Communication Technology- Educ3508

Tuesday, October 11, 2005

Concept Mapping
Concept mapping is a technique used to represent knowledge in graphs and consists of nodes (points) and links (arcs). The programs Inspiration and Kidspiration are used in many schools to allow students to diagram concept maps of their own.
Before doing some reading on concepts maps, I thought that they were only used as story planning webs and only in Language Arts. I was wrong! Concept mapping is a technique that can be used in almost all subjects and at almost any age. Some advantages of this technique include that a concept map helps students tap into prior knowledge by having them state and diagram what they may already know. It also helps students to organize their thoughts and understand what they want to say or the new concept they have just learned. However, teachers must be aware of the individual needs of their students and understand that for some students, concept mapping may be intimidating or even confusing. Especially for those who are not comfortable with technology or who have trouble visualizing concepts in pictorial form. In my opinion, as long as the teacher is aware of and willing to help these students through the process, concept mapping is an invaluable tool in the classroom.
Example Using Concept Mapping:
This example is for a Science 10 class studying the hydrologic cycle as part of Unit D in the new Alberta Program of Studies. Students will use Inspiration to draw a concept map that illustrates the hydrologic cycle. This map will include pictures of water in different phases (solid, liquid, gas) as well as the terms and equations that apply to phase change (for example: solid to liquid= fusion; Q=nHf). The ICT Outcomes from the Program of Studies that will be covered include:
C.6.4.2: investigate and solve problems of organization and manipulation of information.
C.6.4.4: generate new understandings of problematic situations by using some form of technology to facilitate the process.
C.7.4.2: analyze and synthesize information to determine patterns and links among ideas.

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