MindMeister- Mind mapping and global brainstorming

MindMeister brings the concept of mind mapping to the web, using its facilities for real-time collaboration to allow truly global brainstorming sessions. Users can create, manage and share mind maps online and access them anytime, from anywhere. In brainstorming mode, fellow MindMeisters from around the world (or just in different rooms) can simultaneously work on the same mind map and see each other’s changes as they happen.

Website : http://www.mindmeister.com/

As I walked around my classroom today, observing and encouraging kids as they engaged in a Writing Assessment mandated by my school district (OWA), I noticed that many of the students were drawing mind map webs as a familiar method for planning their stories.

Later in the afternoon, the students began using the Smartboard and Smart-ideas, to describe and re-tell our classroom connections and travels (Classroom-Classroom Skype calls). Students worked together to create interactive maps using google maps and interactive mind maps using Smart Ideas. As the students worked, one student asked me if they could just “combine” and share their maps and  then he discovered the “share” function.

Since we couldn’t do this with Smart Ideas – we are going to learn to use MindMeister as a collaborative mind-mapping tool in the classroom as well as globally. I’d like to ask another classroom – one that we’ve already been in contact with to participate in a mind-mapping activity with our students based on one topic.