Thursday, October 06, 2005

Module 4: Concept Mapping Using Inspiration

Concept mapping is tool that’s used in classrooms both by teachers and students to visually organize information and/or concepts. Concept mapping also allows the student/teacher to create and describe relationships between represented concepts.

There are numerous advantages, for both teachers and students, when using concept mapping in the classroom. Using concept mapping allows students to rearrange ideas, make new connection between ideas (between all new information received and new and already known information), “virtually plan” assignments, and easily move between diagrams and outlines of the explored subject (when using Inspiration). Teachers on the other hand can use concept mapping to plan lessons, organize goals, and create assignments and activities for students to reinforce themes and concepts discussed in class. Using tools such as Inspiration also allows teachers to accommodate individual learning styles and address multiple intelligences. Concept mapping also encourages creativity in the classroom and allows sharing of ideas and concepts from the student’s perspective. One disadvantage of concept mapping is that if students are not clear of concepts and ideas or don’t have a true grasp on the discussed subject before mapping, the concept map con be lacking adequate information and significant relationships.

I would integrate the use of technology, and more specifically, Inspiration into my classroom with the facilitation of Language Arts. In a senior Language Arts/English classroom it would be easy to use Inspiration to map out the characters and their relationships in plays such as Shakespeare’s Macbeth. I would suggest students begin a map of characters at the beginning of the play and then ask them to add to their concept map as new characters are introduced throughout the play. I would ask them to highlight characteristics of each character in the play and also the relationships among all characters so students can more easily follow the highly developed plot of the play.

Technology Outcomes Covered:
P.4.4.3: use integrated software effectively and efficiently to reproduce work that incorporates data, graphics, and text.
P.2.4.1: manipulate and present data through a selection of appropriate tools, such as scientific instrumentation, calculators, databases and/or spreadsheets.
P.6.4.1: select and use appropriate technologies to communicate effectively with targeted audience.

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