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Brainstorming, Critical Thinking, Creativity

        Address: is a Web 2.0 tool that enables users to create mind mapping and brainstorming diagrams online. To begin, the main topic/concept is entered in to the parent bubble. Then ideas and thoughts are recorded in colorful text bubbles linked to the parent bubble. Users continue to add text bubbles which are color coded according to hierarchy.

The site is simple and easy to use - a great addition to your list of teacher resources! The application is Flash-based so the latest Flash viewer needs to be installed.

Mind Maps

A mind map is a diagram that represents words and ideas that link to a central key word or idea. They are excellent teacher resources for all grades across the curriculum

"Because mind mapping is more flexible than outlining, it encourages creativity. Displaying all related topics on the same mind map, with emphasis and connections indicated by images, symbols, and colors, improves memory retention. The maps are also easier to understand, which saves time and increases productivity. Diane Murley “Mind Mapping Complex Information”

21st Century Skills

Critical thinking skills are cultivated when mind mapping is used to analyze the different elements of a new or complicated subject. is a great Web 2.0 teaching tool for enhancing creativity when brainstorming is used to explore off-the-cuff relationships.

Group brainstorming and mind mapping encourages group discussions that develop team collaboration and effective communication skills.

Click here for a free teaching resource - "Brainstorming Rules" - to use in your classroom. in the Classroom

Benefits of using
Easy to use
Doesn’t require an account unless you want to save work
Helps to organize thoughts and explore relationships
Aids in generating ideas
Encourages risk taking
Encourages group discussions
Incorporates multiple intelligences

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:
Creating graphic representations
Drawing pictures or pictographs
Generating mental pictures is a Web 2.0 tool that can be used for non-linguistic representations.


This application 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.

Teachers can use these mind maps as an assessment of the information and knowledge gained by students and to identify gaps in their learning that may exist.

Here are some examples of mind maps using this site:




**One disadvantage of this site is that only 3 mind maps can be saved after creating an account unless you upgrade to a subscription-based account. A "work-around" is to simply delete maps as you finish using them.

You may apply for an educational discount for your account if you are an educator. This discount gives you 50% off resulting in $3.00 per month or $29.00 paid annually.

Common Core State Standards (CCSS).

Visual thinking and learning includes various techniques that stimulate thinking and internalizing knowledge. Mind maps and other graphic organizers are types of visual thinking methods that graphically represent ideas and information.

Educational research has proven that these visual learning methods are some of the very best ways to stimulate thinking, increase comprehension, organization and learning.

Using these methods supports the CCSS ELA Reading Standards requiring students to comprehend story elements (plot, theme, etc.) and analyze text. Students can use mind maps to organize a story by themes, characters and settings with a mind map. As they read, details can be added to analyze and make conclusions about the text.

Mind mapping supports the CCSS ELA Writing Standards by helping students visually represent their work during the writing process.
Students can use a mind map to brainstorm a topic and then add and organize details to it during their research.

A mind map can help them comprehend new information and identify gaps in their learning as they edit and revise their writing.

Working with other students using a mind map fulfills requirements of the Speaking and Listening Standards as students collaborate and communicate with one another.


Here are some tutorials to get you started:
A Web App for Teachers

Brainstorming and Mind-mapping Online

Safety Concerns

Remind students not to identify themselves with their full first and last names, home address or phone number when posting their work online.

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