Concept Mapping with InstaGrok

04/05/2014 3:09 PM | Elizabeth Ramos (Administrator)

These days, our students are coming to us as overwhelmingly visual learners. With all the time they spend on their devices it is no wonder. Additionally, there is much research behind the benefit of mind mapping to assist student learning. InstaGrok is a great tool for both teachers and students. As a teacher, it is great to introduce students to a topic and show relationships. As you map out your unit topic, you can select from InstaGrok's key facts with source attribution or hyperlink to websites with additional information. The latter is great for teachers to share their InstaGrok and provide links for further inquiry with their students. One may also add videos, pictures, and additional concepts from InstaGrok or add in your own note. The addition of your own notes is great for teachers to add additional video and images (InstaGrok has a limited selection at this point in time) as well as additional facts and primary sources!

My students were amazed and engaged when I first introduced them to InstaGrok. Beyond this, we found it to be a great tool for them to use to engage in historical inquiry. Students can enter a topic and use the web to further their inquiry and research into a topic. Some of the English teachers have also began to use it in their common Common Core lessons at my site. There are also other cross-curricular uses. When it came time for my students to begin their Cold War project, which includes a multimedia presentation, a few asked to use InstaGrok as their presentation tool.

There are many ways to individualize your InstaGrok with the background and concept colors, Again, the notes option allows one to type in their information and/or hyperlink to an outside item of interest. Once complete, you may share your InstaGrok with students or have them share their InstaGrok with you via FaceBook, Twitter, Google+, Pinterest, embedding it onto a website/electronic portfilio, or share it via a link in an email. They also provide the ability to view the InstaGrok in a journal mode and ability to quiz the students based on the key facts included to check for understanding.
California Council For the Social Studies
Serving Social Educators in California
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