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It's all in your mind: Two mindmapping tools unwrapped

Amy Ling - Professional ePortfolio Scenario

Image by hazelowendmc via Flickr


Are you keen to use mindmaps? I regularly use two types of mindmaps (mainly for collaborative projects with colleagues, as well as with students). Neither require any software download and both are used in your browser.

However, if you are still unsure as to why you might want to use mindmaps, and in an education setting if they are going to enhance learning, you may want to read this article first: "Using E-Maps to Organize and Navigate Online Content".

The first is Mindmeister (http://www.mindmeister.com/) - you can see an example of a mindmap around ePortfolios I have created and made public here. You can get three mindmaps for free (and it's only US$18 per annum for
unlimited mindmaps if you are an academic institution). The full list of features can be found here, but the best things about Mindmeister I have found are:

  1. it's easy to use
  2. can be used/edited synchronously by unlimited users
  3. can be 'published' as a wiki so anyone with the URL can edit the map (and
    it has versions, so you can revert to a previous version)
  4. can be shared with invited people only (invited via email), and can be password protected if necessary.
  5. can be embedded into other sites (and if clicked on will take the user to the Mindmeister map in situ)
  6. can be downloaded as a Mindmeister file (useful for backup), image, .pdf, and (should the service ever be withdrawn) as Freemind (.mind),
    and Mindmanager (.mmap) files.
  7. has an offline option (paid version)

The second is Mindomo: http://www.mindomo.com/ - an example mindmap that I've created of ICT enhanced learning and teaching design can be viewed here. You can get seven maps for free. The full range of functions (and pricing) can be found here. The best things I have found with Mindomo though are:

  1. Nodes can be grouped by colour (easy to show related/common factors)
  2. There are more sophisticated functions (which makes it more difficult to use as a tool)
  3. You can share the mindmaps for collaborative editing (but not synchronous editing)
  4. You can put links to the mindmap in a site/add the HTML to a site, but not embed the 'live' mindmap
  5. You can use icons and a range of images

I hope these overviews are useful - please drop me a line, or Skype me if you have any questions :-)





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It's all in your mind: Two mindmapping tools unwrapped by Ethos Consultancy NZ is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 Unported License.

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Comment by Hazel Owen on September 30, 2013 at 19:38

Thanks heaps for the recommendation, Monika. I've just spent a fair while exploring Popplet, and really like the ease of use, and especially like how it works on an iPad.

Love the fact that you are using it to plan your ULearn presentation!! (And good luck for that - please let us know how it goes :-p).

Comment by Monika Kern on September 26, 2013 at 19:51
Hi Hazel,
My go-to mindmapping tool is Popplet, available on www.popplet.com with a limited (5?) no. of mindmaps in the free version. It is also available as a free and as a paid app for the iPad. I find it easy to use for myself, and the teachers and students in my schools. It can be downloaded as jpg and pdf (need to go back on the laptop to check on possible other formats).
What I love about these mindmapping tools is how much more versatile, tidy, interactive they are than our good old mindmapping on paper. In class I use them for planning stories, to collect rich vocabulary, to look at word families, to collect detail for descriptions etc. etc. Tomorrow I will have some y8s look at using Popplet for some of their profiles in the year book. One of my free popplets is at the moment taken up by the outline for my ulearn presentation :-)
I have used mindmeister, but I will go and have a play with mindomo soon :-) Thanks for sharing!
Comment by Helen Martin on April 24, 2010 at 9:34
I'd like to see this in the Resources section so it doesn't disappear as the blog post is replaced by others. I think it's really useful.

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