Knowledge Construction Mindtools

Like buildings...KNOWLEDGE should be constructed ground-up!

What are knowledge construction mindtools and why do we use them??

Constructionism is a pedagogical approach that supports the idea that students should be designers and creators of their own learning materials--a truly "learn by doing" approach to education.  Knowledge construction mindtools can serve as vehicles to deliver students to their ultimate destination...the construction of a personal knowledge base on a wide array of topics.  Hypermedia allows students to create, share and modify nodes of information that can be delivered in a variety of formats including text, video, sound, graphics and many more.  Success in the 21st century world is defined by mastery of creative and critical thinking skills and by openess to collaboration.  Knowledge construction mindtools can provide valuable experiences with these skills for learners of today.


Databases are unique in that they fit into 2 categories of mindtools--semantic organization and knowledge construction tools.  Databases are organized collections of data that can categorize information by attributes.  Once data is organized in a coherent fashion, students can easily construct understanding and knowledge of a topic and learning can occur.Databases can be used in any subject.  By using databases in a knowledge construction setting, students can organize and interpret their own understanding and "reality" of a topic instead of just hearing from only the teacher's perspective.  By incorporating Web 2.0 tools, students can create databases that can be shared and modified by other students thus making learning a community endeavor.  Exposure to different interpretations of given topics allows students to construct richer personal knowledge bases.  Students learn more by creating, than by simply listening and taking notes from the "sage on the stage".
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Current Examples of Databases using Web 2.0 Tools and Best Practices...

The creation of databases by your students can be facilitated by a number of software packages that are available for purchase or by a number of free online Web 2.0 resources.  Microsoft Office and Access can be used to create both spreadsheets and databases.  Google Docs also has a spreadsheet feature that can be modified to create databases.  Have your students visit to search a variety of online tools to help them organize their information into databases.  We found 2 interesting and  Both of these sites allow users to create and share databases and also allow all approved users of the database to add and modify information.  Students who are responsible for constructing databases will have to employ a number of critical thinking skills, management skills, research skills, and organization skills.  Using these skills and tools will inevitably lead to increased understanding and knowledge of subject matter.

Practical Ideas for Databases in the Classroom...

*Mathematics--Students can use databases to organize attributes of polygons, angles and their relationships, transformations, etc.  They can use these databases to compare/contrast, draw conclusions, classify, and define.*Language Arts--Students can create author databases and organize literature by genre.*Science--Students can use databases to compare biomes, parts of cells and their functions, different species that live in a given habitat, etc.  They can use their databases to investigate commonalities and differences, compare/contrast.*Social Studies--Databases can be used to categorize important events in a particular time period and then create a timeline, sort different battles of the Civil War by certain attributes (who fought, who won, description of terrain, etc.), sort different attributes of geographical regions of our world to understand how geography plays a role in the emergence of cultures and social mores that are different from their own.
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EDMODO! A fun way to build an online classroom community!

According to, "Edmodo provides a safe and easy way for your class to connect and collaborate, share content, and access homework, grades and school notices." Edmodo is similar to a Facebook that is practical for school use and has a similar format that is user friendly for students because it is familiar. It is also engaging and fun!
What is Edmodo??

Examples and Best Practices

Edmodo can be used in a variety of ways. Students can use Edmodo as a tool for collaborating and a tool to work together for project based learning. Edmodo can be used somewhat like a Facebook page where you can make comments and find out information. It can be used somewhat like a chatroom to have discussions in small groups. It can serve like a blog to share your thoughts and opinions.

Teachers create an Edmodo account for themselves and create small groups or classes on Users can have an “About Me,” section, and a “Connections,” section where they link with others. It is safer than a Facebook because of the supervision capabilities of a teacher within his or her class. Edmodo has capabilities for having online reading groups or small groups for discussions that teachers can monitor. Students can have book discussions on Edmodo and link not only with students in their class, but outside of their classroom.

Edmodo at a glance

How can I use it in MY classroom?!

Edmodo can be used for students participating in county wide programs like Battle of the Books to host book discussions.

Teachers can post a question and students can respond similar to a Facebook post.

Students can share their hypothesis and evidence for Science experiments.

Students can debate an idea weighing out pros and cons.

Students can participate in quizzes or poles easily on a teachers Edmodo page.

Teachers also can post homework or assignments for students to access online.

Teachers and students can access a shared planner or calendar to share upcoming events.

Apps are available in Edmodo for students to have easy access to other websites or webtools.

Glogster EDU- Creativity is Learning!

Glogster EDU is a social networking tool that allows students to create free interactive posers, also known as "glogs". When creating a poster, students can combine text, audio, video, images, and hyperlinks. Glogs are safe and private and can be completely monitoried by a child's teacher. Glogster EDU has become a very popular 2.0 tool in the classroom. It enhances learning by providing a fun and creative learning experience. It promotes the use of the writing process, collaboration with others, and the use of technology to organize and display knowledge.

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Glogster EDU is incredibly easy to use. Here is a 90 second tutorial by Traci Blazosky that shows how you can begin using glogs in your classroom.
Glogster in 90 seconds

Engage, Inspire, & Excite

Glogster EDU can be used for any curriculum area. Students can create a glog to display any new knowledge or learning. The following are different examples for different subject areas.


  • Book reviews
  • Character portrayals
  • Story settings
  • New vocabulary
  • Parts of speech


  • Explain mathematical concepts
  • Display real world math
  • Famous mathematicians


  • Body systems
  • Solar system
  • Forces
  • Energy
  • Water cycle

Social Studies:

  • Famous people, time or era
  • Timeline of events
  • Historical events

Create & Share

Anyone can create a glog, including teachers. Once a glog is finished, the user can share using their facebook, twitter, or google + account. Glogs can also be shared through social bookmarking sites like or via email.

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edmodo1. (Producer). (2011). Edmodo at a glance. [Web Video]. Retrieved from

glogster. (n.d.). Hyperbole Glog by tristynwalton | Publish with Glogster!. Glogster - join the visual communication network . Retrieved April 1, 2013, from

glogster. (n.d.). Math 7th grade (Integers) | Publish with Glogster!. Glogster - join the visual communication network . Retrieved April 1, 2013, from

ipadsammy. (Producer). (2011). What is edmodo??. [Web Video]. Retrieved from

Jonassen, D., Carr, C., & Yueh, H. (1998). Computers as mindtools for engaging learners in critical thinking. TechTrends, 43(2), 24-32.

Technology meets Education » Glogster in the Classroom. (n.d.). Technology meets Education. Retrieved April 1, 2013, from

Water Cycle: text, images, music, video | Glogster EDU - 21st century multimedia tool for educators, teachers and students. (n.d.). jaymelynne's Profile | Glogster EDU - 21st century multimedia tool for educators, teachers and students. Retrieved April 1, 2013, from

Created by the following Mindtools Masters:

Kayla Phipps, Stephanie Witten, Melissa Gibson