Saturday, October 01, 2005

Considering Concept Maps

Concept mapping is a technique for representing knowledge in a visual format. A concept map may have many concepts, or ideas, that are expanded upon and linked together. This visual makes it easy for students to see structures and relationships. Concept maps are great for generating ideas and for assisting in designing outlines and plotlines. They can be invaluable tools for making sense of complex structures, such as websites and novels or other large texts.

Concept maps work well by the “rule of three,” three words per concept box, three concept boxes per greater concept. It is a balance construct compositional rule used in art. If concept maps become too visually cluttered it can be difficult to follow. Although concept mapping itself may not be an issue, if technology is being used, the technology may be an issue, especially for elementary users. The program needs to be learned – with all the little quirks and idiosyncrasies – it takes time to get to know the program.

Concept mapping should be taught. There are rules to learn to make it easier. Teaching concept mapping in mini-lessons across the curriculum and then introducing and teaching mapping software, such as Inspiration, (ICT inclusion) should work to provide a good basis for technology integrated curriculum related assignments. ICT outcomes such as: C. 4. 1. 3.; C. 4. 2. 2.; F. 2. 1. 2.; F. 2. 2. 1-3-5.; F. 6. 1. 1-2.; F. 6. 2. 1-4.; F. 6. P. 1-6., can be considered by specific use of electronic concept mapping.

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