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Creating and Collaborate on Digital Mind Maps in Freeform

6th June 2024

3:11

| Freeform
ipad_no_button
11" iPad Pro (2nd Generation)
ipados-17-icon
iPadOS 17.5

Jacob Woolcock

6th June 2024

Jacob Woolcock

79 views

3:11

| Freeform
ipad_no_button
11" iPad Pro (2nd Generation)
ipados-17-icon
iPadOS 17.5
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Description

In this video, I demonstrate how to use a Skriva stylus and the Freeform app on an iPad to create collaborative digital mind maps with students. By replacing traditional Post-it notes and paper with this digital solution, I show how to enhance classroom learning and management. You’ll learn how to set up a Freeform board, share it with students, and utilise the stylus for handwriting and grouping text. This approach not only makes mind mapping more interactive and organised but also encourages student engagement and ownership of their learning.

Transcript

Having a Skriva stylus opens up lots of activities on your iPad which are great for learning. One of the examples I use quite often is the Freeform app on a table of students. Rather than doing a mind map with Post-it notes and a big piece of A1 paper, we can do it digitally on Freeform and use that Skriva stylus to handwrite Post-it notes as a whole group collaboratively.

Here you can see I’ve got a Freeform board that I’ve made with a picture of a rocket taking off in the middle. The instruction for students is to create a mind map of adjectives that describe this scene, perhaps for a piece of creative writing we might do later on. Underneath, there’s a row of Post-it notes, enough for every student on my particular table. This is for the green table.

All I’m going to do is press the share button in the top right corner and change this to ‘Anyone with the link can edit’. That basically means I don’t have to manually add Apple IDs for my students. Instead, I can take that link, share it straight into Showbie, and share it with the exact students I want to receive it. For my demo class here, I’ll send it to a few demo students, but you get the idea.

When your students join this document, it’s time for them to choose their own Post-it note colour. They’re simply going to write their name onto one of those coloured Post-it notes underneath the picture. From then on, that’s the coloured Post-it note they can use for the mind map. I find this works really well for classroom management. I can see straight away which students added which things to the mind map, and it gives them a sense of ownership over their content as well.

Now I’ve chosen my colour, I’m simply going to make a new Post-it note and then change it to the colour I’ve just chosen. I can then duplicate this a few times to make a few Post-it notes all the same colour. All I need to do is simply zoom into that Post-it note and use my Skriva stylus to write some adjectives on those Post-it notes. I’m going to just do one on each one.

When I’ve done that, I want to group the handwriting to the Post-it note itself. I’m going to use my finger to tap and drag a box over the Post-it note. You’ll see it selected not only the Post-it but also the text as well. From here, I can then simply tap onto this button and choose ‘Group’. This means when I move the Post-it note around, the writing will also be attached to the Post-it note, just like it would be in the real world. If you don’t group them, the text and the Post-it note will go in separate directions, and that’s no good.

I can then simply turn on connectors and drag and drop a connector from this Post-it note back to the middle of my mind map. Already it’s starting to take shape with those Post-it notes. Because we invited the whole table in that collaboration earlier, when I zoom out, as if by magic, you’ll see their Post-it notes appear on the mind map as well. They’ve chosen the right colours, and their handwriting does look suspiciously like mine, but that’s the magic of editing.

Hopefully, you can see just how easy it is to create a collaborative mind map in Freeform. Personally, I like to take this learning one step further by getting my students to use the highlighter tool and circle two or three of their favourite words from the whole mind map. Very quickly, you can start seeing which words are most popular on the table, and everyone gets an input in that process. That’s just another way an iPad or a Skriva stylus can augment and enhance the teaching you do in your class.

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About Freeform
The Freeform app is a versatile digital canvas developed by Apple, designed for creative brainstorming and collaborative projects. It allows users to freely sketch, write, and organise ideas visually and supports real-time collaboration.
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Video Details

This QuickTip video was recorded on an 11" iPad Pro (2nd Generation)
running iPadOS 17.5.

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