Mead Map is a brand new web 2.0 application designed to help with note taking, managing group projects and general organization of information. Mead Map is different because of its easy to use interface and features that allow for student/teacher collaboration. We're excited about the potential of this tool and look forward to helping educators engage their students.

I would invite everyone to go to the site and set up a free 30 day trial account. It would be great to get everyone's feedback and ideas as to how they would use Mead Map in the classroom. Thank you in advance for sharing. You can navigate my published map to get a feel for what Mead Map looks like.

Tags: collaborative, engagement, ideamaps, student

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I love this site. But there's no way my principal would agree to purchase this, especially since our lovely Mayor Bloomberg is slashing the NYC education budget.

Any other tools that accomplishes many of the same goals? I like bubble.us, althout it doesn't feature nearly as many options. Anything else out there?
Thanks for the recommendation Dana... Mindmeister is very cool, especially the fact that it supports OpenID and offline work using Google Gears.
I use Mindmeister with my Grade 8 and 9 students, making mind maps for their math units. It's nice to be able to track their work online, get automatic notices of updates and be able to go in to their maps and make notes, suggestions and evaluate all without paper. And then print the most complete ones out on tabloid paper. It really is a nice way of getting a glimpse of their understanding and the way they see their mathematics.
Using paper, they would often see how connections go after they've written them, causing a whole new piece of paper, frustration, etc. Digitally.. not a problem.
This looks like an amazing service but by not having at least a limited free account available the collaborative power is lost. It would be difficult to justify purchasing large site licenses given the plethora of other tools out there with similar (but not exactly) features.
There is a standard 30 day free trial for anyone who creates an account. As part of of the 30 day trial an individual has full access to the program which includes sharing and collaborating. The map above is using the publish feature (ie. ability to show the work you created to people who don't have Mead Map accounts).
COMPARING MEAD TO CMAP -

I have been using concept maps for about ten years. Initially they were handmade with paper and pencil or stickynotes if the topic was particularly complex. A few years later we moved to graphics tools to make them and place them inside of electronic notebooks. About 4 years go we migrated to Cmap. I have looked at a few of the concept mapping tools that have come along since then (bubbleus, MindMeister) and thus far stayed with Cmap.

This morning I signed up for the 30-day Mead trial and I will post what I think of it as I work with it myself and use it with the kids over the next 30-days.

Initial thoughts -

I love the Mead's focus/zoom options. Cmap is zoomable while in program but the webshare version is static and large maps rely on a browser's zoom feature to pull back typically resulting in unreadable text.

As a study tool, I can see Mead having advantages because the nodes can be closed and the student can try to recall what node content would be next. While the student can also do something similar in Cmap using the desktop app's access to a Cmap shared on the public server it isn't doable via the webshared version like Mead's.

Cmap is a winner when it comes to being able to work offline and have the ability to have long term, offline archiving of concept maps. I keep a synched version of my Cmaps both on the public server and on my home PC. This makes it easy to keep working even when I do not have internet access and should the university that offers the public server go belly up or decide to stop offering the server space I do not risk losing years of time investment in making the maps because I have and can work with them from my own machines.

Cmap is a winner when cost is considered since it is a free software. Obviously that is a no-brainer, but it is more than just my pocketbook I am getting at. For me, the use of concept maps is not just an exercise the kids do for my classes, I try to encourage the visual/spatial learners (like myself) to see them as a long-term, cumulative activity in which they build on them year after year as they spiral through course progressions. One of my sons has Cmaps he has returned to over and over again to add to that he started way back in 5th grade. Now he is in 9th. With the fear of whether a subscription can be maintained year-after-year and the solvency of the company long-term (concept map availablility should a company go belly up) that long-term view is hindered. To compete, the ability to access map even if a subscription must lapse for a time or the ability to keep Mead maps safely archived off-line would be needed.

Both are wonderfully easy to work with when it comes to creating and linking maps.

I tried an embed of a Mead map in my Moodle course. It works great. I had done a hacked embed of Cmap (not a normal feature of Cmap) that allowed for a map to be viewed, but if a link was taken there was no intuitive way to navigate back). Mead wins on embedabilty. Though I would recommend that as a normal part of the embed that a link to the full sized version be included, so students needing a larger view area can easily get to it.

I will continue to explore the use of the Mead maps with the kids over the next 30-days and drop in here periodically to give feedback.

Tammy Moore

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