The E.G.O. Project (Electronic Graphic Organizers)

The EGO project blog is a communication venue for the research into Electronic Graphic Organizers. It will be used to provide a place for collecting the names of various software packages and then have users provide input into their applications.

Friday, July 07, 2006

NECC Presentation: Thinking Graphically

Thinking Graphically: Matching the Tool with the Job

This is the presentation that Dr. Lynne Anderson-Inman and I presented at the National Educational Computing Conference (NECC) in San Diego on Friday, July 7, 2006.

We will be posting the handouts here along with the PPT and a podcast of the presentation (if that works out.)

As you can see, it isn't already posted but come back in a few days.

If you are reading this while the presentation is going (naughty you, pay attention . . . ) or after you were involved in it, please leave some comments on what you thought, what you are doing and what you want to know about Graphic Organizers.

Monday, June 19, 2006

Active vs. Passive Graphic Organizers

While creating a list of Electronic Graphic Organizers, I realized that there is a distinction between Graphic Organizers that I hadn't considered.

Graphic organizers are tools that are used to graphically show the relationships between ideas or concepts.  

This is usually done in an active manner that involves the user doing the listing and organizing of the various ideas.

The advent of technology and web has provided a manner in which the relationships are already created for the user.  This is a passive manner for the user. The two relational organizers that were listed in the previous posting on this blog are both passive.

These organizers: liveplasma and visualthesaurus, are definitely passive.

I would imagine that these could also be considered “reference” organizers so that a learner can get the “lay of the land” and then use the active organizers to structure his/her own understanding of the content.


Tuesday, May 23, 2006

Liveplasma for Music and Movies

Liveplasma is an interesting graphic organizer that positions all of the
associated nodes in terms of relative importance to the selected musical
group or movie.

This is similar the the semantic mapping system used in the C-Map program.

This is even more similar to the system used with the Visual Thesaurus by

Check these out and tell me what you think. What sorts of characteristics
can be added to our outline of characteristics for Graphic Organizers.


Saturday, May 20, 2006

Map of the Outline

EGO Characteristics Outline

This is the Characteristics Outline that I have created so far . . .

Please use the comments portion of this blog to give input. There was a great number of good ideas that were suggested by the Oregon Group, but some of them were ideas for new and innovative additions to outlines and diagrams. Remember that these are characteristics of existing Electronic Graphic Organizers.

Electronic Graphic Organizer Characteristics
I. Access
A. Software is web-based
B. Free/Shareware/Commercial
II. User Interface
A. Stand Alone
B. Collaborative
III. Platforms
A. Macintosh
B. Windows
C. Linux
D. Handhelds
IV. Control
A. Keyboard commands
B. Arrange/Rearrange capabilities
1. Top-down
2. Bottom-Up
3. Right-Tree
4. Left-Tree
C. Rapidfire capability
V. Nodes
A. Nodes can be colored
B. Notes are connected with nodes
C. Sound can be connected with nodes
D. Can insert video or sound
VI. Symbols
A. Symbol library
1. Program-based
2. Web-based
B. Can Personalize the Symbol Library
C. Drag and Drop
D. Fill colors can be used
VII. Links
A. Links can be modified
B. Links can be labeled
C. Hyperlinkable
D. Gather HyperLinked files
VIII. Text
A. Spell Checker
B. Dictionary
C. Text-to-Speech
D. Manipulation
1. Cut, Past, Copy, etc.
IX. Format
A. Diagram
B. Outline
C. Outline interacting with Diagram
X. Organization
A. Can gather hyperlinked files
B. Link to other outlines (parent/child)
XI. Saving
A. Transfer to Word Processor
B. Transfer to PowerPoint
C. Save as .jpg
D. Save as webpage
E. Save as .pdf (This is probably OS dependent)
XII. Viewing
A. Various levels available

Tuesday, May 16, 2006

Kidspiration by Inspiration Corp

A commercial stand-alone diagramming/outlining program designed for k-5th grade learners.

Students build graphic organizers by combining pictures, text and spoken woreds to represent thoughts and information.

Inspiration by Inspiration Corp.

This is a very popular product in the K-12 schools.

It provides both a diagram and an outline mode.

EGO Project

This blog is a source of information for the EGO project.

The EGO project is a research project headed by Leigh Zeitz of the University of Northern Iowa and Lynne Anderson of the University of Oregon.

The EGO project is striving to advance the use of electronic graphic organizers for learning through better understanding and application. Graphic organizers are widely being used to address multiple learning styles in education, but the effective use of this learning tool is limited by the general lack of understanding about the capabilities of graphic organizers.

The EGO Project is developing a typology of graphic organizers to better understand the characteristics and nuances of their many incarnations. These are not computer-based organizers but rather examples of graphic organizers that can be portrayed on paper, whiteboard or computer screen.

This typology is designed to differentiate the forms of graphic organizers and then use this inventory of characteristics to better connect the application with appropriate software for classroom use. As the genre is better understood, it can be more effectively used by classroom teachers to support informed learning and knowledge representation.

This blog will be used to provide an opportunity for users to post their comments about each of the software packages that are presented.