Mindtools such as this concept map help students to gain a more indepth understanding of the material by building models of information they have gained from the material. For this map we will use the example of plants undergoing photosynthesis.
Concept maps are composed of nodes and links that connect them and help the learner distinguish relationships between different material.
Modeling systems are ways to show relationships between different components of a system through the use of simulations where students are actively creating real life experiences to be simulated. Components of this system include stocks which show the level of a particular simulation. Converters control the input and output of material. Connectors show the direction and effect through arrows. Although this was particularly confusing to me, I see how it could help with topics such as the cycle of photosynthesis where students watch the cycle begin and end.
Primary uses are for storing, calculating and presenting information. The support calculation functions and can present information in several ways including graphs. This model deals very highly with organization of material and identifying information based on high order thinking. I had no idea that spreadsheets could support simulations. I went into this section of the chapter thinking it merely was a way to show numbers, but I now realize just how much can be accomplish through the utilization of this problem solving tool. With our photosynthesis example we can use this tool to track the amount of inches the plant grows given the amount of sunlight, water, and the temperature.
These expert systems are made of facts and rules about the given subject. They give conditions and the decisions that must be made in response to those systems. It is used to simulate how humans make decisions. For example with our photosynthesis topic, how students will develop a decision as to the best placement of the plant for optimal growth. In that decision there also are conditions of how much water the plant is given.
Database Management Systems used to store, retrieve and utilize experiences and information gained through experiences. It's used to interrelate core ideas and stories. Students can majorly benefit from interrelating their stories with those of their peers. By using the photosynthesis example we can have students explore their experiences along with those of their peers. The students can then develop more rich ideas and understanding of what they see and what they learn. They can also set goals for other topics they want to pursue.
Concept maps are a great way for students to depict relationships between different aspects of a topic. Students use nodes to represent ideas and write discriptions of how they relate in the links. Having a continuous concept map thoughout the year is a great way for students to see the relationship between what they learn in the beginning of the year compared to the end of the year. Students can also use concept maps to track how a particular system works such as photosynthesis. They can use the links to show how each part of the cycle is interrelated.