How I Use It
This tool is a great - easy - tool to create mind maps. There are no-frills. Students simply enter their words and concepts and click on "Draw Mind Map" and their graphic appears. This tool can be used in any subject for brainstorming, organizing thoughts around a topic, and/or planning. In our class, we've used it in a variety of ways - as an introduction to a unit we mapped our thoughts, during pre-writing students used the map to brainstorm, and after reading a piece of text students shared their "take aways" from the story. Students enjoyed the ease of this website and the ability to download and save. This tool was also helpful for students to visualize the concepts (especially for students that must see it to understand it). It's also a great planning tool for projects. The downsides of this tool are few. Because it is so simple, the customization options are very limited. This tool is not great for maps that require lots of text. It's best to keep things simple and short.
Overall, I like this tool and it has proven valuable in the classroom - especially if you're looking for a mind-mapping tool for younger students. The tool can be used individually, in groups, or whole class. I love the fact that this tool makes it simple for students to see ideas and connects to an overall concept. I think a feature added to the site to search for previously made mind maps - related to education - would be an awesome addition to provide students ideas and to share the various ways to use the tool.