5 Reasons Why Online Concept Maps are the Future of Learning: Advantages Over Traditional Pen and Paper Methods
The advent of digital technology has revolutionized our daily lives, offering us new opportunities but also some entirely modern dilemmas. Because of these dilemmas, we often approach innovation with skepticism. In reading as well as in the world of education in general, for example, there is a strong temptation to continue looking to the past and to the pleasures of paper.
While traditional methods have obviously accompanied students for centuries, establishing themselves as a pillar in educational culture, it must be recognized that online tools such as software and web apps for studying offer previously unimaginable advantages. A masterful example of this is online concept maps, an innovative study method that boasts several advantages over its paper counterpart.
While everyone may prefer one method over the other, or a mix of online and paper, in this article we will look at 5 reasons why creating online concept maps can be advantageous compared to making them in a traditional way with pen and paper:
The advantages of switching to online maps for easy modification and flexibility
Those who switch from paper concept maps to online ones immediately realize the first great advantage of this choice: a new ease of modification. Developing visual connections on electronic devices such as PCs, tablets or smartphones allows you to go back on your steps, make corrections or add elements at any time, eventually moving and deleting obsolete elements. Erasing and making changes on a sheet of paper becomes cumbersome and can compromise the final result.
By overcoming the need to clearly have in mind the organization of the work sheet from the beginning, students can experiment freely and improve their map at every stage of learning. This type of advantage is fundamental to make the study process more flexible and customizable, allowing each student's individuality to develop to the fullest.
In addition, creating online maps allows you to overcome the limits related to the nature of those who always aspire to perfection, even visually. This aspect is particularly important for those with ADHD or who are on the autism spectrum, as well as for all those students who pay particular attention to details.
Access, collaborate, and create anywhere!
Using digital tools to create concept maps online allows you to easily access concept maps anywhere, taking advantage of the real-time updating offered by the internet. Recent technological developments have made it possible to create web apps accessible from any device - such as Algor Education - that reproduce the same content on multiple devices simultaneously and offer users the ability to make changes and view them in real-time, in contexts of teaching or group study.
Creating concept maps online, in other words, completely frees students from the need to remember the physical copy of their creations. In addition, this type of real-time interaction can stimulate curiosity and creativity in the student, allowing them to refer to what they have studied in various situations and without the practical limits imposed by traditional methods.
The power of multimedia maps for inclusive and collaborative education
A typical characteristic of traditional learning methods is their "staticity". In other words, they are rigid study tools, not only difficult to modify, but also not very stimulating from a connective and visual point of view. Making maps with programs or online sites allows, on the contrary, to easily insert images, videos, and audio files, fully exploiting the potential of the internet.
Multimedia maps, those with images, videos, and resources from the web, are very effective for all students because they stimulate learning channels such as visual and auditory, in addition to traditional ones. In the classroom context, they are very suitable for making lessons more inclusive and collaborative for all students, and particularly for those with Specific Learning Disorders (SLD) or Special Educational Needs (SEN).
The technological version of concept maps is useful, therefore, both in the creation phase for practical reasons, and in the actual assimilation of concepts. Having a diverse and stimulating visual impact is indeed a facilitator of the memorization process, because it creates a sensory stimulus otherwise difficult to reproduce.
How online concept maps foster peer-to-peer learning and inclusive teaching
Creating online concept maps can revolutionize students' study methods, allowing them to share their work not only with their adult reference figures (teachers or tutors), but also with their classmates. This particular feature offered by the internet fits perfectly with new teaching methods such as "peer-to-peer" or "equal", in which study groups serve to enhance the work of the brightest students and facilitate the learning process for those who have more difficulties.
On the one hand, the possibility of comparing oneself with those who are studying the same subjects allows for a constant exchange, with didactic growth that becomes transversal and surpasses the individual level. On the other hand, receiving feedback from teachers and parents can give students confidence, while introducing a method of silent supervision for parents to ensure that the student is organizing their work functionally.
Save time and create more space with online concept maps
Logistically speaking, paper has obvious limitations when it comes to managing time during text schematization. A common factor among all the advantages listed so far is that they all contribute, together, to saving a lot of time lost both in creation and modification with pen and paper.
The time saved makes map creation easier, without compromising the effectiveness of learning. In fact, creating concept maps online allows for a less frustrating and, above all, more optimized educational process, carving out additional spaces for any further insights or - why not - extracurricular passions.
A comprehensive guide
To conclude, each of us learns in a different way and prefers different methods: some still use pen and paper, some only use digital tools, and some use a mix of both. However, the advantages of creating online diagrams that we have listed in this article cannot be overlooked.
If you want to take advantage of all the benefits offered by online concept maps, then you cannot do without the Algor Education web app. The platform will allow you to create your own conceptual or mental diagrams online, both manually and automatically, starting from text files or keywords. Here is an example of a concept map created online with Algor.
Algor Education is designed to optimize the time and methods of editing concept maps, offering a very intuitive interface and designed with the goal of 360° inclusivity. Through a completely innovative system, it will also allow you to take advantage of all the functions of online platforms: multimedia maps, real-time sharing, and the ability to consult from all types of devices (tablet, PC, smartphone) without the need for annoying manual data transfers.
Article by Nina Komadina, content creator.