Map Your Ideas with Mindomo

mindmap_unquietlibrary

After experiencing a creative breakthrough while running in the Georgia heat and humidity this morning, I was finally able to pull together ideas that have been swirling in my head all summer, ideas that have been at the edges of my mind, but that I somehow couldn’t seem to verbalize in a more concrete format.   As I’ve been trying hard to get these ideas committed to print and out of my head in preparation for a presentation I will be giving to my faculty next week, I wanted to provide a visual representation of these ideas.  I decided to lay the groundwork for my “presentation zen” edition of the PowerPoint by creating a mindmap using Mindomo.

Why Mindomo?  I first encountered an example of a mindmap created with this web based software at the beginning of January 2009; I unfortunately didn’t take notes on how I found this first example, but it impressed me enough that I knew I wanted to try it this summer.  At first, I had difficulty figuring out the user menu, but after fumbling around, I finally figured it out for the most part this weekend.

Some advantages of Mindomo over some other mindmapping software I sampled:

  • It is web based, so no special software is needed; you can enjoy the advntages of cloud computing.
  • Many different menu options for formatting and embedding content are included.  I especially love that you can easily embed  YouTube videos!
  • You can enable others to collaborate and add content to your mindmap.
  • Several publishing options are available, including publishing your mindmap as a web page or embed code.
  • Web links and videos work live in the web page version of your mindmap; viewers can also read your notes!
  • You can go with a free version that includes Google AdSense ads or pay to have an account with some additional features and no ads.  You  can do a six month premium account or a twelve month option; I decided to go with the six month option.

You can view my map by clicking on this link here. You can click on the numbers 1, 2, and 3 in the upper right hand corner to expand levels of topics and subtopics.  If you click on the “+” symbol next to a box, you can also expand the content.  In addition, you an adjust the view by using the slider bar in the lower right hand corner to increase or decrease the viewing area of the map.

The map is a visualization of my vision,  mission, philosophy, and goals for my library program for 2009-10.  By creating this map today, I can now begin to organize my PowerPoint, which will incorporate the principles of presentation zen I have used earlier this year.  I am hopeful that my multimedia presentation will capture the minds and hearts of my faculty either refresh or reinvent their perception of the potential and possibilities of our library.

In addition to the striking visual appeal and organization of the map, I especially like that I can add interactive content to make my map more organic and dynamic.    If you are looking for a tool to create memorable mindmaps, I highly recommend you give Mindomo a try!

Viewzi, the Visual Search Engine

I discovered several cool tools yesterday at the BIGGER Conference at Georgia Southern University—one of these tools is Viewzi, the visual search engine.  In a nutshell, Viewzi searches a wide range of content, including websites, videos, mp3 files , images, news sites, and Google Books; it can generate tag clouds related to your search and allow you to search content related to those tags, too!  Here is a visual representation it generated for me for a Google timeline on stem cells:

viewzi1

I think students, especially visually oriented learners, will enjoy this graphic way of searching and exploring results!  I am looking forward to exploring this fun alternative search engine.

You can read more about Viewzi in this Read Write Web article; you may also want to check out this TechCrunch article.  Follow Viewzi on Twitter! for updates and news on Viewzi.

Resources for Using Wordle

wordle

Many of you are familiar with the wonderful visualization tool, Wordle.   I just used Wordle this week to help my students review EOCT terms and to show the significant names, concepts, and events from their multigenre Gilded Age research project–some of our Wordles are now embedded as widgets at http://project810.word.press.com (best viewed in Firefox).

Twitter friend Angela Maiers shared the link to this terrific overview of Wordle on SlideShare:

Here are some  great blog posts to help you think more about the educational applications of Wordle:

You may want to join the Diigo Wordle Group to get additional ideas from fellow educators for applications in the classroom of this cool Web 2.0 tool.  Also, be sure to check out the official  Wordle blog!