Common Sense


Mind Mapping and Brainstorming Apps and Websites

Sometimes students just need a place to get ideas out of their heads and make them a reality. Whether it's through a corkboard, a mind map, a flowchart, or sketches on a whiteboard, students can make their concepts into something usable. When kids are able to express their creativity in this way, it can lead to true problem solving and innovation. These picks give teachers and students ways -- alone or in groups -- to generate and organize ideas that refine and reinvent the traditional graphic organizer.

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Top Picks


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Kidspiration Maps

Versatile easy-to-use graphic organizer for early elementary

Bottom line: A tool teachers and kids can use in every subject area.


A compact, simple organizational tool for minimalist presentation

Bottom line: Great web-based presentation tool for beginners.


Multifaceted message boards help kids collaborate

Bottom line: MURAL can encourage individual team members to contribute to a project by making idea sharing and presentation a simple, visual process.

Text 2 Mind Map

Basic tool helps kids see how concepts relate

Bottom line: Text 2 Mind Map can be used as a helpful organizational tool, but would be stronger with additional content and added security.


Creative, visual mind-mapping tool makes brainstorming a cinch

Bottom line: Simplicity is the key with Coggle: Students can create elaborate mind maps and brainstorms in a matter of minutes, and the collaboration options are a nice bonus.

Inspiration Maps VPP

Versatile mind-mapping tool offers many options for organizing ideas

Bottom line: Inspiration Maps can help students learn to organize information, a skill they will find invaluable in school and in life.


Powerful mind mapper aimed at adults, simple enough for older kids

Bottom line: Sophisticated productivity tool enhances learning and organization with simple dashboard and slick workspace.


Handy tool for mapping info can support a range of learning styles

Bottom line: Kids can break down complex subjects into smaller bites, and the fun food theme is appealing.


Collaborate, brainstorm in real time with easy-to-use online whiteboard

Bottom line: A versatile, full-featured online brainstorming collaboration tool that can facilitate small-group projects.


Brainstorm, organize, and present on this tidy virtual corkboard

Bottom line: This visually appealing, simple-to-use corkboard is most useful with Pro purchase.

Prezi Classic

Stylish presentation creator with a unique 3D zooming effect

Bottom line: An elegant, flexible alternative to other online slide software tools, but it requires some finesse to make the effective use of the features and infinite canvas.

Mindomo (mind mapping)

Organize ideas with cool mind-mapping tool; beware design flaws

Bottom line: This sophisticated mind-mapping freebie could use some design tweaks to improve ease of use.

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