We had featured PersonalBrain from TheBrain in our previous posts. We have featured more than 20 free Mind Mapping tools and online collaborative Mind Mapping tools. Here is yet another creative concept mapping framework called VUE – Visual Understanding Environment for managing and integrating digital resources in support of teaching, learning, presenting and research.
What is VUE?
Visual Understanding Environment (VUE) is a concept and content mapping application, primarily developed to support teaching, learning and research and for anyone who needs to organize, contextualize, and access digital information. It is an open source concept mapping tool based out of Tufts University, licensed under the Education Commons License.
With the help of a simple set of tools and a basic visual grammar that consists of nodes and links, faculty and students can map relationships between concepts, ideas and digital content. Although originally developed with a focus on educational needs, VUE has grown to be used by people in many organizations working on engineering, graphic design, creative problem solving, construction, writing, and more.
Concept mapping is not new to the educational field. The benefits of concept mapping as a learning tool have been documented by over 40 years of cognitive science research. VUE introduced the melding of the map with presentation tools, allowing people to move forward from the linear nature of traditional slide paradigms to a more flexible model which allows presenters to walk their maps in dynamic and visually controlled manner.
What are VUE digital resources?
Resources are little “plug-ins” that can be added to the VUE Resources window to search a variety of digital sources directly from within VUE. Resources can be easily added to the VUE resource window by click of a button.
The resources include:
- Museum of Fine Arts, Boston
- PubMed (NCBI)
- Summize Twitter Search
- Wikipedia (searched by Yahoo)
Other resources can be added by adding/importing RDF files.
VUE Key Features
Sharing and presenting information are important aspects of both academic work and business work. By using the two important tools, Interactive Zoom tools and the Pathways, it allows the presenters to walk-through the information in a more visual-interactive way.
By using VUE’s interactive zoom tool, authors may quickly zoom any node to full-screen mode with a single click. The Pathways allows you to create custom “trails” through nodes in your map and it permits construction of interactive presentations. VUE’s pathways feature allows presenters to create annotated trails through their maps.
There is an excellent Quick Time Video presentation that explains how powerful the VUE tools are and shows how it empowers the presenter to gather, analysis and share knowledge via linear and non-linear presentations.
For a complete list of features and videos, check the Visual Understanding Environment site.