Mishalish Insight

Tuesday, October 11, 2005

Module 4: Concept Maps

What is concept mapping?

Concept maps are a tool to represent knowledge for many different purposes in a graphlike form. These maps are a visual way to represent information in a broken down, categorized manner as well as showing the relationships between main concepts. By visually representing students are able to make a connection between their knowledge and how they are able to reprsent that knowledge. Concept maps can be used for several purposes such as:

* to create ideas (brain storming, etc.);
*to design a complex structure (long texts, hypermedia, large web sites, etc.);
*to effectively communicate complex ideas;
*to assist in connnecting old and new knowledge;
*to assess understanding or diagnose misunderstanding

Advantages:
-Concept mapping can better aid memory, rather than rote memorization of notes.
-Concept maps allow students to reiterate their ideas using their own words and patterns of thought.
-Concept maps allow students to brainstorm and better able to organize their thoughts
-Students are able to categorize and simplify complex information.
-Concept maps are a tool for measuring student growth and comprehension.
-Concept maps are flexible to various student styles.

Disadvantages:
-Concept mapping is geared towards visual learnes, and therefore might not appeal to students of with different learning styles (kinesthetic, logical, etc).
-Concept maps are only just a representation, and more in depth informationa and details is not represented in a map. This means concept maps cannot be used as a tool on its own, but as a complimentary to various modes of student learning.

Integration of concept mapping:

In grade 3 Health and Wellness the students are to learn to make responsble choices about maintaining good health, and one outcome is to learn the factors that affect choices for physical activity (ex. the impact on technology and media).
I would create a lesson with this focus by having the students brainstorm as a class various physical activities in their community. The students would then have to think about their own favorite activity and its connection with the media by following a guideline of questions such as:
* Is the sport covered on television?
* Is it featured in many ads?
* Is there any related clothing and name brands?
* Do you wear any of these brands? .....etc.......
The students would then discuss in small groups or pairs their thoughts. They would then research on the internet to look for ads, brand names, etc to see what sort of media coverage and influence is associated with their chosen sport.
Afterwards the students would create concepts maps about their sport and reasons they might or might not engage in the sport due to media influence.

Technology outcomes
C.1.1-1 Access and retrieve appropriate information from electronic source for specific inquiry
C.6.1-3 Use technololgy to support and present conclusions

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