The concept map was the first assignment for EDT 500. It was a great way for Dr. Penny to get to know us and to introduce the concept of mapping. A topic that all students are familiar with is themselves. By having this as a starting point when introducing new technology, it automatically adds a comfort level. Mapping tools connect to a variety of learning styles as well. And it also works well as a way to divide up projects if you have students working in teams. In this case, students can create the mind map, work out all the work that has to be done, and then attach them to nodes with names on it. They can even take it a step further and combine the “to do” with this, with each person also having a “to do” and “done” section, so that they can move things from the former to the latter and demonstrate how they’re progressing.
1c. Facilitate and Inspire Student Learning and Creativity: teachers promote student reflection using collaborative tools to reveal and clarify students’ conceptual understanding and thinking, planning, and creative processes.
The about me concept map was an initial step in using mapping tools. Overall, mind mapping tools are easy to use and yet they can really help you map out new ideas, explore concepts in more detail than you ever have before, and find holes in plans before you’ve gone so far that you can’t correct them. It creates a clean visualization of a students learning and thinking. It is an innovative way for students to go through the iterative process of brainstorming, connecting ideas and organizing their thoughts.
There are tools that can take mind mapping even further. One of my favorites is Trello. Genius Hour isn’t a new concept but best practices for rolling it out into schools are continually evolving. Trello is a wonderful tool to streamline the process for students. They can use it to document their progress as they work. Each step of the Genius Hour process can be manage using the Trello from creating and organizing their essential questions, transitioning into documenting their KWL and planning out their product- all with one tool! These tools teach essential skills to learners- from project and time management to organization.