Common Sense Review
Updated September 2013

Text 2 Mind Map

Basic tool helps kids see how concepts relate
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Common Sense Rating 3
The mind-mapping tool can help kids visualize concepts, understand relationships, and plan project steps.
The tool's customization options are limited, and it doesn't work well when users enter a lot of text; students won’t find educational or other resources.
Bottom Line
Text 2 Mind Map can be used as a helpful organizational tool; additional content, though, would make the site a stronger resource.
Erin Brereton
Common Sense Reviewer
Common Sense Rating 3
Engagement Is the product stimulating, entertaining, and engrossing? Will kids want to return? 2

Kids can customize a few design elements and the content, but they need to send maps via email for feedback, and the experience doesn't get more challenging or feel different over time. There isn't much to keep kids coming back.

Pedagogy Is learning content seamlessly baked-in, and do kids build conceptual understanding? Is the product adaptable and empowering? Will skills transfer? 3

Kids can map concepts to understand the relationships among items; it won't work for every assignment but can be a good study aid for visual learners. Content on concept mapping, example maps, and other resources would be helpful. 

Support Does the product take into account learners of varying abilities, skill levels, and learning styles? Does it address both struggling and advanced students? 2

Don't expect many extras. Site-related tweets are on the home page; there's no mobile version, and brief instructions are really the only additional content.

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How Can Teachers Use It?

A beta version of the site that lets users store and later edit mind maps could, in theory, help teachers monitor work, provided they had each student's log-in information. For now, students need to email or print out .pdfs of completed mind maps to share them with their teacher. Because of this, the site might work best as a study aid that can help kids group concepts, memorize terms and relationships, and structure writing assignments.

Users currently can't share mind maps with each other on the site, so kids should have a fairly safe experience using Text 2 Mind Map.

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What's It Like?

The Text 2 Mind Map tool, launched in 2008, can help students organize concepts and notes. Users just need to enter text and click on the Draw Mind Map button. Each line of text becomes a separate node. (Longer documents that are copied and pasted will automatically be formatted into separate boxes.) 

Users can zoom in or out on portions, stretch out connection lines, move the map to one side of the screen, and save it as a .pdf or .jpg. They can also share it by emailing a URL that leads to a read-only version of the map. Text 2 Mind Map is also currently testing a beta version that lets users create an account and store mind maps on the site. Currently, users don't need to register; when they save a map, the system generates a URL that lets them access their map later to make changes.

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Is It Good For Learning?

Text 2 Mind Map is a simple, no-frills site. It is literally what its name implies: a tool that creates concept maps from words. Kids won't find additional educational resources or much on how mind maps can help you understand information. However, students should be able to figure out how to use the tool quickly, and they get a few customization options, including changing the font and box color. 

Teachers can encourage students to create concept maps to help them understand the relationships between historical events, scientific theories, vocabulary words, and other topics. There aren't really any subject matter restrictions; however, the tool may not work well for assignments that involve a lot of text. Students can enter more than a few sentences per node or create multiple boxes, but if they do, the mind map becomes so cluttered that it’s hard to see the connections between the concepts they're trying to learn.

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