Mind mapping in the 21st Century

As part of the week 2 learning pathway for EDC 3100, we are required to produce a mind map using technology. The mind map will be address this weeks theme, “ICTs and Pedagogy; Why and How?” I am completing this learning activity as I blog, so that the reality of this learning exercise is captured. Although I have used mind maps in other courses to organise my thoughts and the direction of an assignment, I was unaware of the processes involved when constructing a physical mind map. Thanks to the diligent efforts of Mrs Frintzalis (highlighted by our lecturer) and the link to “How to construct a Mindmap” I persevered with the traditional approach using state of the art post it notes (colour coded for ease of organisation). According to White (2011), the first part of  mindmapping is Brainstorming. For the purpose of this exercise I have brainstormed as many ideas as I could to address the question, “ICTs and Pedadgogy: How and Why?” and written them down on post it notes (have you ever noticed that post it notes don’t really stay stuck?). At this point you can ascertain the value of collaboration to generate new and different ideas so I have  posted on twitter to generate some ideas (OK done).

Brainstorming- writing down ideas (I have included both positive and negative) onto post it notes that don’t stick

post its that don't stck

Organising phase- Create groups and sub groups of related items. I have organised my thoughts around the headings, Requirement for the course and Curriculum, Engagement, Source of Information, Overcoming challenges, and Teaching and learning skills.

Layout phase- Finding connections between the ideas, placing them in the order of hierarchy.

Linking Phase- Use arrows to link the ideas displayed

What a mess!!! Although impossible to organise without going through this process (arrows everywhere) I remind myself that something like the above diagram used to resemble the final product. But now thanks to the magic of technology and the insight and examples from my fellow bloggers, Miss Kyra and Mrs Grimshaw, the final task is to produce a professional and creative looking concept map thats easy to read, well organised, and accurate.

For this activity (and because I was off to a late start this week) I wanted to use a platform that had not been used. After conducting a quick google search for web 2.0 minmapping tools compatible with Mac computers, I  found Spicynodes. The layout was dynamic but would not allow me to add more than 3 subheadings, so it was back to the google search engine at 11:00pm. I am only giving the time here to highlight that my mindmap is now complete and it’s not even midnight. I used mindomo (may be a distant cousin of animoto) which was self explanatory and dynamic in presentation. In addition to the generic version I have produced here, mindomo allows the participant to easily insert media including music, video, and hyperlinks. The other feature which I found to add clarity to the mindmap is the “relationship” function which adds additional links to ideas that do not directly fall under the “heading/ subheading” categories. After all technology is all about connectivism isn’t it? Mindomo would be a wonderful addition to any classroom to bring the brainstorming acitivity to life.  Click the image below to view the published version on the web.


White, H. (2011). How to Construct a Concept Map. Retrieved March 4, 2013, from http://www.udel.edu/chem/white/teaching/ConceptMap.html

8 thoughts on “Mind mapping in the 21st Century

  1. Wow! Fantastic post full of information. My aim is to complete something half as good as this to post on my blog over the weekend. I need to get a move on with the week 2 activities! Thanks for sharing your experiences with the applications. Nicole.

    • Hi Nicole,
      Thanks so much for the feedback, and as it’s now Saturday night I am sure you are well on the way to finishing the weeks activities. Which program did you end up using for your mind map?. I wanted to thank you too for the heads up on Webtools for the classroom, some great ideas out there, and many in EDC 3100 also.
      Looking forward to your mind map,
      warm regards,

  2. Hi Jenni,

    It was great to see that you persevered with the ‘traditional’ concept map planning process. Your end result is fantastic.

    Like yourself, I had completed various concept maps in the past, however while I was always encouraged to brainstorm, I was never encouraged to use the particular planning process that we have both utilised. Prior to this exercise, my concept map construction involved thinking of relevant words and organising the information in my mind and then putting it into concept map format. I think the concept map that I have created this time is by far my best.

    I also wanted to comment on your digital concept map, it looks great. It looks like a great program and is visually appealing.

    If you haven’t already I would appreciate if you would vote via survey monkey on which of my concept maps that you prefer – paper or bubbl.us. I look forward to reading your comments on survey monkey (whenever you get a chance).

    Great job.


    Mrs Frintzilas

    • HI Kelly,
      Yes indeed it was a labour of love, but also a good learning experience, I have never done a concept map using all of those stages and as a result my finished product can only ever be read by me due to the scribbly lines everywhere.

      I can’t believe you generated that many ideas as just one person your mind must have been working overtime, and as a result the finished product offers extensive insight while still maintaining readability.

      If you are looking for ideas for assignment 1 you might find my post on Glogs interesting http://jenbrown.edublogs.org/2013/03/09/if-you-blog-sir-you-can-glogster/.

      Thanks so much for reading my post, I look forward to reading more of yours, I really enjoyed the toolbelt post.
      Kind regards,

  3. Pingback: Concept mapping – which one is more appealing? You choose!

  4. Hi Jen,

    I just wanted to say thanks for your post. I looked through a few and the explanation you gave of your process was really enlightening. I had difficulty downloading my first choice of mind map tool and than followed your suggestion about using Mindomo and it worked very easily and intuitively. I hope you don’t mind but I have placed a link in my post to this one of yours.


    • Hi Kate,
      Thanks so much for the ping back! I think that is the essence of this course and the PLN, using the research of others to inspire your own ideas. I loved the mindomo tool as I think it is one of the few that allowed you to join the ideas to other strands…..I had the same post it not under 3 different categories so this program allowed me to make the connections in a visually understandable way.
      I look forward to reading your blog as that is my task for the day to get inspiration from others. Good luck with the rest of this assignment, I tried out glogster as a possible candidate for part b of the assignment http://jenbrown.edublogs.org/2013/03/09/if-you-blog-sir-you-can-glogster/ it was super fun and easy to use- now for the content part.

  5. Pingback: Mind Map – ICT in Education: How & why? | Learning Through Connecting

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