pt3 subject areas technology tools learning environment

Graphic organizers are one way for visual thinkers to arrange their ideas. Graphic organizers have many names including visual maps, mind mapping, and visual organizers. Although many people plan with paper and pencil, technology tools can be very helpful because they allow easy editing. They can also be shared through disk, networks, email, or on the web.

Creating Graphic Organizers with Technology. There are many technology tools that can be used for creating graphical organizers. Consider which ones might be used in various projects that you have created.

Inspiration Software. This software is made for organizing ideas. You can create many of the charts above using the "visual thinking and learning software" Inspiration or Kidspiration. The Inspiration website contains lots of ideas for using the software and creating classroom applications. Kidspiration is designed specifically for primary grades, but can be used with all students. In addition to using words and clipart, users can also insert their own photographs and other visuals. You can download a trial version from the website.

Use the following resources to learn more about two popular graphic organizers: Inspiration and Kidspiration.

Inspiration. Inspiration is a software package that can be used for visual thinking and learning. It contains tools to create a wide range of diagrams, idea maps, concept maps, and webs. Users can add photographs, clipart, and even make hyperlinks to the web.

Use the following off-site resources to learn more about using the Inspiration software:

Kidspiration. Although designed for young children, Kidspiration works well with all ages. The audio component makes it powerful for people wishing to add audio elements to a visual diagram.

Use the following off-site resources to learn more about using the Kidspiration software:

Online, Shareware Organizers. There are many visual planning tools that you can download for free. They even have tools for handheld devices! Check out the PiCoMap software for the Palm OS.

Online Graphic Organizer Generators. You can even use online graphic generators for creating graphic organizers. Go to the Teach-nology: Graphic Organizer Generator page. You can create and print very simple graphic organizers such as concept web, KWL, SQ3R, timeline, or Venn diagram.
Paint and Draw Software. Use paint and draw software to create concept maps and webs. Choose paint software (Photoshop, Appleworks Paint, HyperStudio, KidPix) when you want to incorporate your own illustrations and use free painting options. Choose draw software (Corel Draw, Illustrator, Appleworks Draw) when you want to create and connect lines and shapes, then move objects around.
Word Processor. Use the word processor for brainstorming lists and creating charts and tables.
Spreadsheet. Use a spreadsheet to create a table of your ideas. Remember, you can easily add clipart or photographs to most spreadsheet programs such as Appleworks, Works, and Excel.
Digital Camera. You don't have to create your graph with technology to incorporate technology into the project. Consider using objects like paper plates, yarn, markers, or magazine clippings. Then, use the digital camera or a scanner to take a picture to post on the web or place in a multimedia project. Check out these examples: deep destination, story map, insects, pirate map, and space.


Funding for this project was provided through a grant from Preparing Tomorrow's Teachers to Use Technology (PT3) from the US Department of Education.
Principal Investigators
Dr. Berhane Teclehaimanot, Principal Investigator & Assistant Professor, College of Education

Created 2/03. Last Updated 4/06.