Education app of the week: iMindMap HD for iPad

We’re always on the lookout for any iPad apps that make learning more intuitive and collaborative, and with this week’s top app, I think we’re onto a real cross-curriculuar winner. Read on to find out what iMindMap HD is, why we love it and, most importantly, how it can benefit the classroom…

What is iMindMap HD?

iMindMap HD (ThinkBuzan Ltd, free), as you can probably guess, is a mind-mapping tool for iPad which works in much the same way as Popplet (which Rob reviewed a few weeks ago here), letting students jot down and collate their ideas for any subject in a very visual way. It’s incredibly easy to use – simply drag a strand out from the middle starting point, type in the little box it creates, add another strand, add some more text, and so on. Unlike mind-mapping on paper, you’re not restricted by size, and students can move the strands around once it’s populated, making sense of their ideas and generally giving it a bit of a tidy up.

How can it benefit the classroom?

For any subject involving planning and research, especially history, iMindMap HD really comes into its own. Firstly, you can get students to enquire about a subject by going off and gathering information from a wide range of sources – websites, galleries, stories, eyewitness accounts – before collating it all as a mind map. Secondly, they can work on organisation and communication by selecting which bits are relevant, discarding the non-relevant bits and planning ways to communicate the information. This would also be great for researching geographical processes or planning experiments in science.

The 1:1, multitouch nature of iPad itself also makes it perfect for collaboration between students. Set them a group project, then they can assign each other their own research area, then come back with a mind map based on their portion of the project and share it with the group. iMindMap HD also lets you export mind maps so they can be shared via email and cloud-based services, but this is a paid-for feature. We found a quick workaround for this, though, is to simply take a screen grab of your mind map by holding your iPad’s lock button and clicking the Home button at the same time, then sharing from your Camera Roll. You can then stream it to your classroom’s Apple TV or use it in a presentation over AirPlay Mirroring, even.

What’s the best bit?

The real beauty of iMindMap HD is in just how intuitive it is – you simply drag a strand out from the middle starting point, and the app chooses a different colour for each strand, automatically colour coding and grouping ideas. This simplicity makes it great for every education level, from primary right up to higher education.

Where can I get it?

iMindMap HD (ThinkBuzan Ltd) is available on the Apple App Store or iTunes. While it is free, the basic version doesn’t let you export or share your mind maps with other devices – an in-app upgrade to iMindMap Freedom is needed if you want unlimited export and syncing options.

– If you missed it last week, you can catch up with our review of GarageBand for iPad here.

For more information about our top apps and Apple iPad for the classroom, get in touch with the team on 03332 409 333 or email You can also keep up with all our latest education news and reviews by following @Jigsaw24Edu on Twitter or ‘Like’-ing our Jigsaw24 Education Facebook page.

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