bubbl.us: Online concept mapping

Here is bubbl.us' self described content description: "Bubbl.us is a simple and free web application that lets you brainstorm online."

It is a concept mapping web 2.0 application, similar to Inspiration, that allows the user to make graphical representations of ideas. Bubbl.us calles these concept maps "mind maps."

Bubbl.us Basics: Brainstorming and Mind-mapping Online, from YouTube so watch the video and go on bubble.us and make a mind map.

Resource Links

SWOT Analysis


  • Free version of concept mapping software that otherwise would require installation on a computer locally as well as an expense.
  • Signing up is a one step process that is easy and free
  • Invitations can be extended to friends or individual students to participate in a collaborative concept map.
  • Concept maps can be saved as an image, embedded in a blog or website, emailed, or printed.
  • Color coded levels of hierarchy.
  • Intuitive interface.
  • An easy to use workspace that allows ideas to be manifested visually through concept mapping
  • User friendly with simple pop up tools for easy editing which means no toolbar overload
  • Simple and fast saving and loading
  • Line labels and arrows to define and clarify connections
  • Good sorting tools for group brainstorm ideas
  • Kid-friendly
  • Helps organize thoughts and generate ideas
  • Encourages risk- taking
  • Incorporates multiple intelligences
  • Good tool for visual and kinesthetic learnings
  • Can be used at all grade levels; wide range of simple mind-mapping to more complex mind-mapping


  • Does not support incorporation of images.
  • Commenting difficult to moderate, especially if a lot of users are contributing.
  • Limited bubble shapes.
  • Free but need to have an account
  • Although bubbles can be dragged around they are static in the sense that they do not allow for animation or embedding of multimedia ( a key attraction for students with deep sensory appetites)
  • The free version only allows for 3 saved mind maps. Need to pay for unlimited number of mind maps.


  • Cost is not an issue.
  • Collaboration over local or global distances possible.
  • Capability to print what is created.
  • This tool helps students to conceptualize and practice the skills of brainstorming, idea generation, idea organization and peer collaboration
  • User can brainstorm assignment individually or collaborate with groups
  • Promotes student creativity, critical thinking, team work, and effective communication skills
  • Can be used as an out-of-school tool for students


  • Contributions are not attributed to the user that makes them. This opens the door to destructive vandalism or the possibility that inappropriate content could be posted.
  • Easy to collaborate but hard to keep control of edited page.
  • Since it allows for only 3 saved mind maps, the user will be unable to edit a mind map that has been created if the map was deleted to do additional mind maps. As a result, the user would need to create the entire mind map over again.

Ideas for the Classroom

Communication and Productivity
  • Brainstorm group project assignments and discussion
  • Create timeline for group project management
  • Can be used as a pre- and post- topic assessment tool; create mindmap showing what students know before the lesson and one showing what they have learned

Reading/Language Arts
  • Mind map a book chapter or entire book instead of outlining in the traditional sense.
  • Mapping tools can be used to describe the attributes of characters and settings in literature
  • Show character development by mapping traits to characters in a story
  • Utilize as a graphical representation of sequence of events
  • Utilize with students as a lesson summation tool
  • Utilize with students as a note organization and study tool
  • Vocabulary lesson can be used with this.
  • Create word webs to share with classmates who may have related words
  • Introduce note-taking strategies to analyze literature
  • Use as a writing graphic organizer by creating the concept map and then using it to compose the paragraph
  • Students can explore vocabulary by making root word trees (also good for struggling readers and ELL students)

  • Solve equations by different methods
  • clarify the relationship of shapes such as quadrilateral, parallelogram, rectangle, square, rhombus
  • classify the different types of triangles and their side and angle properties

  • Flow-chart style mapping of problem solving strategies.
  • Science Processes such as Precipitation Cycle can be illustrated.
  • Show relationships such as classification of living and nonliving, classification of animals

Social Studies
  • Individual student can reflect lesson learned for a specific subject.
  • Students can make a family tree when studying family heritage
  • Students (individually or in groups) can make a timeline for a specific historical period or event

Visual and Performing Arts
  • Students can use mapping in Performing Arts for both scene and character analysis
  • Resource can be used to storyboard ideas for scripts in playwriting workshops
  • Student actors can map out positive and constructive criticisms of scenes and performances

Other Subject Areas