Although I’ve started the new term in my new role as New Technology Leader without my iPad (it’s currently being repaired) I’ve still managed to look into some exciting new apps and Popplet is one of them.
Popplet is a fun way to mind map ideas and share them with others with an easy to use interface. As you can see in the picture below, each new project in Popplet allows the user to create several different spider diagrams/mind maps, colour code them and add pictures and or text. The starting point for each new ‘Popplet’ (the box from which you start a new map/diagram, within a given project) has buttons around the outside that signify the options available for each popplet. You can colour code them, add in pictures and write in each one. You can then touch a button that creates a sub-popplet linking from the original popplet, which in turn you can then edit.
Obviously, this lends itself to subjects that require mind-mapping in order to plan a piece of writing/essay or for revision of certain topics. However, I have found it particularly useful for my MFL classes (this example could apply to English Language too). When learning animals, I asked my pupils to create a ‘masculine’ and ‘feminine’ popplet and attached the relevant animals to either popplet. This could work for any kind of word classification exercise and thus is a effective way of showing understanding visually. Additionally, in order to increase your pupil’s word bank, the you could email the pupils of copy of some pictures so that they could research as many different pieces of vocabulary for a given picture (perhaps a sunny beach, to represent holidays). Likewise, pupils could use Popplet in order to increase their knowledge of synonyms; you could supply them with some key, yet overused, words (divetido, pero and me gusta spring to mind) and set your pupils an exercise whereby they look for as many different synonyms as possible in order to boost that all important ‘Range of Language’ strand in their controlled assessment. Importantly, it’s colourful and it looks ‘nice’; something which I feel helps children engage and thus altogether ‘better’ than simply a piece of paper and a pencil.