "word cloud" (graphical display) of the words in a passage of text. Paste in any passage or the URL for ...more
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This site takes any quotation or poem and creates a "word cloud" (graphical display) of the words in a passage of text. Paste in any passage or the URL for any blog entry or web page (including newspapers online) to create a wordle of the text. If you make a Wordle, you can choose your own colors, type of display, and font. The most frequent words appear larger and darker. Students can view creations others have made or make their own with or without saving them to the database of clouds. You can also print creations, open them in a window without borders, or link to them from a home page (html code is provided for the link). This site requires Java. Get it from the TeachersFirst Toolbox page. However, this site is now a device-agnostic tool, available on the web but also available for free as both an Android and iOS app. Use it from any device or move between several devices and still access your work. App and web versions vary slightly.

tag(s): DAT device agnostic tool (192), speech (93), vocabulary (323), word choice (26), word clouds (10)

In the Classroom

You need to know how to copy/paste. No email registration needed to create. Click Create to get started. Copy/paste text, type into a text box, or paste in the URL of the page you wish to "cloud." Play with options under Layout, Color, and Font menus to change the look. When done, choose to Print, take a screen shot of it in New Window view (PrntScrn on Windows, Command+shift+4 on Mac) or save to public gallery. Once it opens in the gallery view, be sure to copy the URL and keep a record of the exact URL of wordles you save to the Gallery. You will never be able to find them again without it! Use this tool easily in your Bring Your Own Device (BYOD) classroom since all students will be able to access it for free, no matter what device they have.

The public can enter text and create their own Wordles, some of which appear on the home page for "recent" Wordles. Teachers should preview the Gallery and home page immediately before sharing this site with a class. TeachersFirst's review team has not witnessed any objectionable examples. In today's world, a brief lesson or honest discussion on ignoring, clicking out of, or avoiding the inappropriate on the web might be worthwhile, depending on the age and maturity of your students.

This is a terrific visual tool to share on an interactive whiteboard or projector. Paste in a passage or URL for a political speech to visualize the politician's "message." Analyze advertising propaganda by visualizing the language used in TV or print ads. Create wordles of historical texts of inauguration speeches as time capsules of the issues of the day. Use this site as a way to help students see and memorize text, especially visual learners. Use it also when writing poetry or reading passages of great literature to "see" themes and motifs of repeated words and images. Have students paste in their own writing to spot repeated (and monotonous) language when teaching lessons on word choice. Students will be surprised to see what words appear to be dominant. ESL and ELL students will eagerly use this site since word order will no longer be a problem for them. Have students work in groups to create word posters of vocabulary words with related meanings, such as different ways to say "walk" or "said" and decorate your classroom with these visual reminders of the richness of language.

Another idea: use this site during the first week of school. Have students create "Wordles" about themselves and create a "Wordle" bulletin board introducing your students (and yourself). Or use Worlde for a whole-class positive statement as shown in this example. Remember that the most frequently appearing words will appear larger so plan accordingly.

Comments

So versatile and easy to use. Needs supervision because of what some people post in the galleries. Kids find it very easy to use. Nice for quick analysis of text (love to use with Shakespeare). Frances, CT, Grades: 6 - 8

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Mindomo - Expert Software Application

Grades
1 to 12
5 Favorites 0  Comments
 
Create collaborative mind maps (graphic organizers) using this online tool. See an example created by...more
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Create collaborative mind maps (graphic organizers) using this online tool. See an example created by our editors. The example gives some ideas for uses of this online graphic organizer tool.

tag(s): mind map (24)

In the Classroom

Have students create graphic organizers in cooperative groups as a study guide for unit content, to collect information for a group research project, or show examples of an important concept. Share and compare the organizers on an interactive whiteboard or projector in class and allow classmates to suggest changes. Skills needed: join the site, practice with the tools (don't miss the notes feature!). Save up to 7 "private" maps and an unlimited number of "shared" maps.

Make a map available online by saving and clicking "yes" for sharing, then clicking the Save by URL icon. This will copy the URL onto your computer's clipboard so you can paste it into a word doc or even your teacher web page. Imagine sharing several student made "study guides" in the days before the unit test.

Note that maps that are shared can be seen by the public, but not altered. You specify members who may collaborate and make alterations. For students to collaborate using this tool they must have individual memberships, requiring an email account. These memberships must be activated from their email. So, if students do not have email that is accessible from school, classroom use BY STUDENTS will be severely limited. Editor's note: we asked the Mindomo folks about spell check and student safety issues. They are still developing this tool, so they MIGHT address these issues at a later date.

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Gliffy - Gliffy, Inc.

Grades
K to 12
4 Favorites 0  Comments
 
Research verifies the power of graphic organizers in promoting strong thinking skills and comprehension for all ages. Gliffy is a FREE online tool for creating graphic organizers without...more
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Research verifies the power of graphic organizers in promoting strong thinking skills and comprehension for all ages. Gliffy is a FREE online tool for creating graphic organizers without purchasing ANY software. The free use is limited to 5 "maps," however, so you will have to delete old projects. Individuals or groups can create the organizers or the class can create them together, such as in a brainstorming session on a projector. You can export the graphic organizers to a blog or "publish" them on the web -- all for free.

tag(s): graphic organizers (42)

In the Classroom

Play with the tools and toolbars to create diagrams, access help and FAQ to collaborate, publish, or embed diagrams in your blog or other web page. Collaborators need individual email accounts to gain access.

Assign students to "map" out a chapter or story or assign groups to create study guides using this tool collaboratively. Create a whole-class concept map from a brainstorm to determine prior knowledge at the start of a unit. Then have students add to it throughout the unit. Your students are certain to enjoy this tool and be forced to THINK in the process. This would also be a great tool for group projects in YOUR grad classes!

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