Happy New Year!

Happy 2012! Hope you had a relaxing, restful holiday break. I view the new year as a  fresh beginning even though it isn’t a new school year. I think it is my chance to begin anew–change things that may not be working the way I want them to and try new things to put a little “life” into the everyday routines. I am not one to do New Year’s resolutions as I always break them shortly after I make them. How about you?

Here are some great Web 2.0 tools to use (from a blog post by Mark Brumley who writes a great educational Technology blog)

5 Tools for Brainstorming

Here are some free tools to use for brainstorming, mindmapping, concept mapping–whatever term you want to use.

Bubbl.us has an easy to use user interface. This is classic concept mapping. Start with a central idea and branch off to other ideas. Connections to other thought bubbles can be easily created or deleted. For text only mindmaps, Bubble.us works great. If you need to add images or videos, check out some of the other tools below.

Mindomo.com includes many more features including a clipart library and the ability to import images from Google images or Flickr as well as video straight from YouTube. The interface looks similar to Office 2007 with a ribbon and tabs for the various tools. Exploring these tabs reveals a large number of options and formatting tools. Mindomo works well if you need more than just text bubbles and has all the power of an installed application.

Wisemapping.com offers a bare bones user interface but includes everything you need to create a mindmap. Start with a main idea and branch from there. You can add icons and adjust the shape and color of your content. Completed maps can be shared or exported as several formats including PDF.

Mindmeister.com is a nice blend of features and usability. Double click anywhere to add content. You can also include icons and images, either your own or from the clipart library. In addition, mindmaps can include notes, links and even attachments. Keep in mind the free version scrolls through ads at the upper right-hand corner and you can only create three maps.

Mind42.com is simple and gets the job done. Like many of the others, start with a main topic and quickly add new nodes. Content can be moved and regrouped by dragging and dropping. Images and links can be included as well.

(Source: http://www.markbrumley.com/2011/07/02/5-free-web-2-0-brainstorming-tools/)

Other Tools Recommended from the same blog: 5 Web 2.0 Image Editors

Have a great holiday! I will be back next year (2012) to continue adding to the Friday Feature series.

Twitter: AeaPDOnline
Web Site: www.iowaaea.org

Follow the conversation about the organization/formation of imug (Iowa Moodle Users Group) on Twitter, using the new hashtag, #imug.

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