I sold out a few years ago and entered corporate education. I work for a for-profit institution and I explain that we’re in the business of changing lives. And I mean it. For-profit schools, especially the vocational schools like the one I work for, have gotten a bad wrap for years. But we’re one of the good guys.
As I’m working through this course, it’s pretty cool to experience each tool or piece of software from the corporate side and then think how it might be used in the classroom.
Bubbl.us is one of those tools that’s really easy to look at from both sides. I get excited about Bubbl.us as an educator. I wish I had this or knew about this when I was still in the classroom. As a former Language Arts teacher, we did brainstorming for EVERYTHING. I’m really big on mapping things out before you put pen to paper. Especially as a teaching tool for novice writers.
As sixth graders, my students would enter my class with horrible writing habits. They would enter the classroom, receive a writing assignment and just start writing away. They would treat every essay like it was a race against time. This left zero time for planning. When I would first introduce brainstorming and bubble maps, students would groan. You mean purposefully drag out the writing process and make it more laborious? What is WRONG with you, Ms. Deller?? But over time they would start to get it.
Bubbl.us would have made brainstorming even more fun. If I had to imagine how I would use it for group brainstorming… I think I would still have done a preliminary brainstorming on the white board with a good old fashioned marker. I would have written things on the board as they popped out of my students’ mouths. Then, I would have loved to assign an expanded brainstorming map to the students as a classwork assignment on their laptops. For this one poetry project we would work on, this would have been ideal. It was a multimedia poetry project and they could have linked the different pieces of media to the Bubbl map. It would have served not just as their brainstorming tool, but as their organizational tool for the whole project.
In legal writing, you have to plan first, although we use a different planning system. I’ve been trying to think how I could have used Bubbl.us for my legal students, but I’m not sure it would work as well. Bubbl.us is great for brainstorming and interconnecting random thoughts. However, legal writing has to be so… logical and linear. The very design of Bubbl.us doesn’t leave a lot of room for that.
In the corporate world, we brainstorm all the time. It’s a key component of problem solving. I’m just trying to figure out of my colleagues would think I’m a nerd if I whipped out a Bubbl page for our next impromptu brainstorming session at work.