How I Use It
I use Mindmeister in a variety of ways in the classroom but find that it is a great support for vocabulary and literacy instruction. Suggestions include: 1) Use Mindmeister to drive your instruction surrounding an essential question and have students collaborate to fill in information/questions about the topic at hand. 2) Have students create a mindmap around a primary source with questions they want to answer during a course of study. Throughout the unit have them build out the spicy nodes to reflect what they have learned. 3) Use Mindmeister as a parking lot for keywords surrounding topics of study, and students can access them from home and from school. As a teaching tool, you can take what you have done on posters in the classroom and put it into digital form on a spicynode for easy recording and presentation at a later date. Sometimes the program can be glitchy and log you out if too many people are accessing the interface at one time, but this is generally rare.
Mindmeister allows for individual and collaborative brainstorming in the classroom and at home online with other students, parents, or colleagues. Fast , fun, and interactive for students and teachers alike Mindmeister allows for information to be presented in a variety of formats. The login and program can be easily accessed at home and at school and the web 2.0 application can work as a collaboration between multiple students, or just as one. The downside is that you must have email to access and use the program, but most students in upper grades have access to a school email or home email at this point in many districts. It does take time to learn all of the functionality of the program as there are many "bells and whistles" that are not really apparent when the program is first used. Unfortunately the FAQ and support side of the tool are not fully supported and some of the questions asked go unanswered, but for basic needs the web 2.o tool works well. There are limitations on the number of mind maps you can have in the free version.