This seemed like a great addition to the Thinking Map training we have all been through. We are always looking for alternatives to using chart paper and overhead projectors, yet those are what we are more comfortable with. Now there are various free applications that will allow our students to use computers to create these Thinking Maps, and even pull them up and create them on the Promethean Board.
I started first with Mindmeister because we create mind maps in New Jersey Writing as a prewriting activity. Students will love being able to create these story starters on the computers. What I thought was amazing is how when you web your mind map, you can collapse the categories, and click on it when you would like to see them. This hleps to keep the mind map neat. Also, you are capable of linking images and other pages to your mind map. This wouldbe the perfect end product or note organizer for any library research unit.
I played around with Gliffy to create a few flow charts. I have always loved flow charts. I am not sure why, being as random as I am, maybe it is because they can be colorful and creative, yet make me "look" more concrete. My favorite section on Gliffy was the floor plan model. I remember having my forth graders create their Ultimate Dream Room during our geometry unit. They had to use geometric shapes, create a scale, and determine the perimeter and area of their room. They would love using Gliffy to complete this assignment.