Monday, June 25, 2012
No- it's not the Popples of the 80's and early 90's- but it's just as fun!
Popplet is a brainstorming tool that allows you to map out ideas and thoughts to make webs and idea boards. You can use it to collect images like a virtual pin board, draw on it, or use the popples (bubbles) to organize text and ideas. Some examples from the site include: History of Coca-Cola Bottles, Facts About Earth, Cabin Design, and someone's Travel Log about New York.
What I like about this tool is that it easily lends itself to distance learning because you can share your Popplets and let other users add to it, which is really helpful for collaborating with others when you plan a project or have to jigsaw what you know about a topic or reading. In order to share your Popplet, you can use Facebook, Twitter, make it public to be modified, or send out a link to specific users to have others add to the Popplet. As I was looking at the examples, you could use a Popplet to brainstorm like we do in a Circle Map about almost any topic and have the students add to it once you give them the link. I think you could use Popplet to create a community helpers Popplet, ecosystems and landforms, or even one that focuses on their home state and branching out to list jobs, foods, tourist places, etc. You could even set one up on a blog and have people that view your blog add their names and countries. This could also be an easy way to exchange ideas with people from far away if you give a topic- like holidays, and having people from different parts of the world add their own popple to the main topic.
You can change the colors of the borders, popples, draw pictures, connect the popples, etc. The site is very user friendly in that all you have to do is click and it guides you through it without being annoying like some guides can be.
I think this tool is an easy to use interactive organizer that would be a snap to share with students and getting them to collaborate quickly without much pre-teaching.