Recently I was talking to a colleague about using technology in large group settings to foster discussions. He asked if there were any tools to support Affinity Diagramming. This was a new term for me so he sent along a short article explaining its use. Affinity Diagramming is a process that can help a group gather information (ideas, opinions, issues) and organize them based on their natural relationships. As luck would have it, I was working on a presentation for Interactive Whiteboards and came across a wonderful tool called Word Magnets that would help someone lead an Affinity Diagram, a brainstorming session, or any large group discussion where you want to organize the thoughts of the participants.
Word Magnets is a web-based tool that creates moveable text that can be organized by color, by location or by grouping. If you can use a word processor, you can use Word Magnets. The great feature is that you don’t need to create a username or password to use the site. You can simply visit the site and start typing in words. If you teach in a classroom with an Interactive Whiteboard, Word Magnets would be a great tool to use. Students can come to the “board” and physically move the text around to form groupings. Word Magnets is a perfect tool for those kinesthetic and visual learners in the class.
For more information on Word Magnets, be sure to check out the short tutorial below. For a article explaining how to use Affinity Diagramming, check out the following article.