Objective: To brainstorm and make a visual representation of new knowledge.


Web tool: MindMeister


Brief description of tool: Create, manage, and share mindmaps online and access them anytime from anywhere. In brainstorming mode you can simultaneously work on the same mindmap and see each other's changes as they happen. You can also use Skype to toss out new ideas and put them down at the same time. 


Use of tool: Students have previously completed a WebQuest explaining blogging in schools. They explore samples on the web by other students. Then they think, pair and share what they learned.  Then they mind map what was meaningful to them. Discussion follows.


Student sample:


How it facilitates learning: In this initial stage of learning about a topic, mindmapping gets the student engaged in the learning process. It encourages them to link prior knowledge to new information. It is also a quick look to note if there are important concepts students missed or gaps in knowledge of the topic. It is  quick and easy  It is a springboard to generate discussion that encourages both spontaneity and reflection. It also provides insight as to where the learning needs to continue.


Blog posts:


Additional strategies to use with students to facilitate learning and thinking:



How To:


MindMeister tutorial video for a quick introduction.


This same page has an extensive help section with step-by-step help listed under these sections:


Additional resources