MindMeister is an online freemium mind mapping tool that allows users to visualize their ideas and create presentations.
The base function of MindMeister is to allow the user to easily create mind maps that flow from one main idea or concept, out into multiple different factors that make up the main idea. MindMeister also has the ability to be used alongside project management, allowing managers to assign tasks based off of the original mind map. The project management tool requires using MeisterTask When thinking of MindMeister and its uses, it could be useful within both the education field and marketing field.
In regards to students, when placed in teams, projects can be mapped out into different threads and each thread can be assigned to each student in the group. This allows group projects to be visualized in the aspect of what information needs to be obtained and who will pursue that information. Teachers can use MindMeister as a tool to help students visualize subjects that stem from multiple causes. For example, a history teacher could use a mind map to show all the factors that lead to world war one.
The usefulness for marketing teams here is unlimited. A marketing manager can create a mind map for marketing budgets. The main portion of the web could be the amount they are allotted and the stems could be the different types of marketing the budget will cover (social media, print media, web, email, etc.). Teams can also use mind maps for new projects. A commercial is a perfect project for a mind map. The main idea is a commercial and this stems out into the need for actors, videographers, make-up team, wardrobe team, etc.
Being able to visualize complex ideas and concepts is key for any team.
Diigo is a web browser extension that can boost productivity in both educational and business settings.
Diigo is a multifaceted tool and I am excited to integrate this into my everyday tool set of applications
Today we are jumping straight into game development and talking about Godot Engine which is a fully free open source game engine that is available for Windows, Mac OS, and Linux operating systems.
Godot is worth mentioning as it is the first program I used with students to build a 2D platform game. Godot, as a gaming engine, maintains a lot of flexibility as developers and educators have the choice of coding with GDScript, C#, C++, Python, and even has it's own drag and drop editor. The engine allows for multi platform editing, so teams who are working on different operating systems don't have to worry!
Another great thing to mention is that Godot engine offers free multi-platform deployment. Of course we still have to pay for our developer licenses on each platform, but it's great to know that this engines export feature is not hidden behind a paywall.
Looking to get started? Here are some valuable resources to help you along your journey!
Instructional Design Verdict
Disclaimer: At the end of every post, I will provide a verdict from the standpoint of an instructional designer within the field of special education. What I say is my opinion of using the software within a special ed classroom and may have different results within a typical class setting.
Godot engine is a great free engine, but lacks in certain areas. I found it somewhat difficult to get up and running at first. What I mean is that there are various flaws that need to be accounted for and it will be very hard to use this software within a discovery or problem based learning scenario. Instructions are not straight forward and many of the resources out there are outdated. This leaves the educator with having to provide maximum support and scaffolding which stops the video game exercise from being a problem based learning or discovery learning environment. The software is no doubt an incredible tool to use but, in an educational setting, it requires too much support from a facilitator.
If you've had a completely different experience or would like to share further information, please do so in the comments. Thanks for reading!