Tuesday, July 24, 2012

Popplet- A different approach to organizing

At a conference a few months back, I saw someone use a Popplet to share information, so I had to try it in my classroom.  The kids enjoyed it, and it was easy to teach and use.

A popplet works exactly like a graphic organizer but you are able to insert more dynamic media into it.  You link the topics together to assemble a detailed visual presentation.  I had my students use them to do projects about African Francophone Countries.  I informed the students what I wanted them to include in each branch of the popplet and they gave detailed information about what they found.  It is a free service with an additional amount for a paid service.

The neat thing about a popplet, it can be shared after it is done and other people can see it. You can use it for some different kinds of things:

1.  Research-  That's a no brainer.  Kids do research about a topic and treat it as a traditional graphic organizer.  Maybe include it with the paper they write as a secondary component.  It can assemble all of the student's notes and include documentation.  If students view a video clip, that can also be linked.  I can also see a teacher adding input and commentary to a student's information to assure it is being done accurately.

2. Collaboration-  The share tool allows you to send invites to different attendees and collaborators.  A teacher could establish the groups, create the original popplet and send an invite to each student int he group. The collaborators are identified next to the information they input. A teacher can login and see who does what.

3. Short story writing-  In the Foreign Language classroom, we do these story developments where students start with a topic and branch out to build a story.  A popplet could be a way to do that digitally.  Students start the central popplet with a starting statement.  Each branch can be a portion of the story.  I can see it used in the elementary grades as well.  Students could develop their own images on paint software on their computer and upload it to the popplet.  The sentences could be added under the image.   In the end, the student assemble their popplets into a book format on Publisher or an online book assembling program.  If your school is 1:1, you could spend a few days on a project such as this. This could help develop simple sentences into more complex ones as students build their skills.  Perhaps it is a tool that is started on day one and is used as a digital portfolio that builds as the year goes.

I know I only added three ideas for a popplet, but I am sure as you delve into it, you will find some other things that may work.

1 comment:

  1. Great story, thanks Jennifer.

    On the Popplet blog, we have just added our first list of 5 ways creatives are using Popplet (good to see we are thinking alike!), and hope to add another 5 ideas next month.

    In the meantime, when we do a blog post on ways businesses can use Popplet, we try to offer something along the lines of how the technique could be used in schools as well - see our post on the buyer persona template and its breakout box on how the technique can be used in education as an example.

    It's also great to read about using Popplet with foreign language classes - we know that is a big use amongst the schools sector.


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