TeachersFirst Edge - Concept Maps/Mind Maps

 

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Lucidchart - Karl Sun and Ben Dilts

Grades
7 to 12
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Lucidchart is a free (and fun!) diagramming tool featuring drag and drop features. Try out the tour to view all the features available such as simple line drawing from the ...more
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Lucidchart is a free (and fun!) diagramming tool featuring drag and drop features. Try out the tour to view all the features available such as simple line drawing from the edge of any object, color themes, and online collaboration. Create flow charts, mindmaps, graphic organizers, timelines, and more. Share your diagram using social networking links or with your diagram's unique URL. Registration isn't required, but is necessary if you want to save your diagrams for future use. Storage is limited to 25 MB for free accounts. The Pro version is free to K-12 teachers. K-12 educators use this link to sign up for the Pro version: Lucid Pro for K-12 Educators. To make sure you receive the news about activation of your Pro version put these two address in your email contacts: education@lucidchart and support@lucidchart.com
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tag(s): brainstorming (24), graphic organizers (43), mind map (26)

In the Classroom

Take advantage of the "ease" of this fabulous site! Have your class create organizers together, such as in a brainstorming session on an interactive whiteboard or projector. Assign students to "map" out a chapter or story. 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 food pyramids in family and consumer science. Have students collaborate (online) to create group mind maps or review charts before tests on a given subject. Have students organize any concepts you study. They can color code concepts to show what they understand, wonder, and question. Have students map out a story, plot line, or plan for the future. Students can also map out a step-by-step process (such as a life cycle or how to solve an equation).

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Realtime Board - Multivitamin Project

Grades
K to 12
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Try this "easy to use" collaboration tool and templates to enhance your interactive whiteboard (IWB) or make ANY projector or computer screen behave like a collaborative IWB. See Examples...more
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Try this "easy to use" collaboration tool and templates to enhance your interactive whiteboard (IWB) or make ANY projector or computer screen behave like a collaborative IWB. See Examples to get the idea. Once you join, choose from dozens of different board templates (left sidebar) including a traditional whiteboard. Create sticky notes, text boxes, and upload images or PDF documents. Draw freehand on the whiteboard using a brush. Change colors, add symbols, lines, and more. Rotate and resize items. All menu items are seen at the bottom of the board window. Invite collaborators using the menu at the top right. When finished, publish as an image or PDF document. You can also easily embed the results within a site or your class wiki. Connect to Google Drive to share with collaborators and others.

tag(s): charts and graphs (200), drawing (78), graphic organizers (43), iwb (32)

In the Classroom

Assess prior knowledge as you start a unit by generating a class whiteboard. Save it under your class/teacher account to re-access throughout the unit, adding new topics and content. Make the URL available from your class web page for students to use as a review or for learning support teachers to reinforce what has happened in class. Have student groups map out the content of projects. Encourage visual prewriting for the students who "think in pictures." Have students create review organizers to share with classmates. Allow students to use their whiteboard as their visual during speeches. Map the sequence of steps in a chemical reaction. Then share the URL for absent students to "see" what happened in class. Annotate design principles directly on top of an uploaded image. Have young students use a whiteboard to draw out ideas before they can even write entire sentences. The real asset is that the files are saved and available from ANY computer!

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ProcessOn - ProcessOn.com

Grades
7 to 12
2 Favorites 0  Comments
 
Create diagrams, flowcharts, organizational charts, and more using ProcessOn. After a short registration process, create your diagram using templates provided or start from scratch....more
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Create diagrams, flowcharts, organizational charts, and more using ProcessOn. After a short registration process, create your diagram using templates provided or start from scratch. Creation tools are similar to Microsoft Word setup, allowing easy personalization with colors, shapes, text, images, and more. Easily collaborate using tools such as an online chat. Click the Invite Collaborators link to send an invitation. Save files on the site or download directly to your computer.

tag(s): charts and graphs (200), concept mapping (19), graphic organizers (43), venn diagrams (18)

In the Classroom

Use this site to create your own charts or diagrams to share on your projector or interactive whiteboard. Challenge students to create their own charts using this tool. Create charts for literature that you are reading in class, pinpointing the plot, conflict/resolution, and more. Create a diagram to highlight important dates in an individual's life or even dates in a war. Students could use this site for a project on any topic: science, government, history, literature, and many others. Have students create study guides using this site. Share or embed the BEST maps on your class website. One of the best aspects of this site is that students can collaborate online for group projects. Learning Support teachers can encourage small groups to create study guides together, reinforcing their knowledge as they discuss and work together.

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Coggle - coggle.it

Grades
2 to 12
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Coggle is an online, collaborative mind mapping program. Sign in using your Google account or other email to begin. Click "create" to begin a new diagram. Click to edit text, ...more
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Coggle is an online, collaborative mind mapping program. Sign in using your Google account or other email to begin. Click "create" to begin a new diagram. Click to edit text, or choose the + icon to add a new branch. Drag elements anywhere on your screen to rearrange. Invite others to view, add, or edit your Coggle using the share button. Allow other users read-only access or read-and-edit access. Download finished Coggles as a PDF file or a png image. The introduction/explanation video is hosted on YouTube. If YouTube is blocked at your school, you may want to view the video and familiarize yourself with the website from your home computer.

tag(s): brainstorming (24), graphic organizers (43), mind map (26)

In the Classroom

Coggle's ease of use makes it easy to focus on the process of creating a mind map, rather than learning how to use the program or playing with its features to make it pretty. Have your class create organizers together, such as in a brainstorming session on an interactive whiteboard or projector. Assign students to "map" out a chapter or story. 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 food pyramids in family and consumer science. Have students collaborate (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, plot line, or plan for the future; map out a step-by-step process (life cycle).

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Exam Time - ExamTime.com

Grades
7 to 12
2 Favorites 0  Comments
 
ExamTime is powerful tool package to improve and enhance study skills. Features include mind maps, flash cards, quizzes, and goal-setting. Sign up using email or Facebook to begin exploring...more
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ExamTime is powerful tool package to improve and enhance study skills. Features include mind maps, flash cards, quizzes, and goal-setting. Sign up using email or Facebook to begin exploring the site. Choose the Explore button at the top of the page to create a study activity. Follow the easy directions to add text, drag and drop items, and build study items. When finished, share with friends within ExamTime. Another interesting feature is the Goal Builder - enter goals, future assignments, project deadlines, and more to build a timeline and check activities when complete. View information easily on computers and mobile devices for easy access anywhere and anytime.

tag(s): assessment (120), classroom management (152), flash cards (45), homework (43), mind map (26), quizzes (106), social networking (102), test prep (95)

In the Classroom

Share ExamTime with students to build and use study skills. Although an individual can use the site on their own, it is best to use it as a sharing site to share study information. Encourage students to sign up and build a network of friends for creating and sharing resources. You might consider requiring students to use the timeline feature to prioritize and stay organized, especially with long term tasks. Learning support teachers and teachers of gifted-but-disorganized students will want to share the tools and encourage their students to collaborate with their peers. Have students create review activities (they call it revision) and swap them with peers. Use this tool with colleagues to co-create materials to use with content units or materials to use for flipping the classroom. Use this tool for professional development. Groups of grade level teachers can use the timeline feature and set goals to make sure they are covering the Common Core Standards for the year, throughout the year.

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MindMup: Zero-friction online mind mapping - Gojko Adzic, Damjan Vujnovic, David de Florinier

Grades
K to 12
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MindMup is an easy to use mind mapping tool. Click to create a new map. Double click the starter bubble to add your title. Use the tool box (left sidebar) ...more
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MindMup is an easy to use mind mapping tool. Click to create a new map. Double click the starter bubble to add your title. Use the tool box (left sidebar) to add or edit ideas. Use the mouse to drag and drop nodes. The mouse can also be used to scroll the map (drag the central node, or anywhere outside the map). As soon as you change a map, the Save button appears in the toolbar. Click it and your new map gets a unique URL. Every time you save, the map gets a new URL. Just copy and share the URL with colleagues and friends. You can also use one of the options in the Share toolbar (top-right) to send it to a social networking site. Anyone can edit the map, but won't change your original copy. The best part of this simple/easy site: no registration required!

tag(s): concept mapping (19), graphic organizers (43), mind map (26), organizational skills (119)

In the Classroom

This free organizational tool can be used in classrooms at every level. Use this tool to help organize learning units and share the organization on screen so students see how pieces fit together. Share the unit map with other teachers, students, or parents. Highlight goals, objectives, learning tasks, assessments, and resources. Share before your unit, and expectations become very clear. Use as a yearly overview for parents at the beginning of the year at Open House. Let parents see the multiple ways their child will be assessed through the year. Have students 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. Or use an ongoing map as a whole class visual diagram of concepts learned, adding new knowledge throughout a unit. Don't miss the chance to color code to "sort" ideas and concepts!

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Exobrain - Colin Dunn and Nick Gauthier

Grades
1 to 12
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Exobrain is an easy to use brainstorming and mind mapping tool. Register using email and a password to begin creating a board with "nodes." Give the central node a name ...more
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Exobrain is an easy to use brainstorming and mind mapping tool. Register using email and a password to begin creating a board with "nodes." Give the central node a name then drag your mouse to create additional nodes. Create links between nodes by dragging a line between them or remove links by hovering over the line and clicking the scissors. Free accounts allow for three cloud-based maps. Access using the unique url generated for each mind map. The introductory video requires Flash, the remainder of the site does not. Be aware: maps can be viewed publicly. Be sure to check your district policy on publishing student work online.
This site includes advertising.

tag(s): mind map (26)

In the Classroom

Use this resource to map out a poem, story, or novel students are reading. Use in managing (and even color-coding) information in any content area. Assess prior knowledge with a class brainstorm. Use as a plan for projects to show all information and all steps for its completion. This would also be a great tool for group projects for your students or even in YOUR grad classes! Teachers in lower grades can create whole class maps together. Share the maps on your interactive whiteboard or projector. Since you can only create three maps for free, you might want to compare with other mind-mapping tools reviewed at the TeachersFirst Edge.

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ClassTools - Russel Tarr

Grades
K to 12
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Classtools offers online game, quiz, and concept map generators to use in any classroom with any subject. Templates make it easy. NO registration is necessary. Just start right in!...more
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Classtools offers online game, quiz, and concept map generators to use in any classroom with any subject. Templates make it easy. NO registration is necessary. Just start right in! Make games public on their website or blog using the link provided upon completion. Templates include Fakebook, Tweet Generator, an SMS conversation (text message) simulator, QR Treasure Hunt, Fishbone, Random Name Generator, Burger Diagram (essay writing), Countdown Timer, and many more. The complete list of templates is on the right sidebar of the site. Follow the easy step-by step directions provided. View the video tutorials on the main page to learn more.
This site includes advertising.

tag(s): essays (21), qr codes (19), social networking (102), spelling (165), twitter (41), vocabulary (315), word choice (27), word study (78)

In the Classroom

The possibilities abound in nearly any subject area. Be sure to check out all of the free templates to use. Use the many tools yourself or have your students create a Fakebook page or use the Tweet Generator to present information in any subject area. Create a Fakebook page about a famous historical person or government figure in social studies or science class. Share the Burger Diagram for writing essays. Use the Arcade Game Maker to create practice activities for students who need the extra help. Create a random word generator with vocabulary from a Science or Social Studies unit to review before testing. Allow students to create Venn diagrams to be posted on the class website using information from current lessons. Use an online tool such as Interactive Two Circle Venn Diagram (reviewed here). Save this site in your Favorites on your teacher computer!

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Easel.ly

Grades
5 to 12
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Create Infographics - easily! Click the "Start Fresh" gray square to begin using the tools. Simply drag and drop your favorite from a wide selection of customizable themes (layouts),...more
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Create Infographics - easily! Click the "Start Fresh" gray square to begin using the tools. Simply drag and drop your favorite from a wide selection of customizable themes (layouts), or start from a blank canvas. Drag and drop other needed elements or upload graphics to create your own. Enter your text and data to create your own Infographic, displaying and sharing information. Find all the needed elements and prompts along the top navigation bar. This site takes the challenge of using design principles out of the creation of an Infographic. Click Save and you will be prompted to join if you have not already. Once logged in and saved, the prompts will tell you to return to your home page (leaving the "creator" area) to choose settings for your finished infographic. You can choose public or private, share by link, download, or delete.

tag(s): data (156), infographics (53), posters (42)

In the Classroom

Use a whole class account if you are working with students under 13 or if school policies prohibit student accounts. Experiment with Easel.ly on a projector or interactive whiteboard (let the students do it!) using different design "themes," making changes without having to configure the whole Infographic. After creating Infographics as a class, review the other types to show basic design principles. Students can create Infographics of a classroom topic, relationships and definitions of major terms, information from labs, and more. Find data and information that connects your content to the outside world, such as the statistics and causes for endangered species. Consider assigning the creation of an Infographic as an assignment to understand any curriculum content and connect it with the real world. For example, show the many ways electricity is used in the world or the impact of slavery on an economy. Or have students explain an experiment and report the results with graphical information to provide meaning. Learn about food groups (now displayed as myplate) by dissecting a food, diary, or a typical school lunch in terms of meeting daily requirements (and other nutrition topics).

If your use literature circles in your classroom, making an Infographic about a novel the group read would be a great conclusion for the lit circle project, and it might entice others in the class to read the novel. Post the infographics on your web page for all your students and their parents to enjoy.

To challenge your gifted students, have them research and create infographics depicting the tough issues or "flipsides" related to your curriculum topic: Major court cases and issues involving freedom of speech (during your Constuitution unit), risks and benefits of nuclear power (in a physics class), how an author's experience influences what he/she writes, lead-ups to a current events crisis, etc.

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Draw.io - JGraph, Ltd.

Grades
4 to 12
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Take a look at this online graphic organizer creator/drawing tool that requires NO membership. Although a bit "plain vanilla" in appearance, this is a wonderful tool! Research shows...more
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Take a look at this online graphic organizer creator/drawing tool that requires NO membership. Although a bit "plain vanilla" in appearance, this is a wonderful tool! Research shows that graphic organizers promote strong thinking skills and comprehension for all ages. Draw.io is a simple, free online tool for creating mind maps -- or diagrams for any purpose -- using shapes and arrows. Just drop and drag the shapes (or nodes) you want to the panel, connect the nodes by dragging the arrow, and double-click in the shape to add text. Use the simple toolbar at the top to insert images, change, bold, color and enlarge text, etc. Printing and exporting is also an option. If you click on the "Help" tab at the top, you will see "Video Tutorial" which uses flash. Draw.io uses JavaScript, not Flash, so it works on iOS devices.

tag(s): brainstorming (24), concept mapping (19), graphic organizers (43), mind map (26), venn diagrams (18), visual thinking (10)

In the Classroom

Demonstrate creating a mind map or other diagram on an interactive whiteboard or projector, and then allow students to try to create their own. Use this site for literature activities, research projects, social studies, or science topics of study. Use Draw.io to create family trees or flow charts. Learning support students could team up to map out the important concepts from a unit visually as a review activity. Use this mapping website as an alternative to a traditional test, quiz, or homework assignment in literature, social studies, or science. Have students demonstrate their understanding by creating a graphic organizer about the main points or map out a step-by-step process (life cycle). Be sure they name their organizer BEFORE they start work with their name --or code name-- so you know who did it (they could EMAIL it to you!) or have them print their results to turn them in. Anonymously share and compare different students' "views" of a unit so students can "see it through someone else's eyes."

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Spider Scribe - spiderscribe.net

Grades
2 to 12
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SpiderScribe is an online mind mapping and brainstorming tool. Organize ideas by connecting notes, files, maps, calendar events, and more. Use this tool to collaborate and share maps...more
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SpiderScribe is an online mind mapping and brainstorming tool. Organize ideas by connecting notes, files, maps, calendar events, and more. Use this tool to collaborate and share maps online with others. SpiderScribe has an easy to use interface. Drag the various stencils (elements) to the screen to begin. Watch the demo video to understand the basics of this free tool. You will be started in less than a minute!

tag(s): brainstorming (24), graphic organizers (43), mind map (26)

In the Classroom

Have your class create organizers together, such as in a brainstorming session on an interactive whiteboard or projector. Easily add images to maps for young students, ELL learners, or non-readers to understand relationships and learn vocabulary. 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 food pyramids 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, plot line, or plan for the future; map out a step-by-step process (life cycle).

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Chartle - Dieter Krachtus

Grades
6 to 12
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Create various types of graphs and charts - easily! Input data quickly, and explore multiple ways to show the data using the various types of graphs available. Easily see the ...more
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Create various types of graphs and charts - easily! Input data quickly, and explore multiple ways to show the data using the various types of graphs available. Easily see the relationships between the data as you play with the graphic. Note: Take (and save) a screen shot of your chart as not all charts have been saved correctly. Once a chart has been published, it can no longer be edited. There is a short video tutorial on the homepage explaining how to use this site. This site uses Java.

tag(s): charts and graphs (200), data (156)

In the Classroom

You will want to play with this tool before using it in class. Use anywhere numerical data is collected and is best shown in a chart. Collect data in a science, survey, or math class and display it using different graphs to discuss the advantages and disadvantages of using each graph type. Use for quick creation and sharing of created graphs. Create charts together easily on an interactive whiteboard when introducing the different types. Have students operate the board while others offer instructions on what to do next. Use graphs to portray different sets of data about a topic in a new and unique way. Use this tool to create graphs and charts for presentations and reports. Make quick charts students can share with others such as "How I spend my time" and "Places I have visited." During political campaign seasons, create charts to better visualize what the pollsters are saying.
 This resource requires Adobe Flash.

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Tweet Topic Explorer - Neoformix

Grades
8 to 12
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Use this resource to see what the NYTimes, Wall street Journal, or any other source (Twitter account) is currently tweeting about. A blend between Twitter...more
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Use this resource to see what the NYTimes, Wall street Journal, or any other source (Twitter account) is currently tweeting about. A blend between Twitter and word clouds, this resource can provide current information about many topics. Enter a Twitter username in the lower left to begin. Click on a circle in the word cloud to see the tweets listed along the side. Try entering @teachersfirst to see an example.

tag(s): charts and graphs (200), twitter (41)

In the Classroom

This would be fantastic projected on a whiteboard (or projector) for the class to see. Use this resource by entering a Twitter username (such as a politician's) to stay up to date about what they are discussing (or to realize the overuse of certain talking points!) Enter an author's user name to follow current discussions. Use this resource over a period of several weeks to identify the changing trends or changes in stories over time. Follow any Twitter name that can shed light on any academic topic for use in a class. Does your class use twitter? Enter the username(s) to create a word cloud of what your class has done. Use the word cloud and Tweets to reflect on what has been learned in the class. Follow what a famous person or writer is tweeting. See this list of tweeting authors for some possibilities.

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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 (19), mind map (26)

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
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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 ...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 (19), debate (45), mind map (26), persuasive writing (55)

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 (49), concept mapping (19), letter writing (18), process writing (47)

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 (52), charts and graphs (200), data (156)

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 (19), mind map (26)

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
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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...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 (19), mind map (26)

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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WordSift - Stanford University

Grades
4 to 12
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WordSift helps anyone easily sift through texts -- just copy and paste any text into WordSift and you can engage in a verbal quick-capture! The program helps to quickly identify ...more
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WordSift helps anyone easily sift through texts -- just copy and paste any text into WordSift and you can engage in a verbal quick-capture! The program helps to quickly identify important words that appear in the text. After entering text several items will appear, first a word cloud will display the 50 most frequently used words in the text. The most frequently used word will display as a word web in a visual thesaurus. Google image and video search results are also shown. One interesting feature is the ability to click on any of the words in the word cloud to display it in the thesaurus and Google image and video searches. A great way to understand the WordSift tool is to try one of the sample texts offered, such as Martin Luther King's "I Have a Dream" speech. Be sure to check out the "About" link to discover many ideas for use in the classroom. Tips and videos are also available as guides. If you type in a shorter sentence, the site still creates a word cloud using their own related words (not in your original text). Be aware of the advertisements that appear with the word clouds. Advise students not to click on the ads.
This site includes advertising.

tag(s): dictionaries (58), reading comprehension (131), reading strategies (56), thesaurus (23), vocabulary (315), vocabulary development (121), word clouds (11), word study (78)

In the Classroom

This is a classic tool to promote "before reading" strategies and vocabulary development. Use WordSift to preview text to be used in class and define vocabulary before reading to increase reading comprehension. Have students use WordSift with different portions of text to identify key words and vocabulary for class presentations. Use WordSift to discuss different meanings of words using images presented through the site. This site isn't only for English teachers, share with Science and Social Studies teachers to use in their classrooms with reading texts in their content areas. ESL/ELL and learning support teachers will want to share this as a support for any reading assigned in regular classes. Be sure to show students how to copy/paste to WordSift texts from informational web pages and news stories on the web, as well. Share this link as a Favorite on your public page so students can use it anytime.

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