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I am doing some research into online mind-mapping, as I am tired of having all my notes on different machines and memory drives.

So far I have found an application called MindMeister, that lets you have a basic account for free. You can create, share, collaborate on and embed your mind maps with this site.I put together  an example map (won’t load in WordPress), summarising Keith Johnson‘s book Communicative Syllabus Design and Methodology.

Then there is Freemind Share, a site (currently in Beta) for uploading and sharing the mind maps you create using Freemind. I have become a fan of Freemind, despite having paid for and used NovaMind a lot. As much as I love NovaMind I just don’t want to keep paying for upgrades. Freemind does most of what I need it to do, but I haven’t got my head around its text export options yet – particularly for Open Office.

It would be great if Google could integrate a Mind-Map program into Google Docs with text export capability. I also would love to see an outliner faeture in Goolge Docs, a la Omni Outliner (which, along with Scrivener is one of my all-time favourite programs). In the meantime there is Text 2 Mind Map a rather nifty free site that converts outlined text into a mind-map style diagram.

Finally, there are several blogs on the subject. This is a site that seems to cover different products rather than being affiliated with just one:

Wikiversity offers the possibility of setting up your own learning projects, perhaps centred around a class or learning group.  I hadn’t fully appreciated this aspect of the site and it is both intriguing and exciting.

Here is a quote from the site:

Possible question: I’ve read all this stuff so far, and it seems I can just jump in here and use Wikiversity to set up some pages to organise and teach my own class. Surely this is hardly in the interest of a global project like Wikiversity? Surely there must be some kind of limitation on my exploitation of Wikiversity’s resources?

Answer: of course you can jump in and do your own class stuff here!

The reason why this helps the world at large is a piece of deep, subtle and somewhat speculative wiki-wisdom, however. The theory of wiki-dom looks at the very long-term effects and fate of the learning resources you create. At first, a new resource may be so specific and particular in terms of time, place and people, that it is of absolutely no use to the wider world whatsoever. Your resource may only be used by you for a few weeks (time); its content pretty well limits it to your own lesson planning and classroom events (place); and the people involved may not extend outside your class (people). However, unlike a non-wiki webpage, others can come after you and find the resources you have left behind. Rather than reinventing the wheel, they may re-purpose your resources to save themselves time. During the process of repurposing, it is likely that the universality (wider usefulness) of the resource may increase by a small, perhaps almost insignificant amount. The universality will tend to increase, because the resource has now been used on two occasions in different times, places and by different people. Of course, each time the repurposing occurs, the universality may not increase much, or may even sometimes decrease. But in the long run, the resource will incrementally become more valuable and of more universal appeal. This is something which is scarcely visible at the beginning, or not at all visible. But it is the theory of the wiki.

Hmm.  Looks like something I might be interested in pursuing.

Freesound is a website offering user-made samples, ‘focusing on sound not songs’, all free to use by anyone and licensed under the Creative Commons Sampling Plus License.

It is a fantastic resource.

A new competitor for Google, Cuil (pronounced ‘cool’, of course) has debuted on the net. It has been set up by ex-Google programmers and claims to search through more web pages, and display results more clearly and effectively.

I was guided to it via this article in Wired.

So, I did my usual Ainu/Autechre test and it came out great – a magazine style set of tabbed pages with very relevant and interesting results. Very cool and I’ll definitely be using it again.

Strangely, though, it doesn’t display any related results when you use it to search for itself, rather it shows Gaelic place-names and the like…

A new competitor for Google, Cuil (pronounced ‘cool’, of course) has debuted on the net. It has been set up by ex-Google programmers and claims to search through more web pages, and display results more clearly and effectively.

I was guided to it via this article in Wired.

So, I did my usual Ainu/Autechre test and it came out great – a magazine style set of tabbed pages with very relevant and interesting results. Very cool and I’ll definitely be using it again.

Strangely, though, it doesn’t display any related results when you use it to search for itself, rather it shows Gaelic place-names and the like…


Hmm. I’ve been thinking along these lines for ages – something that has content by ‘experts’. The problem with Wikipedia, although I do LOVE it, is that so many articles are a mess. I know that I can’t complain as I should get in there and improve them but…

  • Time is an issue – I haven’t even been on this blog for nearly a month and am thinking of packing it in.
  • I don’t necessarily know enough to do it better, just enough to know it’s not right.
  • People go in and re-edit everything, and not always for the better.

The Google ‘Knol’ idea sounds good, though there are of course caveats. The conflict of interest is an obvious one. I won’t stop using Wikipedia, but I don’t see anything wrong with a more controlled source of information to use alongside it.

Excellent online learning resource.


This system is mentioned by OmniGroup in relation to the Omni Focus programme which is being developed.

Wikipedia article here.

Firefox/Google tools and advice on implementing the system with Gmail.

EasyTask Manager looks interesting too.

As an alternative to all this hard work and busy business, I found this.

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