Here are 3 different ideas you can use for these tools:

Overview


The uses of collaborative maps are endless. However, the uses of such sites enables students to be active in learning how to organize information, how to think critically, and how to communicate collaboratively.

Uses of Collaborative Idea Maps in Education


These are just a few of the uses of collaborative maps:
groups can work together outside of school
students can have multiple models
students can have an opportunity to reach the upper echelons of Bloom’s taxonomy by evaluating, synthesis, and analysis as you have them examine peer maps or by simply exploring various topics.

What Collaborative Idea Maps Do for Students


1. Reaching the higher levels of Bloom’s Taxonomy
2. Brainstorming
3. Vocabulary exercises
4. Writing online
5. Publishing of their own ideas
6. The use of technology
7. Interact with peers via Web 2.0 sites

Lesson Plans & Ideas



Bubbl is my favorite of this list because it is so simple to use. Students at most levels will be able to use this.
http://www.bubbl.us

ONE IDEA
Second, you could use it to have your students complete a closing activity for a lesson/unit. Lets say that we have to draw a similarity between The Pigman and Where the Red Fern Grows. Students could start off with 2 bubbles (one for each book) and collaborate while sitting at a computer in one room, or they could do it in front of their own computers at home.

SECOND IDEA
Students could also be assigned various topics to research. If you designed each question to have a different focus, but same basic principles behind them, you could use this website for collaboration.
**Example questions:
Set A
What are the differences between liquids and gasses?
What are the similarities between Solids and gasses?

Set B
Draw a BUBBL that examines the racism in OTHELLO.
Draw a BUBBL that examines the racism in Huck Finn

Both of the sets of questions above have very different qualities to them. Student could express a large amount of knowledge by answering any of these four questions, but that is only tapping into the KNOWLEDGE in Bloom’s Taxonomy. What if we could get them to move on to EVALUATION simply by having him/her complete one of these questions and then seek out a friend who answered the other question in the set and add then evaluate each other and add to the other person’s question.

THIRD IDEA
Vocabulary could also be used with this site. Students could do a diagram for the 5 words they think are them most difficult for that week’s vocab lesson. Then they could make a word web where the main block is for the chosen vocab word. Pink blocks are for similar words that have come up in other vocab lessons. Green blocks would be for previously learned vocab words that serve as antonyms. Yellow blocks are for associations to the student’s own life. And, finally, blue blocks for tricks that might help them remember the words.

Then have the students go on a scavenger hunt for all of the words that were not on their “hardest words” list.

Active Discussion Page


Please click here for a discussion page on this technology.

Specific Program Links


http://www.bubbl.us
Bubbl is my favorite of this list because it is so simple to use. Students at most levels will be able to use this.

The rest of the sites in this list are pretty technical. I think most students will be able to figure it out, so you may want to ask a few students to give them a trial run.
http://www.mindomo.com/
http://www.mindjet.com/us/
http://www.gliffy.com/