This article was updated on October 8, 2021.
Most teachers are already familiar with mind mapping and similar brainstorming techniques and know about their use in facilitating creativity and the free flow of ideas. However, in contrast to regular paper mind maps, online mind mapping offers a range of additional possibilities for both students and teachers that make it one of the most practical applications that can be employed in a classroom. In this article, we want to give you a quick overview of what online mind mapping is and how you can use it in the classroom, with MindMeister, the market-leader in online mind mapping.
What Is Online Mind Mapping?
Online mind mapping is a means for teachers and students to work collaboratively and brainstorm together in real-time. The software basically offers a two-dimensional canvas which allows teachers and students to explore ideas, concepts and other types of information visually.
Mind maps can easily be shared with individuals or whole groups of students, who can then contribute to them by adding their own ideas, images, links to external websites, files, notes or even tasks. Being web-based, online mind mapping software runs inside the web browser and requires neither installation nor updating. This is especially important because it frees up IT resources and can easily be managed by teachers, who are able to add new students to the system with just a few clicks.
5 Uses of Online Mind Mapping in the Classroom
1. Note Taking and Revising: Teachers can easily prepare an overview mind map for a new topic, and share it with their entire class. Each student can then expand the map with their own notes and use it for later revisions of the material.
2. Creating Stunning Presentations: Using the built-in presentation mode, users can turn their mind maps into engaging slideshows with just a few clicks. Besides being able to present their slideshows in class, teachers can also embed them in blogs or websites.
3. Monitoring Student Participation: With MindMeister’s History View users can go back in time and replay the entire change history of a mind map. Teachers can thus make out the thought process of their students as well as retrace the participation of each map contributor.
4. Research and Writing: Mind maps are the ideal format to brainstorm and outline texts before starting the actual writing process. Students can then export their outline as a Word document and use it as the basis for further expansion.
5. Conquering Learning Disabilities: Students with learning disabilities such as dyslexia or high-functioning autism can benefit tremendously from the visual depiction of information provided by mind maps.
“Mind mapping records the interconnections and structures of complex texts for me and takes the pressure off me holding them in my head.”
Donna Nicholson Arnott, dyslexic student in higher education
Benefits of Online Mind Mapping
Online mind mapping has helped millions of students optimize their study time and improve test scores, and more and more teachers are convinced by the numerous benefits this technique offers:
- Improves collaboration and teamwork
- Structures information visually
- Displays connections and hierarchies
- Enhances memory through the use of mental triggers
- Increases productivity and makes note taking more efficient
- Facilitates a free flow of ideas and fosters creativity
- Is a great presentation tool
- Doesn’t feel like work!
The Market Leader in Online Mind Mapping
MindMeister is the market leader in online mind mapping and is already used by over 200.000 teachers and students worldwide. The tool offers free mobile apps for iPhone, iPad and Android devices, which enable students to effectively bridge home and school activities. The intuitive user interface is especially designed for a quick and easy mapping experience that doesn’t require training and is suited for students of eight years and up.
“My grade 3 students had it figured out in no time”
Jennifer Friske, Elementary School Teacher