I had been introduced to Inspiration, by Inspiration Software, a few years ago. I thought it was a pretty interesting program but I did not spend any time using it. I felt that I knew the features of the program, though I did not understand the potential of how it could change the classroom. Later, I came across an Open Source version called FreeMind which can be downloaded from sourceforge.net. My students and I watched a video on mind-mapping the other day and so I installed this software on all of the computers in the lab. Today the students were introduced to the software and asked to make a map or multiple maps of the three sections from their science chapter that we just finished. They picked up the program pretty quickly after showing them only a few features in the program.
I demonstrated the following features to them in the classroom and then let them loose.
- Insert key: add a new child not or branch connected to the parent.
- Shift-enter: add a sibling node or branch that is connected to the same node as as the node selected.
- Changing the text in a node
- Right click to access properties such as style and formating.