Thursday, June 10, 2010

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What is Concept Mapping ?

Concept mapping is a technique for representing knowledge in graphs. Knowledge graphs are networks of concepts.

Concept mapping can be done for for several purposes:

  • to generate ideas (brain storming, etc.);
  • to design a complex structure (long texts, hypermedia, large web sites, etc.);
  • to communicate complex ideas;
  • to aid learning by explicitly integrating new and old knowledge;
  • to assess understanding or diagnose misunderstanding.
Concept maps are useful tools for beginning writing assignments because they offer an alternative to outlines. It is a great way for students to organize their thoughts. It gets them to "think about their thinking." These maps can also help teachers determine what revisions, additions, or deletions should be made to their instruction. They help teachers get a feel for students' prior knowledge and then allows students to make the connection. After several weeks of modeling, I believe this would be an excellent connected practice activity students can do with partners or groups.