Monday, August 2, 2010

SpicyNodes- an online mindmapping tool

This morning I have been trialling a new online tool called SpicyNodes.  According to the website, "SpicyNodes will do more than organize your web site. It will entice visitors to explore and savor the experience of visiting your site — allowing them to scan large quantities of information and linger over the details important to them."

SpicyNodes has a tree structure, which organizes information in a logical way, where you can drill down to information whilst seeing the connections between the information.  The end result is similar to another, more commonly known, online tool called Prezi.  The main difference in the output here is that SpicyNodes gives the end user the control of the navigation, whereas this is defined in a Prezi.  Both ways have their merits and therefore lend themselves to different uses.

I spent a little bit of time testing SpicyNodes out and I did find building one of these much easier than the few attempts I have had at building a Prezi.  This is primarily because with SpicyNode you build your 'tree' in a linear way and it then turns it into the flashy version for you.  This appeals more to my way of visualising concepts as I found with Prezi that I got stuck worrying about how the user would step through my presentation and how I could move the page and items to look impressive as they move through.

I can certainly see how a SpicyNode presentation could be used as a teaching aid and the website outlines many suggestions and reasons for it's educational value including:

  • Richly visual and interactive.
  • Appeal to various learning styles.
  • Engage students’ creativity.
  • Easy to learn.
  • Do more with less
  • A sensible use of technology.

My sample SpicyNode is below, enjoy! (best viewed in full screen)

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