Mind Mapping Made Easy: MindMaple

MindMaple is an awesome mind mapping tool which can be used to the benefit of virtually everyone, but is of extremely high value in education.  MindMaple can bring your brainstorms off the notepad and into the electronic world, providing easy access for sharing and creating new ideas.  No longer will teachers sketch out ideas on paper, then transfer to a to do list, and later create a lesson plan, just to circle back to the to do list.  With MindMaple, it is easy to generate new ideas, visulaize the plan and structure, and then classify and group the ideas into a comprehensive lesson plan.  Meanwhile, from a student's perspective, MindMaple provides a solid foundation to brainstorm ideas and help solve problems and make decisions. 

Mind mapping is a strategy of great value when brainstorming ideas that are non-linear in nature.  The use of mind mapping is not necessarily a new idea, in fact it has roots with the great philospohers of the 3rd and 4th centuries.  What is new, however, is the amazing use of technology that MindMaple brings to the table.  Take a look at this video, and you will likely see within the first 30 seconds the value of MindMaple.  I personally took very specific note of how the user easily drops files and pictures into their brainstorm.

As you can see, MindMaple contains a highly user friendly interface designed to help the beginner while allowing the expert to continue to build. MindMaple also has a good balance between creative freedom and structure, allowing children and beginners to use the interface without difficulty. The toolbar is context sensitive, helping beginners along without overwhelming them with features.

Below you will see a brainstorm that is fairly common for all of us, a holiday shopping list.  You'll see the author included not only their gift ideas and budget, but also travel confirmations, links for their hotel, and their grocery list.  You can easily see how the author has transitioned from the big idea (holiday planning) into some progressively smaller categories.  MindMaple is created with the human thought process in mind, and presents ideas in a non-linear fashion, simliar to how we as humans develop thoughts.  As the mind jumps from idea to idea, MindMaple goes with it, providing structure and visual classifications. 

Now, this shopping list is pretty standard stuff in the picture above, but imagine bringing this technology into the school?  A history teacher could use MindMaple to create thought bubbles around presidents and attach documents, pictures and videos.  A football coach to write situational plays, personnel, and attach the plays.  A science teacher to categorize the elements from the periodic table. I personally will use it to help with classroom management - who has what job today, what are the details of the job, and what the upcoming schedule is.  And for mid-lesson engagement, MindMaple is a perfect tool for when your students answer aloud.

With the purpose of sharing in mind, MindMaple is very easily exported to Microsoft Word, Excel, Powerpoint, TXT, and HTML files.  These features allow for easy sharing of your ideas in any setting or to any user.  

MindMaple is currently featuring a 50% off sale, so the time to buy is definitely now.

Full Disclosure: Teaching Blog Addict has been compensated by MindMaple for time devoted to this review.

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