Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Wednesday DIY: Text 2 Mind Map

Posted on/at 10:42 AM by Sheryl McCoy

While there are many mind map web applications available online, they are not always easy to use. Many are little more than an online poster board.

That has changed.

One of the latest mind map web applications, Text2MindMap beta, leverages the true force of the semantic web and sorts text into a series of clusters or nodes ranked and categorized. I want to thank my colleagues on PLURK for sharing this web application. Many of them have blogged and plurked about this web application over the past few months.

You control the text and the organization levels, and the web application, Text2MindMap, does the rest.

As with any web application, its effectiveness increases with its ease of use and portability to a variety of other media that you need to use. Text2MindMap shines in this area also.

Once you make your mind map, you can immediately save it as a .jpg file which can be uploaded anywhere a picture can be used. For instance, you can add your finished Text2MindMap image to your blog, wikis, Flickr account, profile pictures, .nings, and other similar online venues.

I took the sample Text2MindMap, saved it and inserted it here. I'm happy to show you how easy it is to use this mind mapping web application. There was no need to make a screen print and no need to do any editing. The mind map becomes a digital image with all the simplicity and ease of use that busy people need.

So, you say: "HOW do you make a Text2MindMap?"

Go to the Text2MindMap website. Look over the sample Mind Map. As you look over the website, you will notice the directions and hints below the sample Mind Map. Read them.

Text2MindMap works best if you have your text in an outline format, without numbers. Paste your outline in the text box on the left and click on the Convert to Mind Map icon.

Here is a sample outline that I used.

Effects on the Individual

Family Problems

Custodial: Non-custodial Conflicts
Extended Family
Adolescent's Age

Economic Problems

Child Support
Women's Job Training
Lower Standard of Living
Possible Relocation

Poorer neighborhood
New School

Peer Problems

Loss of Friends
Relationships with Dates

I used this outline to create a Mind Map.

This Mind Map was good, but I really thought it needed some enhancement to make it more effective. I used the various tools available to change font size, text color and box color to make the Mind Map better. Here is the resulting second Mind Map.

Another important criterion for effective web applications is speed of use. How long does it take to make a Mind Map using Text2MindMap? If you have the outline already created, it will take approximately three to five minutes.

Enjoy using another excellent web application that can help you make graphic organizers for your classes. I think you will like Text2MindMap so much, you will share it with your students, so they can use it to make their own mind maps to improve study skills, enhance reports and organize projects.


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