News and thoughts from CS Odessa, maker of the ConceptDraw product line: ConceptDraw PRO, ConceptDraw PROJECT and ConceptDraw MINDMAP.

Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Prepare and Present Business Plans like Steve Jobs

Step 1. From ConceptDraw MINDMAP, open the Business Plan Presentation template.

Step 2. Add key points of your presentation as subtopics to top-level topics.

Step 3. Enhance clarity to presentations by inserting clip art and symbols.

Step 4. From the toolbar, click Insert Relationship to connect related topics. Select a topic and hold and drag the mouse button to the related topic.

Step 5. Read through the presentation and ensure that it has been structured properly.

Step 6. Add key notes for topics and subtopics.

Result: A structured Business Plan Presentation.

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Transfer Microsoft Project Data to ConceptDraw PROJECT and Generate Status Reports

Step 1. From the Microsoft Project File menu, save your Microsoft Project document as a MS Project XML file, by selecting Save as (*.xml).

Step 2. From the ConceptDraw PROJECT File menu, select Open. Open the MS Project XML file.

Step 3. From the main toolbar, click the Generate Reports icon. Select the report you wish generate. Your report is automatically generated.

Result: Now you can distribute your project status reports to everyone in your organization!

Thursday, March 18, 2010

New Webinar: Get Started with ConceptDraw Office

Do you want to know more about ConceptDraw products and how to max out on their functionality? 

This year we are introduce a series of online seminars to show the power and the simplicity of use in our products. We want to show you how easy it is to start using ConceptDraw products to be productive-- right from the very start.

Our first webinar was focused on ConceptDraw MINDMAP and how it can be used to front end any project or process. We addressed some of the integration points with the other products in our ConceptDraw Office suite, which is comprised of: ConceptDraw MINDMAP, ConceptDraw PROJECT and ConceptDraw PRO.

Upcoming Webinar!

Join us March 25, 2010 for the next webinar, Get Started With ConceptDraw Office.

Course Overview:

Learn how to get started with ConceptDraw Office. This webinar will focus on a practical business usage case and cover how ConceptDraw Office can be used from start-to-finish. There will be an open Q & A session at the end of the seminar.

Reserve your seat here. Act now, as space is limited!

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Teaching with Mind Maps So Students Learn.

Teachers have many demands on their time outside of what they get paid to do while in the classroom. Especially with the growing trend of school budget cuts, more and more demands are put on Teachers to lead after school sports and clubs, department meetings, marking homework, study groups, and student meetings.

With only so many hours in a day, the routine work of creating and updating lesson plans, developing course work, designing class presentations, and figuring out the best way to make necessary information to students available and retentive seems almost impossible. Even worse, it always seems like things could be done better, if given the right tool and more time.

By using mind maps, Teachers are able to speed up lesson planning, collaborate with other teachers—and even students, create stunning visual presentations of course content, and increase the level of information retention in their students.

ConceptDraw MINDMAP can be used effectively to organize large amounts of information, combining spatial organization and dynamic hierarchical structuring. ConceptDraw MINDMAP extends the concept of mind mapping by enabling Teachers to map more than just thoughts and ideas, with information on their computers and the internet, such as spreadsheets, documents, internet sites and images.

Many teachers find that their teaching style doesn't match the learning style of some of their students. With ConceptDraw MINDMAP you can easily prepare and present lessons that have a powerful effect on your students. As your present your syllabus, lessons, or supplementary teaching materials, students are able to easily retrieve and retain the necessary information in a way that best matches their learning style.

Teachers who have already begun adapting mind mapping to their course development are able to create powerful classroom presentations, well-thought out lesson plans, innovative handouts, effective study groups, and a central location for supplementary course materials such as websites, documents, and images. With the power of ConceptDraw MINDMAP, all the key components of teaching easily combine to become an unforgettable learning experience for their classrooms- no matter the grade level.

Mind maps may be applied to any academic task or goal while actively engaging students of all ages in creative thinking, organization, and problem solving. Mind maps are suitable for any subject or theme, and can be used in lecture halls, classrooms, online learning environments, and small groups that are geared towards groups or individual audiences.
Using mind maps in the academic environment:

  • Encourages integrated learning
  • Engages students
  • Improves memory recall
  • Generates Ideas and Inspiration
  • Assists teaching students with learning disabilities or language barriers.
    Mind maps enable students to see all classroom information in its appropriate context, with content, pictures, links, documents etc. Students immediately see the value and relevance of their contributions, helping them understand the subject more effectively.
  • Saves Time Outside the Classroom
    Teachers benefit from increased efficiency and organization in classroom or course preparation and student support.
  • Allows Teachers to set Academic Goals and Effectively Prepare Lessons
    The freedom of creativity is naturally unleashed when using ConceptDraw MINDMAP to develop lesson plans. By brainstorming lesson topics, adding in topic details as sub-topics, creating hyperlinks to website, resources, worksheets, other related lessons, and collaborating with other teachers, associating various steps needed to complete each lesson is a snap.
  • Reap the Rewards of Teacher to Student Benefits
    Once the concept of mind maps is understood, all of your students will begin to see the beneficial results. The huge difference between student performance and teacher-student engagement is beyond effective. It is rewarding for everyone.
  • Makes Structuring Lessons Simple and Straightforward
    Once a lesson plan is created, it is easy to add introductions, main lessons, summaries, follow-ups, additional resource lists, assignments, and keywords to your mind map. Collaborate with other teacher by linking to other mind maps from other lesson plans.
  • Makes for Memorable First Days
    Engaging and memorable first day of class introductions, explanations of class expectations, rules of conduct, class requirements, and more.
  • Allows Teachers to Create Stunning Presentations of Assignments

ConceptDraw MINDMAP is a powerful academic productivity software application that provides visual organization and access to information for educational environments.

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Sharing Our Blog with Readers Around the World

At CS Odessa, we use Sitemeter to keep track on blog traffic and reader locations. So many of our readers are from all over the world!

Up to date, there have been readers from places such as:
  • South Africa
  • Australia
  • Sudan
  • New Delhi
  • Italy
  • Germany
  • France
  • England

With social media the center of so much attention, we are thrilled to know that our blog has such a versatile readership! It is our goal of this blog to increase a sense of a ConceptDraw community among our users.

The point? We want to hear from you. All of you. From all over the world. Say anything. Tell us what you like about our posts. What you want to see in the future. What you ate for lunch! Share with us your thoughts and ideas on your latest mind maps.

If the entire world is opening up, then so should we!

Look forward to meeting you.....

Sunday, March 14, 2010

McGee on Pink

Dan Pink.

I've made a couple of references in the past to Jim McGee's "Musings" blog. He recently posted about one of my favorite modern cultural thinkers, Dan Pink. Enclosed in McGee's post is the presentation Pink did at TED. Go to Jim's blog and watch Dan Pink at TED.

As McGee says, "Once you begin to understand and accept what the evidence base says about motivation, you are left with the challenge of how to take advantage of your new understanding in the face of entrenched systems and practices that haven’t caught up with you. Sharing Pink’s book with your colleagues wouldn’t be a bad way to start."

I've mentioned TED before too. And if you haven't seen much of what goes on at TED, here's where you can go to find out all about the TED Conferences.

Friday, March 5, 2010

Present Engaging Class Lectures with ConceptDraw MINDMAP

Step 1. From ConceptDraw MINDMAP, open the Sample Lecture Plan mind map.

Step 2. Press F5 to enter Full-Screen mode.

Step 3. Use the keyboard Arrow keys to navigate through each lecture point.

Step 4. Press Tab from your keyboard to view each object in the order they were created, from earliest to most recent.

Step 5. Press Shift+Tab from your keyboard, to view each object in the order they were created, from most recent to earliest.

Result: A professional and interactive lecture that engages students to learn.

MINDWAVE Generates Tsunami of Interest

The litle robot that could. It's pretty cool that ConceptDraw MINDWAVE has found such a large audience already. It's been mentioned on more than 1700 blogs and web sites since we introduced it four days ago. Here are just 3 examples:

The Shiny Wave says that "Because many, many gadgets and robots made for Google Wave at this time are really working prototypes... it is so nice to get something that can be used immediately professionally."

Chuck Frey at The MindMapping Software Blog notes that "This neat tool brings an important visual element to collaboration within Google Wave, which is almost 100% text based."

And the iPodnn blog points out that "Google Wave teams can [use MindWave to] come together and collaborate on projects, adding input and suggestions."

Let us know if/how you're using ConceptDraw MINDWAVE yourself!

Monday, March 1, 2010

ConceptDraw MindWave Beta for Google Wave

Collaborate with others using all the perks of a mind map in Google Wave.

ConceptDraw MindWave is a no charge plug-in for Google Wave that enables users to build maps with others in real time.

Share your ideas and processes with other team players at any momentum!

Read more on this amazing new solution and download instructions here.