Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Trailmeme - Create and Trace Trails of Links

Trailmeme is an interesting new service that could be described as social bookmarking meets social mind mapping. The basic idea behind Trailmeme is that we all have our own way of connecting the things we find on the Internet when we research a topic. Trailmeme provides a way to record those connections and publish them as a mind map or flowchart that Trailmeme refers to as a "trail." When you publish your trail publicly other visitors to Trailmeme can "walk" the trail you created. Walking a trail means that you follow the map of labeled links created by another person. Watch the video below to learn more about Trailmeme.

Read Write Web has a good article about Trailmeme which is where I first learned about the service.

Applications for Education
At first the utility of Trailmeme didn't jump-out at me. After some exploration of the service, walking the history of coffee trail, walking the Gulf of Mexico Oil Spill Trail, and making my own short trail I started to see its potential in the classroom. Trailmeme could be useful for students to create a visual trail of their research. For the visual thinkers in your classroom the process of creating a "trail" could help those students think about how they are going to put a research paper together.

Here are some related items that may be of interest to you:
18 Formats for Visual Thinking in the Classroom
Seven Tools for Organizing Web Research
Nine Tools for Collaboratively Creating Mind Maps