Thursday, March 20, 2014

Thing 3: Mind Maps, Diagrams and Flow Charts

You've made it to Thing 3!

For Thing 3, we will be exploring Mind MapsDiagrams and Flow Charts. How you use these tools depends on what/if you teach and how you work with students and your colleagues. We will be looking at two different tools: MindMup and Lucidchart.

Mind Maps, Diagrams and Flow Charts allow you to brainstorm, plan a project or story, graphically organize your thoughts and make conceptual connections visual.


I created the mind map embedded below using an online tool called "MindMup". MindMup is also a Chrome app, so you can actually visit the Chrome Webstore and add it (you can also just visit the website). Of the two tools, MindMup is the more basic.

Here are a few MindMup sources for tips and reviews:


I made the (EXTREMELY basic) flowchart embedded below using an online tool called "Lucidchart". Lucidchart is also a Chrome app that you actually CONNECT to your Google Drive (fancy!). Check out the screencast I created demonstrating how to do this. Of the two tools, Lucidchart is the more complex/powerful.

mind mapping software

Here are a few Lucidchart sources for tips and reviews:


  • Create a mindmap using MindMup. 
  • Paste the link to the MindMup into your blog (or take a screenshot and insert it-- clicking "embed" only embeds the link).
  • Create a mindmap, diagram or flowchart using Lucidchart. (***Don't be intimidated by Lucidchart-- there is a learning curve, but for this assignment you just need to create a VERY BASIC mindmap/diagram/flowchart. One of the goals of this course is to get more comfortable trying new technology, so it's ok if you don't get it right the first time!)
  • Embed the Lucidchart into your blog (here is a short screencast I created demonstrating this)
  • In Your "Thing 3: Mind Maps, Diagrams and Flow Charts" post, reflect on your experience and compare the two tools. Which did you prefer, how would you use them with students/colleagues/for yourself, how do they compare to Active Inspire or other desktop software you've used?

Wednesday, March 5, 2014

Thing 2: Chrome Apps & Extensions

You've made it to Thing 2! 

If you are a regular user of the Google Chrome browser, then you may already be a Chrome app/extension aficionado. Because so many of the tools in this program have Chrome apps and extensions associated with them, I wanted to make sure that everyone was comfortable using the Chrome browser and that everyone knows how to find and install Chrome apps and extensions. 

If you'd like an intro to the Chrome browser/Chrome App Store/Apps & Extensions, or if you'd like to see some of my favorite apps and extensions, I've made this exciting video:


  • Explore the Chrome Web Store and install 3 Chrome Apps that are new to you. Practice using these.
  • Explore the Chrome Web Store and install 3 Chrome Extensions that are new to you. Practice using these.
  • In Your "Thing 2: Chrome Apps & Extensions" post, reflect on your experience. 
    • Which 3 apps and 3 extensions did you install? What do you think of them? 
    • Which do you recommend for teachers? For students? Will you remove any? 
    • If you have already been using Chrome apps and extensions, do you have any favorites that you wouldn't want to live without?