5 June 2015

Bubbl.us: Mindmapping (Web 2.0 Tool 2)


I am a fan of Sketchnotes (see @Rhodesign's great books) and visuals, so I had to explore a mindmapping tool that I had not come across before.

There are different options including a free account that I signed up for and was able to access the tool straight away.
The free account lets you make three maps that can be shared - however, whilst you can add hyperlinks, you cannot add attachments from your computer. For this, you pay $6 a month or $59 a year, which is a significant amount of money. Unless you plan on making A LOT of mind maps.

Immediately after signing up, I was sent straight to the creation board:

The interface is limited and fairly straightforward, though I did consult the HELP section for details about adding links and basic formatting, which has to be done using codes rather than buttons.

Clicking on the box brings up a colour chart - 

where you can choose from an existing Palette or chose Custom.









The Custom option allows you to use Hex codes or the hue slider, meaning you can match your colours exactly for aesthetics or branding purposes.

To change the text in a box, you simply click, and type.
Adding new boxes is super easy to:


FORMATTING

I had to use the help function for this, as there was no familiar B or I buttons to press. The instructions were simple and straightforward:



Adding hyperlinks also required some code, but again, this was easy:


Clicking on the EXPORT button gave me the option of saving as a JPEG or PNG, which looks like this:
It is also possible to save as a webpage outline, click HERE to view, or PRINT:-

The mindmap I created, shown in the above images, took me less than five minutes - it is simply as there are limited features, and once the codes for links and formatting is known, detailed interactive mindmaps could be made very quickly by learners and teachers alike.

Pros and Cons

Cons:
- only three mindmaps can be created with the free account
- files cannot be added with the free account, meaning it is all text-based so could be too wordy particularly for younger learners or additional language learners
- functionality is limited and the help section is needed to figure out fomatting and hyperlinks

Pros:
- the limited functionality means attention is paid to content rather than making it look good (which we all know kids can get carried away with)
- easy to use, once the codes for formatting and hyperlinking are figured out
- images can be printed or downloaded