I’ve fiddled with the software called Freemind from year to year and, while being impressed with its abilities, never got around to using it with any kind of regularity.
That changed at the end of last year. I created a mindmap of everything needed in 8th grade social studies (check out the fun here).
Then I left the classroom for this new position and find myself using Freemind for everything!
I keep track of meeting minutes, to do lists, idea storming…even tennis matches. Once I got down the shortcut keys, I found I could fly through the program. It could actually keep up with my thoughts.
For that matter, it works like my brain.
In the end, you can export mind maps as pdfs, flash, html, pngs word…basically any format you want! And the maps contain a certain elegant beauty. A butterfly of connected thoughts.
I highly encourage teachers to check it out. It’s certainly not for everyone (it can get a bit messy…although I think it’s more of an organized messiness), but some might find it quite useful.
And, of course, it’s opensource and free!