Friday, August 22, 2008

An evaluation of some Mind mapping tools

After having a successful play with wisdomap, I did an exploration of Web 2.0 mind mapping software that might be useful. Mashable com provides a list of over 30 mind mapping tools and there are other lists at Mehta nirav com and at rev2 org. So there are lots out there and many are available for use for free. I randomly chose three others, put up some mindmaps which are adaptions of what I would usually put up on the board at the start of a session and here are the results.

Firstly I put up a mind map on research paradigms on . It was very easy to sign up (instant) and then it took 10 minutes to set up the map and save the image as a jpeg file. To share the image, you email the link to others, or invite others to subscribe to & access your mind map. This is useful if the mind map is to be used by students to set up their own mind maps.

Both Mindomo & mindmeister required registration and then the return of a confirmation email to get started.

Mindomo has a Windows type interface, so it is familiar to use & I set up a mind map on learning styles in about ten minutes. The image is not as colourful or visually attractive as Wisdomap or but it is easy to use, you can share your maps easily and collaboration on maps is possible.

Mindmeister provides good tutorials, including a short video on how to go about using the tool. The main difference between mindmeister and the rest is that it allows more than one person to work on the mind map at the SAME time. Although not as visually exciting as some of the others, the interface is easy to use. I put up the assessment map very quickly & sharing the map is also straightforward.

At the moment, I would probably stick with wisdomap as it is visually attractive, easy to use and provides the option of attaching other supporting material to the map (photos, videos, powerpoints etc). This makes it the wisdomap useful as a ‘one-stop’ revision site for some of the classes I teach. None of the above seemed to have mobile capabilities but I did download wisdomap on to my treo but only a thumbnail was displayed as the Treo only had internet explorer 6.

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