Showing posts with label Concept Maps. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Concept Maps. Show all posts

Thursday, August 26, 2021

Five Benefits of Conducting Mind Mapping Activities

On Wednesday morning I published a long list of tools that students can use to create mind maps, concept maps, and flowcharts. What I didn't include in that blog post was a description of the differences between the those three things. I also didn't outline the benefits of mind mapping that students can experience. The purposes of this post are to explain the difference between mind maps and concept maps as well as list some benefits of having students complete mind mapping activities. 

Mind Maps versus Concept Maps
The process of creating a digital mind map begins with one key word or term placed in the center of the screen. Often, the central key word or term is represented by an image or icon. From that central word or term students add lines to connect to other words, terms, or ideas that they associate with the central word or term. Images and icons can be used to represent the associated words and terms. Students may use multiple font and line colors and sizes to indicate relationships or similarities between the words and terms in their mind maps. Finally, other than having a central word or term from which all ideas emanate, a mind map does not need to be arranged in a hierarchical manner nor should it be used as an assessment tool.

While concept maps and mind maps have similarities there are noteworthy differences. First, a concept map often has a hierarchical structure that is used to show the connections and segments of a large concept. Second, when an hierarchical structure is used for a concept map it is possible for there to be incorrect connections created. For example, a student creating a concept map about the seasons of the year would be incorrect to place "leaves change color" as a branch of "winter" instead of as a branch of "autumn." 

Five Benefits of Conducting Mind Mapping Activities
  1. When students create mind maps then share them with their teachers, teachers can gain some insight into how students currently view the connections between the parts of a given topic. 
  2. There are some studies indicating that when students create mind maps from scratch rather than working from a template provided by their teachers, recall and test scores improve. 
  3. Creating mind maps can generate new ideas and lead to ideas for further discussion and or research. 
  4. Using mind maps as part of an instructional strategy can help some students improve their reading comprehension skills.
  5. Creating mind maps can help students see connections between mathematics concepts and "the rest of the world." 

Friday, July 8, 2016

CK-12 Concept Maps Show Kids Connections Between Math and Science

The CK-12 Foundation recently released a new feature that should help students see the connections between topics in science and mathematics. CK-12 concepts maps are interactive webs of related math and science terms. Clicking on the "details" tab below a term in the web will lead students to definitions and explanations, to interactive concept simulations, and to interactive review exercises.

To find a concept map on CK-12 simply go to the CK-12 Concept Map page and enter a science or mathematics topic into the search box. You will then see a color-coded web of terms. Terms appearing in green will lead students to science resources. Terms appearing in blue will lead students to mathematics resources.

Applications for Education
CK-12 Concept Maps could be a good resource for teachers who are looking for ideas when developing lessons that incorporate mathematics and science around one topic. For example, the inertia concept map provided me with resources that could be used to teach Newton's first law as well as resources that could be used to teach the calculation of acceleration.

On the topic of CK-12 resources, take a look at their free online whiteboard tool called Stoodle.

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Population, Landscape, and Climate Maps

The Socioeconomic Data and Applications Center publishes data sets and maps designed to blend the studies of socioeconomics and Earth science. One of the results of that work is the creation of some interesting mapped visualizations of data sets. Some of the more interesting maps illustrate correlations between climate zone and population density. All of the maps can be downloaded and printed for free use in your classroom. The data sets behind the maps are also freely available for classroom use.

I've embedded below a zoomable (if that's a word) image of one of the maps from the collection. I used to make the map zoomable.

Applications for Education
Maps can be a social studies teacher's best friend. But they can also be useful for science teachers and math teachers who wish to have their students take information from data sets and transform it into something new. These maps could provide a model for a project in which your students collect local data and display it on a map.

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Conceptboard - A Collaborative Whiteboard Space

There are many ways for teams of students to collaborate online and here's another promising one. Conceptboard is a service that provides an online whiteboard space that you can use to share drawings, documents, spreadsheets, and more. You can create drawings and diagrams from scratch or upload an existing file that you have. You can invite as many people as you want to have an online conversation about whatever is shared on the whiteboard. Notes can be pinned to specific items on the whiteboard so that there is not any confusion about what each note is related to. Conceptboard is designed to work on your iPad without installing any separate apps.

Watch the short video below to learn more and see Conceptboard in action.

Applications for Education
Conceptboard, like similar services such as Scribblar, could be a good tool for providing students with short online tutorials and explanations of concepts. Students could use Conceptboard for online peer tutoring or peer editing. For group work, Conceptboard could be used by students for brainstorming sessions.

Sunday, January 23, 2011

What's in a Surname? - A Map of Names

The February issue of National Geographic includes a neat mapped display of surnames across the United States. Titled What's in a Surname? the map displays which surnames are most common in different regions of the US. The larger the surname appears, the more common it is in that region. For example, in Maine Pelletier is a common surname therefore it appears larger on the map than other surnames do. You can zoom in and out on the map and scroll around to examine the map.
Applications for Education
When I saw What's in a Surname? I immediately thought that it could be useful as part of a lesson on patterns of immigration to the United States. Students could trace the origins of a surname and try identify when people with that surname started immigrating to the US. Students could then research why people with that surname settled where they did.

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

MDG Maps - Millenium Development Goal Maps

Millenium Development Goal Maps (MDG Maps) is a free tool for generating maps displaying development data about the world. The data comes from Millenium Development Goals data sets at the World Bank Data Set website. To use MDG Maps select a goal and then a development indicator from the menu provided. MDG Maps then produces a color-coded map representing the data set. You can place your cursor over any country on the map to view specific data. MDG Maps can be download as PDFs.
H/T to Google Maps Mania.

Applications for Education 
MDG Maps could be a useful tool for students of geography, political science, and global economics. Data maps are good for providing students with a means to visually compare data sets. I can see MDG Maps being a resource for students to quickly compare development indicators of countries in a region or continent. Use the comparisons students make as the jumping-off point for research into the causes and solutions of development inequalities between countries.

Monday, December 27, 2010

Mapping America - Census Data by Zip Code

The New York Times has taken US Census data and created some good mapped displays of that data. Mapping America offers four categories of maps that you can explore; education, housing and families, income, and race and ethnicity. In each category you can choose from a variety of sub-categories of display. Select a category and subcategory then enter your zip code to see a mapped display of the data from your community. The image below is of the map of the population in Portland, Maine holding a Master's degree.

Applications for Education
Mapping America could be a good way for students to learn more about their own communities, neighboring communities, or any place of interest to them in the US. Students can explore the data in the maps and research what it means for the community. For example, my Civics students recently completed a project in which they had to research some demographic data about their community and include that data in their development of proposals for stimulating the local economy.

Here are some related items that may be of interest to you:
Economics Lessons Using Planet Money Podcasts
Infographic - The Most Expensive Places to Live
Video - Project Based Learning Explained

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Do You Like Maps? Check Out The Map Room

For as long as I can remember I have loved to look at maps. It's probably one of the reasons I always did well in my social studies classes. If you're like me and you enjoy maps too, you should check out a blog titled The Map Room that I recently discovered. Even if you're not a map lover, but you teach social studies you should also browse The Map Room. The Map Room is a blog about all things maps. You'll find a variety of creative uses of maps in The Map Room. I should warn you though that the author of the site does occasionally use some language that is not appropriate for school so you probably don't want to send students to browse it. I'll use The Map Room for inspiration and ideas about using maps in ways that I haven't previously thought of.

Update: As Stephen Downes reminds us, another excellent place to find interesting maps is Strange Maps.

Thursday, November 11, 2010

The Evolution of the European Union Mapped

Explania, a member of the Common Craft Explainer Network, produces explanatory videos and animations. One of the animations they've produced is a simple interactive map documenting the growth of the European Union. As you will see in the map below, you can select a date on the timeline included on the map to see the size of the European Union increase as you progress through the 20th and 21st Centuries.

The evolution of the European Union - Explania

Applications for Education
The Evolution of the European Union map is a simple resource that students can use to see the expansion of the EU from 1957 through today. The map is a good model for a project that students could do with Google Maps or Scribble Maps. Students could use Sribble Maps to develop a map charting the expansion and or contraction of any country's borders through history.

Here are some related items that may be of interest to you:
The Bayeux Tapestry Animated
Timelines TV - British and American History Videos
Ancient Web - The Ancient World's Great Civilizations

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

News Map - Find World News by Location

A few weeks I shared the news mapping service Mapeas with you. Not long after that Mapeas hit a technical glitch, but I'm happy to report that it is fully functional again. Tonight, I'd like to share with you another service that helps you locate world news stories by location. News Map is a relatively simple mash-up of Google Maps and Yahoo News. To use News Map select a region from the tabbed menu then click on a country to see a list of current news stories. For some larger countries you can further refine your search by state, province, or city.

News Map was included in a Make Use Of list of news maps.

Applications for Education
News Map and resources like it can useful for providing students with a variety of perspectives on world news and a variety of stories. You could have students use News Map to compare the ways the same story is reported by media outlets in different parts of the world.

Here are some related items that may be of interest to you:
AP Timeline Reader
Ten by Ten - Visual Links to World News
Science and Statistics Animations

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

Target Map - Create Mapped Displays of Data

Target Map is a new service that allows anyone to create mapped displays of data sets. Users of Target Map can importa and map their own data sets, use data sets from other users, use data sets found online, or manually input data onto a map. When I created my sample map, I choose to manually input data.

Target Map allows you to map data for a country, a region, or for the whole world. You can customize the display to make borders appear faint or bold and alter the look of data points. Although at first glance Target Map's user interface might not appear to be terribly intuitive, it is actually quite easy to use if you follow the directions.

Target Map is free to use if you agree to publish your maps to the public gallery. If you want to keep your maps private you can do so for a small fee. The first time you create a map on Target Map it is reviewed for quality before it is added to the public gallery. Below you will see a map from the Target Map gallery. (Click image to launch map with data key).

Applications for Education
Data sets on their own can be difficult for some students to analyze. Target Map could be an excellent way for students to visualize and analyze data sets that they create or find online. Target Map makes it possible for students to visually compare economic, demographic, scientific, and other statistics. I can see myself using Target Map in my World Studies course to have students create maps comparing economic growth data from different countries around the world.

Here are some related items that may be of interest to you:
Google Fusion Tables - Data Visualization Made Easy
New Visualization Charts in Google Docs
12 Resources All Social Studies Teachers Should Try

Friday, October 1, 2010

Show World - Infographic Maps

Show World is an interactive mapping website that takes demographic, economic, environmental, and political data sets and creates maps based on those data. This can be done with Google Earth and Google Maps before, but Show World is slightly different. Each time you select a different data set, the size of each country increases or decreases in comparison to other countries. For example, if you select the data set about steel production, the size of China is huge relative to African countries. On the other hand, if you select the data set for students not in school, the African countries swell while China decreases in size.

The maps generated by Show World can be downloaded. You can also embed the animated maps into your blog. To get the embed code you do have to submit your email address.

Applications for Education
Show World is a great way for students to visually interpret data sets. Having students explore the data sets and watch the size of the countries change could be a good discussion starting activity. Exploring the data sets on Show World could also be the starting point for research about the economic and social conditions of countries around the world.

Saturday, April 10, 2010

Interactive Maps Based on the Bible

This might be the closest I've ever come to mentioning religion on this blog. In the interest of neutrality, if you know of interactive maps based on other religions, leave a comment with a link and I'll link it to this post.

The website hosts six interactive maps tracing stories from the New Testament of the Bible. The maps were created using Google Maps. The list of maps includes Paul's 1st, 2nd, and 3rd mission journeys, Paul's journey to Rome, a map of Jesus's ministry, and a map of the cities mentioned in the book of Revelation.

Applications for Education
These maps might be useful for anyone teaching a course on religion. The maps also provide a model that students can use to create their own maps of religious stories.

Here are some related items that may be of interest to you:
Free 33 Page Guide - Google for Teachers
Historic Maps in K-12 Classrooms
Maps of War - Animated Thematic Maps

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Stat Planet - Data Visualization

Stat Planet is a thematic mapping website. Stat Planet relies on data from UNESCO is a project of SACMEQ. Stat Planet can be used to create thematic maps based on a variety of development indicators from the fields of education, health care, and economics. Stat Planet can be used online in your browser or you can download Stat Planet. Downloading Stat Planet gives you the option to include your other data sets and create a custom map.

Applications for Education
Stat Planet is a good resource for students to use to create thematic maps. Stat Planet can also be used by students to make inferences as to the reason for inequities be
tween countries and regions of the world. After making those inferences students can conduct research to investigate whether or not they were correct.

Thursday, January 29, 2009

Newseum - Today's Front Pages Mapped

I view hundreds of websites and links to websites everyday so when a site grabs my attention and sucks me in like Newseum's Today's Front Pages did today, I have no choice but to share it with all of you. Newseum's Today's Front Pages application is a series of nine maps that display the current front page of major newspapers around the world. Little orange colored dots on each map correspond to the publishing location of each newspaper. Placing your mouse pointer on one of the dots generates a preview of that newspaper's current front page. Click on the preview and you can read that front page or click through to the newspaper's website. The screenshot below is of the US Newseum map.

Thanks to Cairnsco on Twitter for the link to Newseum.

Applications for Education
Newseum's Today's Front Page is a fun tool for students to use as to search and explore news stories from around the world. Not all of the newspapers revealed on Newseum's maps are printed in English. This makes Newseum's Today's Front Page not only a good resource for Social Studies teachers, but also foreign language teachers.

Here are a couple of other resources for finding and teaching about current news stories.
Newsmap - Visualize the Constantly Changing News Landscape
The Week in Rap - Weekly News Summaries

Wednesday, February 27, 2008

Free Technology For Teachers: Visual Complexity

Visual Complexity is a website hosting hundreds of images that map complex concepts. The images on Visual Complexity are linked to the websites that developed the concept images. For example, the image to the left is linked to part of a concept map from the Blue Brain Project at IBM Research.

Applications for Educators
Visual Complexity covers numerous concepts related to high school content areas. Visual Complexity is a good research resource for students as it goes beyond simple images by linking to source of the concept image and providing significant background information. In addition to being a good research resource for students, Visual Complexity's concept images are useful teaching resources.