Review by Patricia Monticello Kievlan, Common Sense Education | Updated September 2014
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WeMAP

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Solid, collaborative mind mapping tool could use more in-app guidance

Subjects & skills
Skills
  • Communication & Collaboration
  • Creativity
  • Critical Thinking

Subjects
N/A
Grades This grade range is a recommendation by Common Sense Education and not the developer/publisher.
3-7
Common Sense says (See details)
Teachers say (3 Reviews)

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4 images

Pros: Reliable real-time collaboration and easy export features make sharing easy.

Cons: Limited in-app help and inconsistent creation tools detract from the app's solid collaborative features.

Bottom Line: Good tool for collaboration, but basic features, like adding text, can be tricky to use.

As they read a play or story, encourage kids to create family trees, mapping the relationships among different characters. Have kids create a concept map of topics or vocabulary within a social studies, ELA, history, or science text.

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WeMAP is a collaborative tool for creating digital concept maps. Users can create a new concept map; add ovals, connecting lines, and text using a range of available colors; and then move and rearrange the bubbles and lines. Maps can be saved as PDFs, and users can easily share them with other apps.

WeMAP's best feature is its collaborative ability, which allows an unlimited number of users to work on a single concept map at once from their own devices. A user creates a collaborative session (with or without a password), and others can then join and contribute their own work. WeMAP is one of a suite of collaborative apps that includes WeKWL, WeSketch, WeWrite, and more.

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WeMAP's real-time collaboration feature is reliable and easy to use. Unfortunately, in-app help is limited, and figuring out the best way to add new content can be tricky. The developer's website provides a detailed FAQ section, and a manual is available for download, but making some of that information available in the app could make a big difference in usability. Clearer descriptions of how to best use the app's features as well as suggestions for how to use the tool in the classroom could greatly enhance this app.

This can be a useful tool for real-time collaboration, but it's best used with solid teacher guidance and instruction.

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Overall Rating

Engagement Is the product stimulating, entertaining, and engrossing? Will kids want to return?

Adding bubbles, lines, and text can be cumbersome, and text shows up unpredictably, making for a sometimes-frustrating user experience.

Pedagogy Is learning content seamlessly baked-in, and do kids build conceptual understanding? Is the product adaptable and empowering? Will skills transfer?

Concept mapping can be an effective tool for learning, but teachers need to add the context and specific educational value.

Support Does the product take into account learners of varying abilities, skill levels, and learning styles? Does it address both struggling and advanced students?

Developer's website has lots of helpful info and troubleshooting tips, but in-app how-to info is limited.


Common Sense Reviewer
Patricia Monticello Kievlan Foundation/nonprofit member

Teacher Reviews

(See all 3 reviews) (3 reviews) Write a review
Featured review by
Cheryl Z. , Classroom teacher
Classroom teacher
Bentley Elementary School
Canton, MI
An incredible collaborative app that allows students to synthesize learning creatively.

If 6 years olds are able to utilize the WeMAP successfully - the possibilities for older children are endless.

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