With the recent discussions about the Software for schools deal, its worth considering some of the other tools we could use in our teaching.
One of the best tools for the visual learner is a mind map. This learning tool is not covered by the software for schools package but fortunately for us there are some excellent alternatives that are reasonably priced (Many are open source and free). Here is a selection that are worth considering:
- C-Map – http://cmap.ihmc.us/conceptmap.html this is a favourite of mine. Its free, powerful, easy to use. I highly recommend this. It is also available in an assortment of flavours – Windows, Mac and Linux
- Freemind – http://freemind.sourceforge.net/wiki/index.php/Main_Page This is, I believe, one of the standards for open source mind mapping. Great straight forwarded well suited to a variety of ages. It is also available in an assortment of flavours – Windows, Mac and Linux.
- Mind Jet Mind manager – http://www.mindjet.com/ This is a professional standard powerhouse of a tool, but its not free. The lead version (mind manager 8) is windows with Mind manager 7 available for mac and windows.
- Inspiration and kidspiration – http://www.inspiration.com/ this is a standard for education. Available in Windows and Mac its good but I find it clunky. This is a purchased tool and its not that cheap.
- Compendium – http://compendium.open.ac.uk/software.html - This si a free mind mapping and brain storming tools created by the Open University in the UK. It also has an excellent argument mapping tool/template as well. This is another favourite of mine. Also available in all three major flavours – Windows, Linux and Mac.
I have put together some notes and ideas for mind mapping and tied these into Bloom’s Digital Taxonomy.
Starter Sheets – Mindmieister – this is a web based mind mapping tool – http://edorigami.wikispaces.com/Starter+Sheets
This is a 3D mind mapping tool that has recently appeared – it has a free student addition. I haven’t had a chance to look at it, so I can pass comments. http://www.topicscape.com/student-edition.php?display=5
This is a directory of mind mapping tools – looks at web based options as well – http://www.c4lpt.co.uk/Directory/Tools/mind.html