Brainstorming and mind mapping are regular classroom activities, but do you ever wonder which digital tools we can use to make these more effective and efficient? Below are five apps that will make this one of your favourite activities in the classroom.

1. Novamind for regular hierarchical brainstorming, flow charts or note taking.

 

This is great for students planning essays and writing pieces, creating connections between information, categorising facts and information using colours and relationships, or simply writing summaries for revision of work. Choose from a variety of templates to ensure students get a successful outcome.

2. qool can help students do more than just note taking.

Use qool to create visually appealing, structure free, presentation spaces, or use it to collate research by adding images, video and information straight from Bing. Digital Post.it style app is great for categorisation and analysis of information.

The ability to insert images and link directly to the internet, video, music and other files makes this app truly ‘qool’.

The list of qool functions are:

  • Including notes, videos, audios, files and pictures in your canvas
  • Synchronise all your Qool canvases across your Windows 8 devices
  • Order, list, filter and group information• Pin your qool canvases to the Start Screen
  • Share your canvases thru the “share charm”• Organize thoughts simply and visually
  • Choose the canvas scaffold that meets your needs
  • Choose you preferred canvas background
  • No logging required

3. Bamboo Page for visual note taking.

Use your touch pen to create visual drawing based mind maps. Write as if you using pen and paper. This pressure sensitive writing app makes drawing on a screen a wonderful experience.

Bamboo Page is an app for quick notes and sketches optimized for Windows 8. Capture your creative thoughts as quickly and simple as on real paper and share them instantly with colleagues and friends.

  • Tools & colours - Feel the control with the responsive pen- and marker-tool that accurately follows the movement of your hand. You can also choose from a variety of colours to write and sketch with.
  • Paper types - Choose from a variety of paper types with different textures, colours and grids
  • Add detail - Draw or write fine lines and fit more notes onto the page with our unique zoom function.
  • Share and export - Share your creations using cloud services and social networks supporting Windows 8.

You can also just choose to save your page as a screenshot onto your device.

4. m8!  app is so simple and yet so effective.

It has just three buttons and a simple colour palette. It does however create very effective mind maps, brainstorms notes and plans. Open this app, click on the plus button and you are in action. Once done you can share your map to your device through the charm bar. Check out the video below for a quick tutorial.

 

5. Grapholite mindmaps for professional diagrams.

The most sophisticated of all the apps mentioned, Grapholite helps you to create powerful and visually strong mind maps. Grapholite has been made specifically with Windows 8 in mind. The touch wheel reminds me of OneNote, making the app a great experience for all on tablets. Controls in this app are extensive. Use one of the themes provided or create your own mind map from scratch.

Once done, save your map and share through the charm bar. Grapholite also has the functionality from within the app to search for icons in the Iconfinder site. This makes it super simple to add images and graphics to your mind map.

 

With these five apps, brainstorming and mind mapping is no long just about a whiteboard and marker. With your windows 8 tablet it becomes a powerful exercise that can support your students in many ways. Once you’ve tried one of the apps, let us know how it worked out for you.

 

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