The link to the download is at http://cmap.ihmc.us/download/index.php for the user version of Cmap. Even after many years, I still use my Cmap software regularly. One of our uses is to do project management. We have teams of volunteers working on various aspects of course development. The Cmap helps us to quickly see if we are on schedule, what needs to be assigned, and more. It is used extensively as a study tool as well turning course content into a concise format with inter-relationships at the forefront. If you are not sure what Cmap is, just Google concept mapping or concept map to se some examples from many different software titles and even hand drawn ones to get a feel for what a concept map is all about.
I have never used Cmaps with my students, but while I was using it for my online class on Tecnhology in ESL teaching I realized how useful it was. It was a lot clearer to see the main ideas of the text I was summarizing. As a visual person, it was a lot easier to actually see the ideas organized in a kind of a "physical" environment. It was almost as if Icould "touch" my ideas, instead of only having them all disorganized in my mind. Besides, the possibility of using Cmaps with links to other sources makes them an almost endless source to teaching and learning.
A good idea to use Cmpas with youngers students would be to use lots of links to videos, pedagocical games, and flash presentations to illustrate or even explain better whatever is being taught.
I’m taking the same course as my colleague Bianca and, just like her, I’ve never used Cmaps with my students before; however, while we were doing a task in our online class, I discovered a new useful tool.
I must confess that when I was reading the theory by the first time I did not like it, but while we were creating the activities based on the Cmaps, I found out that, when it’s well developed and well planned, the activities can enhance students’ abilities and vocabulary in an incredible way. Now I am a big fan of Cmaps, and when it is possible, I will try to use it with my students.