Wednesday, February 11, 2009

Thinking Maps Software

EHS and Valley View recently received a campus community license for Thinking Maps software. This easy-to-use program will allow teachers to easily create Thinking Maps right in class that are projected on the big screen for all to see.

The community license also allows teachers and students to install the software on their home computers.

Teachers and students can also create thinking maps that can be exported as PNG or JPEG file formats that can be uploaded to blogs, inserted in PowerPoints, and pasted into Word documents. In PowerPoints and Word the exported picture files appear in the same high quality that the files appear when viewed in the original Thinking Maps software. However, when the files are uploaded to blogger much of the clear focus is lost when enlarged. See the below comparisons of the quality of the inserted file formats when uploaded as "large" pictures in blogger.

PNG Format

JPEG Format

The easiest work-around for the clarity issue is to upload the picture files in "small" picture size in blogger. The "small" size allows blog readers to click on a picture to take it full screen. Then the Thinking Map is clear and easy-to-read.
Try that below with this png file in small size.

Also, by having students insert the map in "small" size on their blogs, they can wrap the text that they've composed from their pre-writing map right next to the Thinking Map. This technique has the added bonus of promoting that the end product of writing is a desired outcome from using thinking maps, and that the Thinking Map is a mid-level tool that should be used before writing, speaking, discussion or other creations.


Michael Walker said...

Great examples of how the software interfaces with Blogger! You're ready to be a tech integrationist!!

Mick said...

Great post. I really enjoyed how you described software in the classroom. One tool that could really benefit your cause would be When you join the site you are able to collaborate with other teachers in your own Teacher Network. You are able to find and share resources and find exclusive job postings. This online Teacher Community is the place to get all your teaching needs.

vuewise said...

Thinking Maps are visual teaching tools. They encourage lifelong learning.

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