How I Use It
We used popplet in our langauge classes as a way to show literary themes in a novel. Students were asked to choose a literary theme (characterization, plot, etc.) and create a popplet explaining the theme in detail with photos and excerpts from the text. The students enjoyed working in small groups to complete the task which took about 2 45 minute periods. At the end of the time, the students emailed their popplets to the teacher and they were then placed in a common file for all of the students to access. The popplets were then used as study guides for everyone for the final test on the novel. As mentioned above, one of the problems we encountered was that some of the students wrote extensively causing the text in the popplets to be very small in the export. The other issue that we had was that it was difficult to give attribution to the photos that they were using because the app imported the photos directly from the web into the mindmap without a text box to add the citation.
Popplet is one of my favorite brainstorming/ maindmapping apps. It incorporates a variety of easy to use tools to allow students to choose how best to show their ideas. From drawings and photos to color coding the bubbles, students have a great deal of freedom in communicating and organising their thoughts. The drag and drop functionality allowed the students to learn the app quickly and immediately start their work. The photo integration was easy to use and allowed for a deeper, clearer demonstration of ideas. The only downfall that we encountered was that we were using the light version which means that the popplet cannot be edited online nor can more than one popplet be made on the same iPad at a time. In addition, the iPad version that is saved and emailed is not able to be enlarged very easily. When students write an extensive amount of text, the size of all the popplets together is extremely zoomed out making the text very small and difficult to read. This works better for younger students who do not want to write much or topics that do not demand extensive typing.