One of the apps I used this week is Bubbl.us. It’s a mind-mapping website which allows students to organize their thoughts and make connections between topics, characters, or conflicts. We used it in class this week in order to create a visual organizational piece to help students see the connections made in the literature we’ve discussed. I posted various mind maps made by students for the class to discuss the different connections made by classmates. This was advantageous for them to see each other’s work, as well as instrumental in sparking interesting conversations.
I played around a bit with the app, which I really like, but definitely found some weaknesses in the tool. One thing I was specifically looking for was a way for students to share the mind map and add to it. As I played with it, I tried to share one I made with students, but they were unable to make changes to it. On the Bubbl.us site, there is a way to collaborate by creating teams. However, this would cost money in order to upgrade the account. Likewise, through the use of the site, I noticed that in order to use the app for free, the user would be limited to the creation of only 3 mind maps. That would mean the user would need to either upgrade in order to create more mind maps (which would cost money), or delete previous mind maps made in order to create more.
I like the possibilities of the app and how it can be used by my students. I’m wondering if through additional time and fiddling, I might be able to figure out a way around some of these hurdles. I’ve decided to explore this one a bit more and not give up on working through the collaboration piece quite yet.