What is Popplet?
Popplet allows you to create a wall of multimedia sticky notes that you can share with others. Your stickies can include videos and images that you pull from other online services. You can also upload media from your desktop to your sticky notes.
At first glance, Popplet seems like most other mindmapping tools such as Inspiration, Bubbl.us, or MindMeister. However, it has three critical features that separate it from the rest (on top of being FREE).
First, not only can you create objects with text, but Popples can also include links, drawing, images from either your computer or the web, and video from either YouTube or Vimeo.
Next, even with a free account, Popples can be shared in much the same way as a Google Doc, allowing for both synchronous and asynchronous editing and creating. This means that they could be used for group discussion, collaborative brainstorming, or even as a backchannel.
Finally, in addition to sharing directly with other collaborators, completed Popples can be published with a link or an embed code.
Uses for Popplet in the Classroom
Beyond using it as a mindmapping or graphic organizer tool, students could use Popplet to illustrate the steps of a process or sequence, such as a Popplet lab report showing reactions, steps, processes, and procedures. Similarly, Popplet could become an interactive timeline - complete with digital artifacts such as video and images from primary sources. Given the ability to incorporate links, images, and video, Popplet could even make a for a highly visual student portfolio tool.
From a teacher’s perspective, imagine posting an image, video, or piece of text and then asking students to brainstorm their ideas based on what they see or experience. Think about the potential for visual, linked, collaborative discussions. An English teacher could ask students to respond to a discussion prompt, connecting ideas off of the prompt as well as their peers. A History teacher might post a political cartoon and ask for students to respond with their own drawings, and a math teacher might pose a problem and ask students to submit their solutions.