Through visual thinking maps or diagrams, students can extend and test their thinking, identify connections between ideas and build new understanding across AusVELS domains at any level. ICT enabled concept mapping and mind-mapping software allow students to create visual representations of their thinking which can be built on and modified over time. Some of the ways students can use this software are:
- at the beginning of a topic to show their current understanding
- to summarise topics
- to think creatively about a problem or issue
- to plan an extended task
- to organise an ongoing digital bank of evidence of their learning.
DEECD eduSTAR software for visualising thinking
- Inspiration allows you to create, save, retrieve and revisit concept maps, mind-maps and other graphic organisers. Students can build up a visual representation of their thinking in a particular subject or area of learning over time. Students and teachers can use the ready-made thinking templates or create their own templates. Inspiration is provided to the Department's secondary schools as part of the duSTAR secondary software list. See: Inspiration
- Freemind is a mind-mapping application that allows you to save, retrieve, and modify mind maps, and present them in a range of formats. For ideas to get started, see Digital Deck - Freemind
Teachers and students can access eduSTAR software programs via the school software image. For more information, see: eduSTAR software for Windows or eduSTAR software for Mac
Online tools and environments
Intel® Education provides three excellent, free online interactive visual thinking tools and supporting resources. The tools can be used to encourage students engaged in inquiry and problem solving to think beyond the obvious, to find connections and justify their ideas.
Register and enter students for access to the tools and to an online space for thinking maps in progress. Students can store and retrieve maps online, share maps and work collaboratively. You can assess and provide feedback on maps online.