Monday, November 23, 2015

Make Thinking Visual

Under the column of "things I should use more in my teaching" would be my use of graphic organizers in reading, note-taking, and writing. I don't learn visually and I don't really think spatially, so they've never been a tool I've used. I recognize that some of my students ARE visual learners and thus I should incorporate graphic organizers into my teaching. I've come across a few that I like. The Mindly App is one tool I've come across. Another that I like a lot is the Lucidchart Add-on in google docs. It's a great tool, super easy to use, and immediately embeddable into any google document.

My favorite as of this writing is the elegant Coggle. Coggle creates visually beautiful org charts. It only does one thing, but in a remarkably straightforward way. The organizers it creates all more or less will look the same. Yet, its ease of use and graceful layout make it a powerful tool for the classroom.

Family trees, language derivatives, essay mapping, biology nomenclature hierarchies, history timelines immediately spring to mind as ways a teacher could use this tool.

On the tech side, Coggle lets one embed links and pictures. It allows for synchronous and asynchronous collaboration. One can also share a finished Coggle with others both privately and publicly. Students from elementary grades through college age will find this a useful tool.

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