by Nosleep Software
As we begin our journey towards implementing iPads in our classrooms through grant funding, it became clear to me that we would not only need the devices and accessories but also appropriate educational apps that will encompass all curricular areas and mind mapping would certainly fall into one of those needs. Are you a fan of the software Inspiration and Kidspiration? Then Idea Sketch might be a good alternative for your Apple device. Although it is not as robust as Inspiration and Kidspiration, it certainly has the potential to help individuals across the spectrum of needs, from the most disorganized person to that student(s) with writers block.
Do you have students or your own children that struggle to organize their ideas in their head? Through a very simplistic approach, Nosleep Software has designed the ability to mind map at the touch of your finger. What is mind mapping? It is a diagram representation of words, thoughts which are linked to and arranged around a main idea. Through the use of a mind map, a user can build a visual representation which helps to organize, solve problems, make decisions and assist in the writing process. As I look at the icon that Nosleep Software has chosen for this application, it is rather fitting. As a teacher, on several occasions, I have found myself saying, “Aahh, I can now see the light. The light of a bulb shining over a students head who has been struggling with a concept and has now figured a way out.” Coming from someone who once had issues with organizing her thoughts and fearing the idea of having to write a paper, in my early years as a student my light bulb was rather dim. It is through my own childhood educational experiences and having taught for many years that students need applications like Idea Sketch.
How will we integrate this application across the curriculum? One option is that we incorporate it with our 4th and 5th graders as they are required to develop a 5+ paragraph report or story depending on the genre of study. Some might say, where do I begin? With one tap of a plus sign that unorganized student will slowly become more organized. Each thought can be color coded and then linked with supporting details, as our students like to call them potato details. By color coding students will begin to realize that each color represents a paragraph. Once completed, maps can be printed, emailed, and saved from your iTouch or iPad. Students can manually check off the potato details that supports the idea as they are keyboarding or handwriting their story. Visualizing that for a struggling writer alleviates a great deal of anxiety. What do you get by downloading Idea Sketch? A very well lit lightbulb!
Could having the ability to mind map in the palm of your hand change your child or students feelings towards writing? If so, then I suggest that you download Idea Sketch. Still need to learn more, then be sure to visit Nosleep Software’s website here or you can go right to iTunes and download this application for free!!!