Concept Maps

Concept mapping tools are worth spending some time getting to learn. You’ll code break, meaning make, understand, use, create, collaborate, and share with a specific digital tool of your choosing.

Let’s get started with some basic information, and then explore ONE concept mapping tool.

What is Concept Mapping and why do it?

Concept maps organize information visually using categorizations and taxonomies. Putting ideas together in some way helps you build understanding and make sense of complex conceptions. For your inquiry project, you should make a relatively simple map that contains ‘big ideas’ in the main ‘nodes’, also called parent nodes. Then, using connecting lines, these should branch out to an additional 3-5 ‘child nodes’, resulting in approximately 20-25 essential elements you hope to address in order to answer your inquiry question. Sometimes numbering the parent nodes and child nodes can help create a linear structure or sequence of your main ideas into the framework for a presentation.

A key consideration when creating a concept map is the use of colour, shapes, sizes, colours, line variations, line width, and spacing. Since your map should or could include URL links, images, or media, these need to be placed in the map carefully.

Becoming familiar with the purpose, topic, concepts, and the digital application you intend to use is an essential step to incorporating this tool into your teaching practice and using it for this course.

FIRST: consider which tools fit your personal style – will your map be paper/pencil/marker created or will you try one of the suggested digital tools.

THEN: watch introductory screencast videos to learn how to use your selected digital tool. Additional video resources are available through a search of You Tube and Vimeo.

Do some ‘code breaking’ to follow the directions for sharing your map with others – either using a URL or download a PNG (image file) or a PDF (text/image file).

Here is a short list of concept mapping tools and options for your consideration: