My presentation will be on the Free concept mapping tool - CMap. To access the client, visit and while you're looking over the site and application request the server too if that's relevant to your responsibilities and resources.

The reason for capitalizing the F in Free is to focus on the freedoms granted by the authors of this application - as so much of the foundations of technology, developed at university under government sponsorship funded with public monies. However, unlike the numerous other developments that have immediately become commercialized and closed behind the doors of proprietary intellectual property, this one made it all the way to the people. People who can use and benefit from it's power and capabilities, and people who can create with this tool things upon which others may build.

Presenter Page information

1. Your Name

Frank Pirrone

2. Your Location

Buffalo, New York USA

3. Your Blog/Website (if applicable)

School District - Tonawanda City Schools (a northern suburb of Buffalo) - a site I designed, created and maintain - an Intranet site I host for internal and external use
On this site I have created applications and have installed a few F/OSS programs.
It is a typical LAMP solution using Linux, Apache, MySQL, and PHP to do its tricks.
I have Blogs and Wikis running on this server for teachers and students to use.
This server also hosts the CMapServer that will be used for my presentation.

4. Presentation title

“Collaborative Concept Mapping - Breaking the Bounds of Location and Time… for $0.00 per Seat”

5. Presentation description

This presentation will introduce and facilitate the exploration of a Concept Mapping solution that was developed at university under funding by government agencies. CMapServers are running around the world for accessing, publishing, and collaborating in the building of Concept Maps. CMapTools is a stand-alone application for developing Concept Maps which can be published to a CMapServer for public access or for controlled-access collaboration.

CMaps constitutes a powerful set of tools to facilitate the development of high-order thinking skills in the process of creating these analytical and descriptive maps. These maps are capable of containing concept text and relationships as well as all multimedia elements and hyperlinks to resources needed to support and inform the map. As sophisticated as this sounds, this application can be used in the earliest grades, and is being used by academic institutions and government agencies to address the most difficult and complex of problems and issues.

Commercial software exists for the purpose of concept mapping at elementary, intermediate, and secondary grades. These programs are visually attractive and highly functional, but the ability to publish and collaborate in the development of maps - student to student, room to room, school to school, and across the region and even the world, along with the ability to incorporate every type of media and form of information makes CMap a compelling choice.

Factor in the access rights and cost - free to use for commercial and educational purposes alike, as well as to distribute freely to any and all students - and CMap is a solution to many educational needs and a support for both student development and student work that all school districts should examine closely and seriously consider utilizing.

6. Short presenter bio

The presenter has been involved with programming and computing since 1979, having built and used some of the early machines in the microcomputer revolution, as well as having explored many of the most powerful and interesting programming languages. He has created applications for personal, commercial, and educational use throughout that time up to the present. For the last eight years he has served as Technology Coordinator/Technology Integrator for the Tonawanda City School District, a suburb of Buffalo New York not far from Niagara Falls, after having taught science at grades seven through ten for the preceding twenty years.

Since the presenter's experience in both education and technology progressed synchronously, there occurred many opportunities for synergy in the interplay of the two. When the school district was ready for a major commitment to technology he was able to sit on the committee that designed the implementation and wrote the first District Technology Plan.

Following that he was able to design and implement technology inservice programs built upon a team-based, peer to peer model of expanding expertise and support visualized as concentric circles propagating from a kernel of core individuals quickly brought up to competency through focused intensive experiences in a real-world classroom context.

When each classroom was equipped with computers and peripherals, classroom monitors and broadband connection to the Internet, the presenter was positioned to transition to his current role as full-time supporter of the productive use of technology in the educational process. Along the way, the Intranet was created hosting useful applications and databases for a wide range of student and teacher uses, all made possible by the parallel development of education and programming expertise. This combination has proven to be of considerable value to the district, in many expected ways as well as in many that weren't foreseen.

7. Link to presenter bio

See above

8. Link(s) to the actual presentation


9. Links related to your presentation

Concept Map Theory
CMap Whitepapers

CMap Documentation
CMap Research and Publications
CMap Help
CMap Support

Presenter Pages