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Organizing Tools Collection
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Organizing tools refers to a type of software designed to help students organize information and ideas, primarily through the use of "webs" or "concept maps." These visual outlines often appeal to students who feel constrained by the linear nature of text.

These resources were compiled during NCIP's period of funding, 1992-1998.  If you have any questions about a resource, please use the contact information listed for the resource.  NCIP encourages the reproduction an distribution of these materials as long as the contents are not altered in any way, and credit is given to NCIP.

The following print profile is an overview of the topic developed by NCIP:

NCIP Profile

"Organizing Information with Software Tools"

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The following resouces contained in NCIP's Organizing Tools Collection were compiled by NCIP.  They are grouped into the categories: General, Practice, Products, and Research.


Computer-Supported Study Strategies for Purple People

The complete text of an article by John Tenny, the Director of the Master of Arts in Teaching Department at Willamette University in Oregon. Tenny, describing himself as a "purple person...a multivariate, nonlinear thinker," shows how the concept-mapping features of Inspiration® supports diverse learners (including himself).

Semantic Organizers: Implications for Reading and Writing

Provides a rationale and practical applications for the explicit teaching of organizational strategies and the use of semantic organizers.

[NCIP Profile | General | Practice | Products | Research]


Beyond Notecards: Synthesizing Information with Electronic Study Tools

Summarizes an article by Lynn Anderson-Inman and Leigh Zeitz on the advantages of electronic outliners and concept mappers for gathering, recording, and organizing information for a report or paper.

Computer-Based Concept Mapping: Active Studying for Active Learners

Describes the benefits of CBFCM (computer-based formative concept mapping), a strategy developed by Lynn Anderson-Inman and Leigh Zeitz. Students create and revise concept maps as they gather and synthesize information.

Electronic Studying: Information Organizers to Help Students Study "Better," not "Harder"

Reviews an article by Lynn Anderson-Inman and John Tenny in which they explain how information organizers such as word processors, databases, and outliners have the potential to promote effective studying, and improve comprehension and retention of text.

[top | bottom | NCIP Profile | General | Practice | Products | Research]


Inspiration: Overview

Describes selected features of Inspiration, a powerful tool for brainstorming ideas and gathering and organizing information, by creating webs, flowcharts, and outlines.

Search Organizer

Describes the Search Organizer, a software tool under development at Education Development Center, that guides students to gather, organize, analyze, and synthesize information into an "I-Search Report."

[top | bottom | NCIP Profile | General | Practice | Products | Research]


Empowering Students with PowerBooks: Computer-based Study Strategies for Students with Learning Disabilities

Describes Project SUCCESS (Students Using Cognitively-Based Computer Enhanced Study Strategies) a research project designed to investigate the effects of computer-based information organizers as study tools. A vignette describing a student's use of a laptop computers with a set of organizing programs is included.

Project LITERACY-HI: Hypermedia for Readers with Hearing Impairments

Describes, LITERACY-HI, a research study of the benefits of electronically enhanced text for mainstreamed students with hearing impairments. The project creates and evaluates electronic versions of content-area textbooks that contain a variety of multimedia resources.

Supporting Students with Learning Disabilities: Integrating Technology into an I-Search Unit

The complete text of an article published by Judith Zorfass in Technology and Disability, describing how a rich variety of technology applications can be integrated to support students with learning disabilities as they gather, organize, analyze, and convey information. Zorfass describes the Search Organizer, a technology tool which is being developed to guide students through this process.

[NCIP Profile | General | Practice | Products | Research]


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This material was developed by the National Center to Improve Practice (NCIP), located at Education Development Center, Inc. in Newton, Massachusetts.  NCIP was funded by the U.S. Department of Education, Office of Special Education Programs from October 1, 1992 - September 30, 1998, Grant #H180N20013.  Permission is granted to copy and disseminate this information.  If you do so, please cite NCIP.   Contents do not necessarily reflect the views or policies of the Department of Education, nor does mention of trade names, commercial products, or organizations imply endorsement by NCIP, EDC, or the U.S. Government.  This site was last updated in September 1998. 

©Education Development Center, Inc.