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How to Make Mind Maps: Visualize Your Ideas for Better Brainstorming. Legend has it that in the summer of 1994, as the production of Toy Story was wrapping up, four Pixar creatives went to lunch to brainstorm ideas for new projects. Sketching on napkins, they teased out ideas for what would become Wall-E; Monsters, Inc.; A Bug’s Life; and Finding Nemo. It’s inspiring that such massively successful blockbusters started on napkins, but that’s the first step for any good idea, right?

Getting ideas out of your head and putting it into the world in some tangible way is how you turn them into reality. Most people don’t sketch the next great animated movie characters on napkins, but we all need a way to tease out our ideas, think through concepts, and put them into a usable format. That's essential for creativity, in our personal lives and in business. Lists, outlines, and notes can help, but they don’t always lend themselves to radical innovation, learning, or problem-solving.

There’s a better way: mind maps. What Are Mind Maps? How to make a mind map 1. 2. 3. 4. The Brainstorming Myth | Many to One. “Introverts Unite! Separately. In your own homes.” – T-shirt In her book, Quiet, Susan Cain argues with passion (and data) that we dramatically undervalue introverts. You know, the 30% or so of us quieter, more introspective thinkers whose ideas often get trample by louder, “stronger” voices. And this is a problem, she says, because studies show close to zero correlation between being the best talker and having the best ideas So, as facilitators in a group setting, how can we make sure we’re letting introverts “hear themselves think” while creating space for their great ideas to find the light of day?

A good place to start is by dispelling the myth of classic brainstorming. First introduced by an advertising executive named Alex Osborn in the late 1940s, brainstorming is still alive and well. It turns out, not so much. A Yale University study in 1958 divided 48 students into 12 groups and gave each a series of creative puzzles to solve following Osborne’s brainstorming rules. Groupthink. In the late nineteen-forties, Alex Osborn, a partner in the advertising agency B.B.D.O., decided to write a book in which he shared his creative secrets. At the time, B.B.D.O. was widely regarded as the most innovative firm on Madison Avenue. Born in 1888, Osborn had spent much of his career in Buffalo, where he started out working in newspapers, and his life at B.B.D.O. began when he teamed up with another young adman he’d met volunteering for the United War Work Campaign.

By the forties, he was one of the industry’s grand old men, ready to pass on the lessons he’d learned. His book “Your Creative Power” was published in 1948. “Your Creative Power” was filled with tricks and strategies, such as always carrying a notebook, to be ready when inspiration struck. The book outlined the essential rules of a successful brainstorming session. The underlying assumption of brainstorming is that if people are scared of saying the wrong thing, they’ll end up saying nothing at all. Brainstorming Does Not Work — Galleys. Brainstorming was invented by advertising executive Alex Osborn in 1939 and first published in 1942 in his book How to Think Up.

This is a typical description, from James Manktelow, founder and CEO of MindTools, a company that promotes brainstorming as a way to “develop creative solutions to business problems”: Brainstorming is often used in a business setting to encourage teams to come up with original ideas. It’s a freewheeling meeting format, in which the leader sets out the problem that needs to be solved. Participants then suggest ideas for solving the problem, and build on ideas suggested by others. A firm rule is that ideas must not be criticized — they can be completely wacky and way out.

This frees people up to explore ideas creatively and break out of established thinking patterns. Osborn claimed significant success for his technique. Claims about the success of brainstorming rest on easily tested assumptions. Research into brainstorming has a clear conclusion. “Work alone. Create your own Adventure Time game in this great iOS app | Cult of Mac. Cartoon Network’s Adventure Time isn’t just a popular kids’ show, it presents one of the richest and most surreal animated landscapes I can remember seeing on a TV show.

In other words, it’s perfect for sparking and unlocking young people’s imagination and creativity. That’s the concept behind the newly-launched Adventure Time Game Wizard, which lets you use your iOS device and a few sheets of paper to draw and play your own video game levels. And much like Adventure Time itself, it’s really quite addictive. As the player, you design your own platform-based levels and then scan them in — with each square of graph paper representing a new piece of the terrain, while other symbols you can draw represent items like coins. All of Adventure Time‘s regular cast of characters — such as Jake, Finn, Ice King and Princess Bubblegum — show up along the way, plus a new creation called Doodle Wizard and voiced by the superb “Weird Al” Yankovic. Via App Advice.

Three Efficient Ways to Keep Parents Informed About Your Class and Their Children. The first assistant principal that I worked for gave me a great piece of advice on my first day. He said, "communicate with parents often and they won't be surprised when you communicate with them. " It was great advice and I put it into action by sending home a weekly newsletter. Today, there are more efficient ways to keep parents informed about what is happening in your classroom. Here are three good methods to keep parents informed about your classroom in general and their children in particular. ClassDojo is a popular tool for creating records of students' behaviors like staying on task, being prepared for class, and general attendance in class. You can also add custom behavior categories to track in your ClassDojo account.

ClassDojo also provides a free messenger service. Remind (formerly known as Remind 101) is one of the original text messaging services for teachers. Email is still a good way to communicate with parents. The best iPad apps for teachers - Apppicker applists 10458. 6 Online Tools for Visual Brainstorming. 10 top tools for business brainstorming and collaboration. As more startups migrate their companies to the cloud, it can be difficult to gather the entire team for a productive collaboration session.

Not only does everyone need to be in the same place at the same time, but they’ve got to come prepared with their creative juices, focused mindsets and positive attitudes. However, with endless digital distractions that thrive in browser tabs and fit into the palms of our hands, keeping everyone on the same “page” isn’t easy. But regardless of whether your team members are working remotely or in the cubicles around you, a handful of online tools can ensure that your next brainstorming meeting will be full of fresh ideas and effective communication among your employees.

I asked a panel of successful young entrepreneurs the following question: What’s your favorite new digital tool for collaboration or brainstorming and why? Here are 10 business-changing tools for joining mental forces with your team members and putting your skills together for projects: 3 Great Tools for Collaborative Brainstorming. Collaboration is an essential feature of the 21st century education. Students are encouraged to work together and benefit from their collective wisdom.There are several ways teachers can use to foster collaborative habits among their students and most important of them all is through group work or classroom group projects.

While working together, students get to discover different ways of thinking other than theirs and they also share and build a healthy learning environment. Working together on projects does require pulling ideas from different resources and this is probably one of the problematic things about collaborative brainstorming. However, there are now several excellent web tools that students can use to collectively brainstorm a topic. 1- Real Time Board This is a web tool I have already reviewed in an earlier post here in this blog. 2- Lucid Chart This is another awesome web tool that students can use for collaborative brainstorming. 3- Spider Scribe. 5 Free Web 2.0 Brainstorming Tools. Written by Mark Brumley Call it brainstorming, concept mapping or mindmapping, collecting and organizing thoughts using web 2.0 is a snap. Let’s take a peek at several free options. has a wonderful user interface and is easy to use.

This is classic concept mapping. Start with a central idea and branch off to other ideas. Connections to other thought bubbles can be easily created or deleted. includes many more features including a clipart library and the ability to import images from Google images or Flickr as well as video straight from YouTube. offers a bare bones user interface but includes everything you need to create a mindmap. is a nice blend of features and usability. is simple and gets the job done. What’s the bottom line? If you have other suggestions or comments, be sure to comment below! Mark Brumley (112 Posts) Brainstorming - Effective Web 2.0 Tools for the Classroom. - is a simple and free web application that lets you brainstorm online. Exploratree - is a free web resource where you can access a library of ready-made interactive thinking guides, print them, edit them or make your own. You can share them and work on them in groups too. LucidChart - Here are some of its features: Creating crisp, attractive flow charts for the web or print has never been so fast and easy.Everyone works on a document at the same time.

Collaborators get your changes immediately when you save.Share your flow charts as a web page, PDF, or image. Seavus DropMind - With Desktop Seavus DropMind™ you can get a complete at-a-glance representation of ideas, concepts or plans in a simple fusion of words and pictures. Mind Map Art - Showcasing the World's Finest Mind Maps. Draw Anywhere - Create diagrams online & collaborate! VizEdu - Their objective is to explain Social Media, Web2.0, Search and Emerging technologies visually.