With my class of pre-intermediate students, we’ve been experimenting with a variety of online/offline brainstorming and mind-mapping tools to help them create visually stimulating representations of their ideas.
Linoit a neat little tool for initial brainstorming sessions round a topic, it looks like a corkboard and you can stick post-it notes on it with ideas/suggestions.
There’s also the option to embed You Tube video, pictures or documents. You can adjust the permissions so that anyone can post to it without the need for registering and multiple students can work on the same page at the same time from different computers. I often use this to gather pros/cons about a particular topic (e.g. animal cruelty, studying abroad) that they are going to write about.
In the past I used a similar tool called Wallwisher, but this turned out to be a little unreliable, so I now prefer Linoit.
It’s a shame that this software programme is hidden away in the Load Applications folder on the University managed desktop as it’s a really useful piece of software. Students can create very detailed and elaborate diagrams/mind-maps using the interface and it’s easy to move the branches around and create sub-branches.
The one feature I really like about this is that you can export your diagram into a variety of formats (Word, JPEG, HTML) and create a written outline at the same time. The only thing is that the file sizes are pretty large (3-4MBs)
There are a few other online mind-mapping tools available such as Popplet, bubbl.us, Lucid Chart but I haven’t had much opportunity to try them out with my students. If anyone has any experience using them, it would be great to hear how effective you found them.