Mind Mapping and Critical Thinking
Mindomo is a Web 2.0 mind mapping tool that lets users create mind maps to organize, explore, analyze and evaluate ideas. To begin, the main topic/concept is entered into the topic bubble. Subtopics are then linked to the topic bubble. Users continue to add subtopic bubbles to the map.
Multimedia can be linked to subtopics to help organize information and to make it more interactive.
The site is simple and easy to use. The free basic account allows users to create a maximum of 3 maps. Not all features are available for the free account but the tool still provides plenty of potential benefits for K-12 classrooms.
Tony Buzan is a leading expert on the brain and learning and considered to be the originator of the mind mapping technique. Here is
a consolidated list of mind mapping guidelines
for teachers to consider when using this technique.
21st Century Skills
This Web 2.0 tool stimulates critical thinking and problem solving skills when mind mapping is used to analyze and evaluate the different elements of a new or complex subject. Mapping group brainstorming sessions encourages discussions that develop team collaboration and effective communication skills.
In the Classroom
Students can use mind maps to better understand and learn new concepts, identify key concepts easily, evaluate concepts and ideas, and improve problem solving.
Mind mapping is a good tool for visual and kinesthetic learners. Visual learners benefit from associating ideas and concepts with images. Kinesthetic learners learn well by physically drawing their ideas.
Robert Marzano, a leading educational researcher, lists non-linguistic representations as one of his nine core strategies for improving instruction. Non-linguistic representations include:
1. Creating graphic representations
2. Drawing pictures or pictographs
3. Generating mental pictures
Students can create, edit, and share mind maps with teachers and other students.
This web 2.0 teaching tool can be used across the curriculum. Students can create character diagrams, comparison charts, story diagrams, vocabulary word diagrams, timelines, effect of events, experiment maps, food pyramids, scientific processes, life cycles, and more.
Multimedia, such as photographs, video and hyperlinks to web sites, can be added to the mind maps.
Students have to use email address to register for an account. One idea is to have students use mailcatch.com to create temporary email addresses to register and then activate their accounts.
Mindomo can be used as a pre- and post-topic assessment tool. Students can preview a specified topic by creating a mind map to show what they know at the beginning of a lesson. Following a lesson or teaching unit students can review the material by creating a mind map showing what they have learned.
Try the site's tutorial in the form of a mind map.
Mindomo Part 1 Basics
Part 2 Tutorial
Video tutorial: Tech Tips
Maps can be set to be viewed as public or private. Remind students to not identify themselves with their full first and last names, home address or phone number when posting their work online.
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