Wednesday, March 2, 2011

Now That's a Spicy Mindmap #edtech

Today's post is a result of following Dean Phillips (@caddiscaster) on Twitter.  He has been a valuable resource because he is either in attendance at or virtually following  #ncce2011 (Northwest Council for Computer Education - 2011) in Portland.  He began sharing a number of amazing applications this morning. One of them was called SpicyNodes. My jaw almost hit the ground when I opened the site. I am a big believer in mindmap tools as a way to brainstorm.  It's one reason why I like Pearltrees as a social bookmarking tool - it reminds me a lot of a mindmap.  Now, I have explored a number of mindmap tools. mind42.com, bubbl.us and mindmeister.com to name a few.  And I'm sure I'll review all of these at some point during this 365 project of mine.  But Spicynodes has blown me away, before I have even created my first mind map using it!  Why?  Because it has the look and feel of the popular presentation tool Prezi.  OK, so it's shiny (one of the reasons I'm not impressed with Prezi)! But sometimes that can make a tool powerful because it makes the process engaging. Sometimes learning can be fun.  I know I have enjoyed looking at some of the examples that are already in their gallery.  It allows you to add images and links (perhaps even soundfiles?) to the nodes of your mindmap and I see potential for creating timelines, flowcharts visualizing information and contextualizing the learning process  They see the potential too. Check out their section just for teachers: http://www.spicynodes.org/what_are_they-teaching_guide.html.

Better yet look at the example below on Student Learning Styles:
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