Concept Mapping Tools
The Cmap program is a free download program that allows people to create concept maps. Researched by Joseph Novak, concept maps allow individuals to express ideas and organize knowledge is a hierarchical manner. Concept mapping uses boxes or circles for representations of ideas and lines connecting boxes to represent relationships between the concepts. Words are written on the lines to describe the type of relationship between ideas. While most concept maps usually start with a general concept and work their way downward, lines representing relationships can be drawn between multiple concepts or ideas. These relationships are also called cross-links and shows how the same concept can be represented in multiple domains of knowledge. Users of Cmap tools can share their content with others using Cmap Servers, edit pages of other users, and link to other Cmaps on servers throughout the world.
Bubbl.us is a website that allows users to brainstorm and create concept maps online. Using the site is free but users are encouraged to create an account online in order to save and print concept maps, collaborate and share maps with other users, and locate friends who also use the site. The web application allows users to be creative with their mapping process by giving options for the color and placement of bubbles.
Inspiration is downloadable software that enables educators and others to better map out concepts and ideas. This package gives users the ability to create diagrams and concept maps and instantly turn them into outlines. This can help educators and students visualize ideas and relationships using both pictures and words. The cost for this product depends on whether it will be single use or installed on multiple computers.
Freemind is a freeware mind mapping tool that uses Java. It will run on Microsoft Windows, Mac OS X and Linux. This application allows users to create mind maps with unlimited amounts of texts, create icons, and allow for linked websites within the text. The trees are collapsable and expandable by clicking on any part of the tree.
VUE, an Open Source project developed at Tufts University, is designed to have content maps also serve as CONTENT maps. This enables users to have access to digital resources and organize how they wish.