Bubbl.us is a simple and free web application that lets you brainstorm online and allows you to:
* Create mind maps online
* Share and work with friends
* Embed your mind map in your blog or website
* Email and print your mind map
* Save your mind map as an image
1. Allow users to mind map, creating connections
2. Allow users to share mind maps and work collaboratively on them
Ultimately, the learning goals are determined by the instructor.
Target Student Population:
Students of all ages can make use of this concept mapping software.
Prerequisite Knowledge or Skills:
Students will need to have a basic understanding of how graphics software applications works including: how to resize images and how to drag images to a new area.
Type of Material:
Bubbl.us is a flash-based web application that works within a web browser.
Teachers can have students use Bubbl.us to help organize writing projects by creating a bubble map of the main idea and sub ideas. This would be useful in K-12 and University level classes for brainstorming sessions.
Users will need to have a flash-enabled web browser. Students will need to have a basic understanding of how graphics software application work.
Evaluation and Observation
The model is a tool. The content comes from the user.
Potential Effectiveness as a Teaching Tool
The tool could well be used in a teacher preparation classes in preparing units. As well classroom teachers could easily use it. The site offers a user's comment from a high school teacher who notes, "Typically I have trouble getting them to get excited about word webs. However, they were VERY excited about doing this. The guys loved how the bubbles exploded when you deleted them, and the girls loved the colors. However, the thing they seemed most interested in was the fact that they could network."
The networking and collaboration possibilities for the site allow for group projects both within the classroom and in other areas.
It is concerning that there hasn't been any new blog posts since Autumn of 2008. While it is possible that the site owners are using another method for sharing updates, there doesn't seem to be any information about this on the site. There is a beta version of Bubbl.us 2.0 on the site but no information about when it will be out of beta.
Ease of Use for Both Students and Faculty
The site is easy to use, in fact, can be used immediately, even without setting up an account. As well, there are directions which are available on the lower left hand side of the page which change as the user works with the tool.
All links to the blog and contact information appear to have been removed. This isn't great news for a teacher who has decided to include bubble maps into a course based on the availability of this software.
Other Issues and Comments:
The site promises new upgrades but the blog has not been written in since Fall 2008. This is a great, free alternative to programs like Inspiration and allows for collaboration, and sharing of material and editing privileges.