One of my son's favorite organizational activities is mind mapping. A mind map is a visual organizer that shows ideas, words, concepts, resources and their relationship to a central term, idea, or project. He loves creating them, and as I stated in an earlier post, created a mind map of his own mind for me as a Mother's Day Present:
There is a new mind mapping tool that is out in beta right now, and it looks really interesting. Whereas most mind mapping software deals just with text information, the new SpiderScribe program allows you to incorporate other types of data, including pictures, websites, Word documents or other files, a calendar, or even an interactive Google map. Users can keep their maps private, or choose to share them with a select group who access it via a link you give them, or make it open to anyone on the Internet. You can also control whether people can just see the mind map or if they can edit it as well.
SpiderScribe has only recently been released, so there may be some glitches and some support issues, and there are additional features that are already being requested. But as our middle school students are being called upon to create more and more PowerPoints and other multimedia presentations, this may be a powerful way for them to brainstorm, work on group projects, and organized different types of resources on whatever topic they might be working on at the time.