Collaboration is an important aspect of any 21st century classroom, and there are numerous tools to help you develop these skills with students. If you are thinking of doing brainstorming or mindmapping activities with students there are lots of clear applications to use that will support student learning. I was prompted to write this after lots of discussion from the TOK teachers about how to get students to expand their thoughts and eventually brainstorm together.
Traditional Approach – posters, paper, group discussion, placing mindmaps on the wall
Digital Approach – online mindmaps, available later, can update, share with others, colours
Bubble.Us – Online Mindmapping
Bubble.Us Beta (https://bubbl.us/) is my favourite option for simple online mindmapping and sharing. The key functions is that once students have created an account, they can log back in and see the same mindmap again. They can download these mindmaps as images and place them in thier notes, or embed a mindmap into a blog to share with their friends.
The mindmap can be adjusted as the thinking evolves, changing colours, shifting nodes and adding new connections. Here are some brief instructions on creating and sharing a bubbl.us mindmap.
Prezi Meeting – Online Presentations and Mindmapping
Prezi (http://www.prezi.com) was my favourite tool for a while and enables you to create great presentations. Prezi gives you a blank canvas for a presentation and adds functions which enable you to zoom in to detail and then set paths to switch between ideas. I have created a few prezis for Economics, one is below which describes an Introduction to Development Economics.
The latest development by Prezi is to allow online collaboration in Prezi Meetings. Through simply sharing the link as an invite to other people in the class, up to 10 student can develop one Prezi at a time. Students will see avatars of their friends floating around the screen as they all make different changes simultaneously. The video below describes the process. Make sure you create an educational account with Prezi, thereby giving you the extra storage space.