Graphic Organizers and Mind Mapping Software

January 4th, 2008 admin Posted in Teaching Aids No Comments »

Graphic organizers and mind-mapping tools are commonplace these days. Visual aids have been used for teaching and educating since the dawn of civilized man. The difference now is the technology (mostly computers) have made it possible to easily create mind maps, concept maps, and flow charts.

Zazbot.com has created a fairly large resource for those looking for free graphic organizers, graphic organizer software, and various graphic organizer tools. If you can’t find the organizer you need there, we also list off the best mind-mapping tools available online.

Teachers Using Graphic Organizers

Highly sought after are the free graphic organizers, and the most used are the reading and writing graphic organizers. We provide links to some free downloads, and free printable organizers which teachers are usually clamouring to use as part of their lesson plans and required curriculum. You can find a few forums online where you can read entries from teachers raving about the effectiveness of these powerful visual aids.

Colleges Using Graphic Organizers

The interesting thing is the use of mind-mapping and concept mapping in higher education settings, such as colleges and universities around the globe. Professors and instructors will often use mind mapping and concept mapping software to create sophisticated charts and diagrams to illustrate a flow of work within the conventions in the sciences, arts, mathematics, and so on (little cop-out there….not much for “so on” and “etc.” these days).

Law Enforcement Using Graphic Organizers

At the most crude level, businesses will use graphic organizers for their “company tree”, or management hierarchy. Something like the authority charts pinned to cork-boards you see police detectives using when they map out an organized crime hierarchy tree. As a matter of fact, the CIA and FBI use graphic organizers to assimilate their data for ease of use. Contrary to popular belief, most top law enforcement officials are not the brightest light bulbs in the bin. The best in their field are pragmatic, dogmatic, and very organized. The use visual aids such as graphic organizers are readily used to detail time-lines in crime investigations. There was a case where the FBI literally built a time-line organizer down a hallway that spanned more than 200 feet!

Businesses Using Graphic Organizers

Just as mentioned above, businesses will use graphic organizers when charting out in-house management hierarchy trees – but there MANY more applications for business. A typical example would be found in maintenance manuals on the shelves of automotive repair facilities. Engineering manuals will include a plethora of graphic descriptions for the engineer or mechanic who is carrying out a system repair, or part replacement task.

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Flow charts and electrical schematics are nothing more that a specific type of graphic organizer. All engineering schematics such as hydraulic, electronic, and pneumatic systems use graphic aids and visual explanations for reference. There is really nothing more effective.

Graphic Organizers to Break Language Barriers

One of the most powerful and important aspects of graphic organizing is the breaking of language barriers. A great example would in aviation. A Boeing aircraft will have maintenance manuals printed in all of the world’s most common languages for obvious reasons. However, what happens when and engineer ends up working in a different company, on a different continent, in a different country that speaks a completely different language? I’ll tell you what happens. A massive learning curve commences.

Because the maintenance manuals are exactly the same as far as the flow-charts and graphic organization is concerned, the displaced engineer can actually still use the manuals effectively even if they’re in a different language. Of course, they usually need some assistance along the way due to language barrier, must their work flow can still organized and effective.
I know this because I’ve seen it many times when I used to be an aircraft engineer.

Graphic Organizer Software Suites and Packages

There are some very expensive software programs that help you create any kind of graphic organizer you want. The software enables the user to create customized graphics to suit any application and task. Facilitators of educational products often use software to create and print graphic organizers for their students. Furthermore, teachers will use software to create customized graphic organizers for overhead projectors, slide shows, printed literature, and PowerPoint presentations (just to list a few applications – there are many more).

Conclusion

You can see our resource for pretty much any type of graphic organizer you might require. Below is a short listing of some of our pages available online:

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