Mind maps are a pretty common activity in many subjects. They’ve been around forever and usually evoke little moans around the classroom when students hear about having to make one. Mind maps are often seen as mundane and overused, and that may be true, but they can also be extremely useful in creating a visual layout of virtually any subject, topic, unit, piece of literature etc. So what if there was a way to make this seemingly boring, yet helpful activity, more suitable for the 21st century classroom? Mindomo can help with that. Mindomo is an app or web-based program that allows students and/or teachers to interact with mind map centred interfaces. There are many templates available for personalisation such as the classic mind map, assignments that can be submitted, concept maps and these neat “organigrams” which allow concepts, ideas, topics etc. to be organised efficiently and visually-and these are just the basics.
The tool was super easy to use and manipulate. One of the most frustrating things for me when I was tasked with creating a mind map, was the constant struggle with organisation. Often the branches on one side become over-populated or I would forget about a topic that I later had to add and squish it into the corner. Mindomo takes away that annoying problem by allowing any section or piece of your map to be manoeuvred with ease. The cosmetic details are easy and fun to play around with as well. They eliminates the need for colouring and measuring etc. and allows for a sleek, clean and easy to follow and read product. Mind maps and their equivalents can be used as methods of lesson delivery, essay planning for individual students or as end of unit reviews which can be done individually or in collaboration. I created the above concept map in about 15 minutes and that was my first time using the site. A mind map is a visually stimulating way to lay out the proceedings of an up-coming unit without the need for too much explanation or time involved. Mindomo allows connections to be drawn between topics which can be so important in science and project based programs.
Mind maps could be worked into any subject or unit and are great for visual learners. Even though I was usually less than enthusiastic about the process, I always felt like I knew the material after I had completed a mind map when I was in school. So if Mindomo can help ease some of the ordinary, annoying and lengthy aspects of the activity, I think the prospect of creating mind maps will be much less daunting and unpopular for today’s students.