Review by Amanda Bindel, Common Sense Education | Updated September 2016


Cool mind-mapping tool good for organization, collaboration

Common Sense Says:
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1-12 This grade range is a recommendation by Common Sense Education and not the developer/publisher.
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Pros: Mind maps are easy to create and allow freedom for organization and brainstorming.

Cons: Collaboration is available only through the online version.

Bottom Line: Popplet is versatile and accessible and gives students an engaging tool for organizing ideas.

Popplet surveys indicate that most teachers using the app are using it in English classrooms. Teachers can use Popplets in any content area, however, for presenting new information to students or for taking class notes. Students can create mind maps as a pre-writing strategy or use Popplets to create personal scrapbooks of information. When students begin a project or presentation, Popplet can be used for brainstorming or the creation of flowcharts.

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Popplet is a dynamic organizational tool where users create Popplets on a board. These Popplets can be filled with text, drawings, images, or video. To create a popple (a section within a Popplet), students can double-click. Background color, box color, and other details also can be customized. Once created, the Popplets can be connected to other ones, forming an interactive outline of related ideas -- a mind map.

Popplet boards can be shared by emailing or texting the image as a JPEG or PDF. Teachers can create for free, but the paid version allows them to save Popplets, both on the web and in-app. The full paid version also allows sharing and multi-user access.

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Mind-mapping, or linking ideas as Popplet allows, is a creative way to get thoughts out of a student's brain and onto the screen. Popplets allow kids to share and make sense of their ideas using words, images, drawings, and video. They can link ideas to form the outline structure for a speech, paper, or presentation and then add details elaborating even more. Popplet can help students organize their thoughts and make sense of the information they're learning.

This productivity app has many uses in business, personal planning, and management, as well as education. It's a fascinating tool and is really easy to use. Students may be drawn to the visual pop that Popplets have, especially the social aspect of sharing and collaborating in real time.  

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Overall Rating

Engagement Is the product stimulating, entertaining, and engrossing? Will kids want to return?

Popplets are easy to create, and kids will enjoy adding content to them. The ability to collaborate ups the fun factor. 

Pedagogy Is learning content seamlessly baked-in, and do kids build conceptual understanding? Is the product adaptable and empowering? Will skills transfer?

The app's design allows students to easily make connections and delve deeper into ideas and concepts visually. Still, the learning power of Popplets is still in the content and is reliant on how teachers and students use it.

Support Does the product take into account learners of varying abilities, skill levels, and learning styles? Does it address both struggling and advanced students?

In-app tutorials make learning to create Popplets easy. The website provides more support and project ideas. 

Common Sense Reviewer
Amanda Bindel Classroom teacher

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