Sunday, October 2, 2011

BP3_Web 2.0 Tools: Popplet in the Classroom
I used Popplet for an assignment in month two at Full Sail University. It was a little like falling in love! I started out looking for a tool that would work well in my biology class, using it for reviewing important vocabulary and connecting related concepts. Concept maps are very difficult for me to use, in the past I have only tried the pre-printed variety, which doesn't stimulate learning in my opinion. What I wanted to find was a way to have the kids make their own connections between words, connections that were meaningful to them, not to me.  This allows them to internalize the vocabulary, or the concept, in a way that will stay with them after my class.
Popplet on the iPad

My first activity involved using Popplet on the iPad to stimulate discussion about the relationship between vocabulary words in a biochemistry unit.  Students were given a list of twelve words, they had to type in each word and recall the definition. Then they connect the words and share the reason for each connection that they made.

All of my classes really enjoyed this activity. We have used Popplet's since this activity to relate the parts of the cell, connect genetics vocabulary, and to create ecological pyramids with ecology terms. This is the best tool I have found to get my students interested in their vocabulary and actually USING the terms!

Popplet Concept Map

I have also used Popplet on the web to create graphics for assignments in my Full Sail classes.  I've shared these projects with my students, they absolutely loved them! The parts that they like: first, it's free!! Second, the ease of use! It really is so easy that a first grader can do it. Third, it's customizable. You can use your own color scheme, add movies, pictures, etc.  And finally, you can collaborate with your colleagues via the web tool.

In summary, I can envision Popplet being used in any classroom. I've shown here how it can be used to relate vocabulary terms or concepts, but there are many other uses.  Students could brainstorm elements of a story/book and connect them. You can make a timeline of any event very easily.  You could map countries/states/capitals.  A friend in another class had his students relate each state, the state flower, bird, etc. The tool is very easy to use no matter what level of expertise your students have with computer technology.  But most importantly, Popplet is FUN! And in the end, that is what sells this tool.
This is today's Apple...

1 comment:

  1. Amanda, I had a feeling you would review Popplet! I love that you are so passionate about this app, and how you are using it with success in your classroom.

    For our mind mapping assignment in MLT, I used SpiderScribe and did enjoy it. Hearing you rave about Popplet however, and seeing it in action in our various projects, makes me want to actively use it soon. I like how you mention your students can share the connections they made while using it. The video we just watched, "A Portal to Media Literacy" pointed out the power of making learning relevant and meaningful to our students, and Popplet seems to do that effectively. While SpiderScribe worked for making a simple mind map, the way you describe Popplet gives it a much wider use.

    Thank you for sharing this 2.0 tool, and I can't wait to share with you who I use it with my new class ~ Hopefully I will get to meet them this week!