Showing posts with label diagram creation. Show all posts
Showing posts with label diagram creation. Show all posts

Thursday, November 28, 2019

Twelve Good Tools for Creating Mind Maps & Flowcharts - Updated

Earlier this week I published a video about a neat new service called Transo that lets you turn your notes into a mind map with just one click. Creating that video and writing the corresponding blog post got me to revisit a list of mind mapping tools that I published a couple of months ago. Here's my updated list of mind mapping and flowchart creation tools.

Transno
Transno is a service that lets you write notes and outlines that can then be turned into mind maps and flowcharts with just one click. It reminds me a lot of the old Text2MindMap service that I used to use. Transno is better because it offers a variety of mind map and flowchart styles while Text2MindMap only offered one. Transno also supports collaboration by letting you invite others to edit and add to your notes. In the following video I demonstrate how Transno works.



Canvas by Google
Canvas is a new drawing tool from Google. Canvas is a great alternative to Google Drawings for iPad and Android tablet users. Canvas lets anyone create a drawing in his or her web browser by simply going to Canvas.apps.chrome. Once there you can start drawing on a blank canvas. There are four drawing tools that you can use to draw in a wide array of colors. Watch my video that is embedded below to see Canvas in action.


Google Slides & PowerPoint
If your students have a computer in front of them, they probably have access to either Google Slides or PowerPoint or both. Google Slides and PowerPoint have built-in tools that students can use to create flowcharts. The following videos demonstrate how students can use Google Slides and PowerPoint to create flowcharts. As you'll see in the videos, you can make the flowcharts interactive through the use of linking in PowerPoint and Google Slides.





Bubbl.us
Bubbl.us is a mind mapping and flowchart tool that I've been recommending for more than a decade. It has evolved overtime to keep up with the needs of students, teachers, and other users. Creating mind maps on Bubbl.us is an easy process of simply clicking on the center of your screen then entering the central topic of your mind map. The next step is to add "child" topics or bubbles that are connected to the central topic. Those are added by clicking the "+" that appears while holding your cursor over an existing bubble.




Padlet
Padlet offers templates for creating flowcharts and know, want, learn charts. Unfortunately, you can only make three Padlet walls before you have to either delete one to make a new one or upgrade to a paid plan. The upside to using Padlet is that it's designed for collaboration.



Text2MindMap
This is a mind mapping tool that was a commercial project for a few years before going out of business then coming back as an open-source project supported by Tobias Løfgren. The way that it works is that you type a linear outline and Text2MindMap will automatically generate a corresponding mind map. To use it simply go here, clear the existing text and replace it with your own text. Every line that you type in your outline becomes a node in the mind map. You can create a branch from a node by simply indenting a line in your outline.

Post-it App for Android and iOS
The Post-it mobile apps for Android and iOS let you take a picture of physical sticky notes and then sort them on a digital canvas.



MindMup
MindMup is a free mind mapping tool that can be used online, with Google Drive, and on your desktop. MindMup works like most mind mapping tools in that you can create a central idea and add child and sibling nodes all over a blank canvas. MindMup nodes can contain text and links. When you're ready to save your MindMup mind map you can save it to Google Drive, save it to your desktop, or publish it online. If you publish it online, you can grab an embed code for it to post it in a blog post or webpage.

Coggle
Coggle is a collaborative mind-mapping service that is very easy to use. To create a Coggle mind map just sign-in with your Google account and click the "+" icon to start your mind map. After entering the main idea of your mind map you can add branches by clicking the "+" icons that appear next to everything you type. To re-arrange elements just click on them and drag them around your screen. Coggle is a collaborative tool. You can invite others to view and edit your mind maps.



Google Drawings and Google Jamboard
Both of these free Google tools can be used to create mind maps and flowcharts. Drawings has more features than Jamboard. The upside of Jamboard is that it's probably a more intuitive tool for new users. Demonstrations of how to use both tools are embedded below.



SpiderScribe
Spider Scribe is an online mind map creation service. Spider Scribe can be used individually or be used collaboratively. What jumps out about Spider Scribe is that users can add images, maps, calendars, text notes, and uploaded text files to their mind maps. Users can connect the elements on their mind maps or let them each stand on their own. You can embed your interactive SpiderScribe mind map into your blog or website.

Friday, November 20, 2015

7 Tools for Creating Flowcharts, Mind Maps, and Diagrams

This morning on Twitter I was sent a direct message from someone who was looking for recommendations for a free flowchart creation tool. Lucidchart was my immediate recommendation. Over the years I've reviewed a lot of other flowchart, mind map, and diagramming tools. Here is my updated list of suggestions for flowchart, mind map, and diagramming tools.

Lucidchart is a mind mapping tool that can be used in your web browser or on your iPad. The app and the website are both easy to use to create flowcharts, mind maps, and graphic organizers. Lucidchart offers a simple drag and drop interface for creating flow charts, organizational charts, mind maps, and other types of diagrams. To create with Lucidchart just select elements from the menus and drag them to the canvas. You can re-size any element and type text within elements on your chart. Arrows and connecting lines can be re-sized, rearranged, and labeled to bring clarity to your diagrams.

When it comes to organizing their thoughts some students prefer to use an outline style while others see large concepts better when they're in a mind map format. Text 2 Mind Map bridges the gap between the outline format and the mind map format by providing a tools for creating both on the same page. In the video embedded below I demonstrate how to use Text 2 Mind Map.


Coggle is a collaborative mind-mapping service that is very easy to use. To create a Coggle mind map just sign-in with your Google account and click the "+" icon to start your mind map. After entering the main idea of your mind map you can add branches by clicking the "+" icons that appear next to everything you type. To re-arrange elements just click on them and drag them around your screen. Coggle is a collaborative tool. You can invite others to view and edit your mind maps. You can also just invite others to view by sending them an email through Coggle. All Coggle mind maps can be downloaded as PDFs or PNG image files.

MindMup is a free mind mapping tool that can be used online, with Google Drive, and on your desktop. MindMup works like most mind mapping tools in that you can create a central idea and add child and sibling nodes all over a blank canvas. MindMup nodes can contain text and links. When you're ready to save your MindMup mind map you can save it to Google Drive, save it to your desktop, or publish it online. If you publish it online, you can grab an embed code for it to post it in a blog post or webpage.

Sketchlot is a free collaborative whiteboard service that works on any device that has a web browser. I tested it on my MacBook, my iPad, and my Android tablet. Sketchlot is designed for teacher and student use. Teachers create their own accounts and then inside that account they can create a list of students. Each student is assigned his or her own password to use to join a drawing shared by his or her teacher. Teachers can create as many drawings as they like and share them on an individual basis. Teachers can share their drawings to one or all of their students at a time. Students can create their own sketches to share back to their teachers through Sketchlot.

Connected Mind is a free mind mapping tool that you can find in the Google Chrome Web Store. Using Connected Mind you can create free-form mind maps or use a template. A lot of mind mapping tools lock you into using straight lines between elements, but Connected Mind is not one of them. Connected Minds allows you to create mind maps in any configuration that you like. As it is a Chrome Web Store app, Connected Mind allows you to save your work online using your Google Account credentials.

Stormboard is a slick new service designed for hosting collaborative online brainstorming activities. Stormboard allows you to create an unlimited amount of "idea boards" or Stormboards with up to five collaborators on each one. Each of your Stormboards can include sticky notes, images, videos, drawings, and word documents. Moving items around on your Stormboard is a simple drag and drop process like the one you may have used on services like Padlet. Each item that you add to your Stormboard includes a commenting option that your collaborators can use to give you feedback on your ideas.

Thursday, April 3, 2014

7 Online Tools for Creating Charts & Diagrams

Through the Free Technology for Teachers Facebook page I recently received a request for some suggested online chart creation tools.


Lucidchart is an easy tool to use to create flowcharts, mindmaps, and graphic organizers. Lucidchart offers a simple drag and drop interface for creating flow charts, organizational charts, mind maps, and other types of diagrams. To create with Lucidchart just select elements from the menus and drag them to the canvas. You can re-size any element and type text within elements on your chart. Arrows and connecting lines can be re-sized, repositioned, and labeled to bring clarity to your diagrams.


Lucidchart offers Google Drive integration through a Chrome web app. If your school uses Google Apps for Education, you can add Lucidchart to your domain. Both of these options make it easy for students to save and share their work online. Lucidchart charges business customers, but makes all of their tools free for teachers and students.

Google Fusion Tables is a neat spreadsheet application that makes it easy to create visualizations of data sets. Fusion Tables can also be used to create visualizations of data set comparisons. At its most basic level Fusion Tables can be used to visualize existing data sets with one click. At a deeper level, Fusion Tables can be used to compare your own data sets and create visualizations of those comparisons. The types of visualizations available include tables, maps, charts, and graphs. As a Social Studies teacher, I really like the map visualization options.

Hohli Online Charts Builder is a nice tool for creating a variety of charts for online display. Using the Hohli Online Charts Builder you can create bar graphs, line graphs, pie charts, Venn diagrams, scatter plots, and radar charts. To use create your chart first select the type and size of display that you desire. Then fill in the corresponding form with the information that you want displayed. Your chart will be generated as you enter information so that you can see how each piece of information influences the chart. When you're satisfied with your chart just click on it to save it to your computer or to grab the embed code to use on your blog or website.

Infogr.am is an online tool for creating interactive charts and graphs to use in interactive infographics. There are four basic chart types that you can create on Infogr.am; bar, pie, line, and matrix. Each chart type can be edited to use any spreadsheet information that you want to upload to your Infogr.am account. The information in that spreadsheet will be displayed in your customized chart. When you place your cursor over your completed chart the spreadsheet information will appear in small pop-up window. Your Infogr.am charts can be embedded into your blog, website, or wiki.

Better World Flux is a free data visualization development tool that was created for the World Bank's Apps for Development Challenge. The purpose of the challenge was to encourage app developers to create products that could be used to highlight the development data hosted by the World BankBetter World Flux allows users to create animated visualizations of development data. To use Better World Flux (no registration required) all you have to do is select a data set from the menu provided and select a country or countries from the menu provided. From there Better World Flux creates an animated data visualization for you. The visualization will change as the years on the timeline at the bottom of the visualization change. This way users can see growth and recession of a statistic over time.

Gapminder is a great tool for creating data visualizations. Gapminder gives users the ability to create graphs of hundreds of demographic and economic indicators. I like Gapminder because it provides a good way for visual learners to see data sets in a context that is significantly different from standard data sets. Gapminder has a page for educators on which they can find thematic animations, graphs, quizzes, model lessons, and a PDF guide to using Gapminder. For teachers working in schools with slow Internet connections or very strict filtering, Gapminder has a desktop application that you can download and install for Mac or Windows computers.

Haiku Deck's web application is a great tool for designing visually-appealing slideshows. The latest update to the Haiku Deck web app includes support for charts and graphs. Now in your Haiku Deck slides you can create bar graphs, pie charts, and stat charts. You can adjust the values in bar graphs by clicking and dragging each column. Pie charts are made by typing percentages. Stat charts are simply captioned columns of statistics.

Thursday, June 16, 2011

Best of 2011 So Far - Quicklyst

Now that my school year is over I'm taking a short fly fishing vacation. The posts for the rest of the week highlight my favorite resources of 2011 so far.

Quicklyst is a nice tool for taking notes and creating outlines. Quicklyst provides a simple outline template that you can use to take notes. There are two neat features of Quicklyst that really stand out. First, you can do basic web searches within the framework of taking notes. To do a search just type a question mark (?) before a word then press enter. Quicklyst will then fill-in that line with some basic information about that word. For example, when I typed ?egypt that line on my outline was filled with some basic information about Egypt. The other useful feature offered by Quicklyst is the option to search within your notes. If you've created a lot of outlines in your Quicklyst account you can use the search function to quickly locate your notes about a particular topic.

Quicklyst can be accessed from your computer, your Kindle, your iOS device, or your Android device. You can also download and print your notes from Quicklyst.

Applications for Education
Quicklyst could be a good resource for students who need help creating notes and outlines in a consistent format. The built-in search function could be handy when students are taking notes during a lecture and they hear a word they don't understand. By typing a question mark before that new word, students can quickly get a basic definition to fill in their outlines.

Wednesday, March 9, 2011

Diagram.ly - Drag & Drop Diagram Creation

JGraph is a UK company that develops and supports graph visualization software and web services. One of the free services they offer is a diagram creation tool called Diagram.ly. Diagram.ly offers a drag and drop interface for creating diagrams using clip art and pre-drawn shapes. Using the service does not require registration and all of your diagrams can be saved to your local computer in your choice of four formats (xml, png, jpg, or svg).
Applications for Education
Diagram.ly could be a good tool for students to use to create flowcharts of a process or concept. Students could also use Diagram.ly to create mindmaps that use images instead of just words and lines. As registration is not required in order to use the service you can have students using it quickly without losing instructional time to walking students through a registration process.

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Connect a Sketch - Build Flowcharts from Existing Images

Connect a Sketch is a free service intended to help people take their existing sketches and images and arrange them into an online flowchart. Creating a flowchart is just a matter of uploading JNP and or PNG images then arranging them into a sequence you want. You can then add connecting lines between your images. If you have a new element to add to your sequence you can go back and edit your sketch.

Applications for Education
Connect a Sketch was built for developing prototypes for industrial applications, but the service can just as easily be used for arranging any series of PNG and or JPG files into a sequence. Students could use Connect a Sketch to arrange images from news stories into a sequence, diagram a story they're writing, or show the steps for solving a problem.

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

Grapholite - Online Diagramming Tool

Grapholite is a new online service for creating diagrams. Grapholite features a drag and drop interface for creating flowcharts, organization charts, and more. You can create new diagrams from scratch or use the sample templates provided by Grapholite.

If you choose to create from a sample template you can edit the arrangement of elements, rename elements, and edit the colors of elements. To create a diagram from scratch choose "new" from the file menu then begin dragging elements onto your canvas from the menus provided. You can then label the elements of your chart, add colors, resize elements, connect elements, and arrange elements with a simple drag and drop system.

Applications for Education
Grapholite could be used by students to create cause and effect charts, story webs, or perhaps models of elements from the periodic table.

Here are some related items that may be of interest to you:
Simple Diagrams - Free Diagram Creation Tool
Cloud Canvas - Create and Edit Images Online
Nine Tools for Collaboratively Creating Mind Maps

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Collaborative Diagramming Tool Cacoo Leaves Beta

Cacoo, a collaborative diagramming tool that I reviewed when it launched last year, has now left beta. Cacoo changed their pricing structure while leaving beta, but the good news is that they still have a free version and the free version offers plenty of functionality for most classroom uses. The free version allows for 15 collaborators on a diagram and up to 25 diagrams per account.

Cacoo allows you to draw shapes, type, and drag and drop elements of your diagram. One of the unique aspects of Cacoo is that you can also upload images to include in your diagrams. The collaborative aspect of Cacoo is that you can invite other people to contribute to your diagrams. Cacoo allows you to chat with your collaborators in real-time while you work on your diagrams. Watch the video below to learn more.


Applications for EducationFor students that are visual learners, creating diagrams can be very helpful in forming an understanding of concepts. I often use diagrams or mind maps in my US History classes to help students understand how multiple themes apply to a particular event. I can see myself having my US History students use Cacoo to contribute to the creation of diagram about the themes of post-Civil War Reconstruction.

Here are some related items that may be of interest to you:
 

Bubbl.us - Free Mind Mapping Tool
Flock Draw - Simple, Collaborative Drawing
Lovely Charts - Create High Quality Charts

Saturday, March 6, 2010

Exploratree - Thinking Guide Templates

Exploratree is a free graphic organizer creation tool. Exloratree users can use pre-made graphic organizer templates which Exploratree refers to as "thinking guides" or create their own templates. The Exploratree thinking guides can be used online or downloaded and printed for offline use. Thinking guides can be created collaboratively on Exploratree which makes Exploratree a good tool for students working in groups to design projects together.

Applications for Education
One of the things I like about Exploratree is the wide range of templates that are offered to students. As we know, not all students process information the same way. Exploratree's wide range of templates provides students with the option to pick a thinking guide that fits them best.

Creating and completing graphic organizers is a great pre-writing activity for students to gather and organize their thoughts. Collaboratively creating graphic organizer with students is also a good way to have students make study guides or prepare a presentation.

Here are some related items that may be of interest to you:
Bubbl.us - Free Mind Mapping Tool
Slate Box - Collaborative Mind Mapping
Cacoo - Collaborative Diagram Creation

Friday, January 1, 2010

Cacoo - Collaborative Diagram Creation

Cacoo is a feature-rich collaborative diagram creation resource. Like similar diagram creation tools, Cacoo allows you to draw shapes, type, and drag and drop elements of your diagram. One of the unique aspects of Cacoo is that you can also upload images to include in your diagrams. The collaborative aspect of Cacoo is that you can invite other people to contribute to your diagrams. Cacoo allows you to chat with your collaborators in real-time while you work on your diagrams. Watch the video below to learn more.

Cacoo - Real-time Collaborative Diagramming & Design from Nulab Inc. on Vimeo.


Applications for Education
For students that are visual learners, creating diagrams can be very helpful in forming an understanding of concepts. I often use diagrams or mind maps in my US History classes to help students understand how multiple themes apply to a particular event. I can see myself having my US History students use Cacoo to contribute to the creation of diagram about the themes of post-Civil War Reconstruction.

Here are some related items that may be of interest to you:
Bubbl.us - Free Mind Mapping Tool
Flock Draw - Simple, Collaborative Drawing
Lovely Charts - Create High Quality Charts