Working With Words

The last few weeks have seen a flurry of Popplet creativity as the beginning of the academic year in North and Central America, Europe, and a lot of other places gets into full swing. New teachers, maybe some new classmates, definitely a lot of new things to learn. For a large number of learners, Popplet is one of those new things! 

Popplets on every subject from every place are appearing thick and fast on our Twitter feed and Facebook Page. We are seeing great work from experienced Popplet users and great work from Popplet newbies, both students, and teachers. Educators working with words in their classrooms are creating some pretty impressive Popplet activities at the moment so we thought we would feature the best of them. You can create a popplet about anything, but here we have:

  • Adjectives of Character
  • Prefixes
  • Word Webs
  • Phonics
  • Spelling
  • Word Families
  • Grammar

If you are looking for ways to use Popplet in your classroom, then take a moment and see what is possible.

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Popplet People: Monica Evon, Fourth-Grade Teacher

For some educators, the digital technologies now standard in our classrooms are not new; they were a part of their primary or higher education. There are many others, however, who have benefitted from the rich experience of the transition to the digital paradigm; working through and shaping the changes that technologies such as Popplet have been making on teaching methods and on the development of learners. Monica Evon is one of those educators who embraced the change and is rewarded daily with the growth she sees in her students.

Monica caught our eye recently when she shared some impressive images of her class hard at work with Popplet. She has kindly agreed to share her experience with us.

Could you tell us a bit about yourself and what you do?
I am a fourth-grade teacher from Nebraska. I teach at Bellevue Elementary. My district is Bellevue Public Schools and I am part of Bellevue Public Schools iPadAcademy.  This is my thirty-second year in the education profession. I have taught special education, first, second, third, and fourth grade and I was an elementary counselor for six years. I am passionate about my students, teaching, and learning! I love using technology to enhance learning opportunities. I am a 1:1 iPad classroom.

Growing up my dad was in the military, so we traveled the world. I attended five different elementary schools. My husband Steve and I have two grown boys. We love to travel and two of our passions are snorkeling and hiking in the mountains. My favorite quote:

“If we teach today as we taught yesterday, we rob our children of tomorrow.” John Dewey

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Adding Video to Popplet: Go Vimeo!

There is currently an issue with YouTube videos and Popplet: you can add them to, but they won’t play. This affects all YouTube videos added to popplets, past and present. The issue occurred after a recent API change by YouTube. We apologize for any inconvenience that this may be causing. We are laboring hard to resolve this matter and are confident of finding a solution soon. However, until we do, we have a couple of simple alternatives that will help when it comes to adding video to your Popplet work.

Choose Vimeo

YouTube is by far the world’s most popular video platform. That’s why, back in the day, we chose it as Popplet’s integrated platform for the sourcing and addition of online videos. Soon after, there were a lot of requests from the Popplet community for Vimeo, so we added that too. We are grateful we listened to you because Popplet has an entirely adequate (some might say better) alternative to YouTube.

When everything is in working order, it’s possible to choose to add videos from either YouTube or Vimeo to Popplet: to learn more, check out this quick tutorial. But for now, it’s Vimeo only!

Simply search for the video you want by keyword, and when you find it, drag it as a full popple into the popplet you’re working on. Alternatively, add the video’s URL.

We searched for “popplet” in the above example and scrolled down to view the results. If you are going to do a search, be sure to select the Vimeo tab in the bottom left-hand corner.

One of the main differences between YouTube and Vimeo is the number of users. YouTube has a lot more, is much more widely used and as such has a greater selection of videos. Vimeo has fewer users but is good in other ways. Just like YouTube, Vimeo has a free plan for those who prefer to upload their own work. Unlike YouTube, Vimeo’s free plan is completely ad-free. Since most Popplet users upload clips that they themselves create, it’s definitely a viable alternative. And, maybe more importantly, right at this moment, it works!

A Simple Workaround For YouTube Users

While recommending Vimeo at this time, we appreciate that there are many reasons why YouTube is the undisputed king of online video sharing. So we understand that many will want to continue to use YouTube. Fortunately, there is a way to make it work with Popplet. It’s not as elegant as the Vimeo solution, but it will allow you to add links to YouTube videos in your popplets. Here’s how it’s done:

  • Begin by locating the YouTube video that you want to add to your popplet, and click share to reveal the video’s URL:
  • Then, copy and paste the video’s URL into to a popple as text – you can learn more about this in our Adding URLs to Popplets Tutorial.
  • Next, return to your chosen YouTube video and take a suitable screenshot. We chose Harry Potter in our example, well, because it’s Harry Potter! But something that speaks to the subject of the video is best. Or, you could omit these two steps entirely and use only the link.
  • Finally, upload the screenshot to the popple that contains the URL. 
  • Click on the go to link window in the bottom right-hand corner of your popple to open the video – try it now in the popplet above.

Have you been experiencing any difficulties adding videos to Popplet? Have you come up with any solutions other than the ones suggested above? If you have, we would really like to hear about them. Share with us on Twitter and on our Facebook page. To sign up for an online Popplet account, with ten complimentary Popplet boards to get you started, visit the Popplet Homepage.

 

 

 

Popplet Group Subscriptions for Schools and Classes

Summer break in the United States, Europe, and a whole lot of other places is drawing to a close. Students, teachers, and parents are turning their thoughts towards the fresh academic year and its challenges. And for those of us who aren’t fortunate enough to be shaking off the summer holidays, this is still a good opportunity to learn about Popplet Group Subscriptions, which were originally created for schools for the sole purpose of putting Popplet into the hands of as many learners and teachers as possible. 

For more information on Popplet Group Subscriptions for your school, select Popplet for Schools? in the Popplet Plan window that opens when you sign up for a free Popplet account on the Popplet homepage:

Here’s what you need to know:

  • Popplet Group subscriptions are open to everyone: schools, colleges, businesses…and make purchasing Popplet much more affordable
  • The minimum group/class size is 15
  • Subscriptions offer each individual student unlimited popplets for one year
  • There is a sliding price scale: the more you buy, the less it costs

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Tutorial: Adding URLs to Popplets

Imagine for a moment or two just how perfect Popplet would be if you could add URLs, linking your creations to any information available on the internet. Well, the truth is, connecting Popplet creations to the world is not something that you need to imagine since this feature already exists.

Now, for those of you who have requested that we add this feature, we hear you and we understand: links cannot be added to text in Popplet, as they can in this article, a document or an email for example, and that’s not going to change. Reason being  Popplet likes to keep it simple, and that’s why adding URLs to a popplet is as simple as adding text. However, Popplet knows a URL when it sees it and comes fully equipped with functionality which is designed to facilitate immediate access to a link’s destination. Used creatively, this feature can visually enhance Popplet work and could greatly increase their scope and appeal. Here’s an example of a Popplet with links to some blog posts:

First, we are going to learn how to add a URL to a popple – it’s very much like adding text. After we’ve mastered that – in no time at all! – we’ll show you how to put this knowledge to good use.

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Public Popplets: Creative, Inspiring, Useful

Public Popplets is a deep, rich well of Popplet creativity.  It’s where the Popplet community share their hard work with others with around one-hundred and twenty new popplets being added every day. Some are humble seeds – the beginnings of a project or an idea, whereas others are already impressive visual examples of everything that can be achieved with this intuitive but powerful mind mapping tool.

There are numerous reasons why one should go exploring in the dense creativity that is Public Popplets:

  • Inspiration! Searching for ideas and don’t know where to begin? – search in Public Popplets, you will find what you are looking for!
  • You know what you want to do, but it’s always helpful to take a look at how others are doing it – you’ll find many examples of almost everything in Public Popplets.
  • Looking for a Popplet on a particular subject for a project, homework assignment, web post…everything in Public Popplets is open, and can be republished.*
  • Some Popplets are very popular and attract a great deal of attention – celebrity popplets if you like – and as such can drive traffic to your website or blog page. If you are the creator of such a Popplet, then all the better.
  • Most of the Popplets are in Spanish and English, but a more thorough search will reveal work in multiple languages – Public Popplets really is a truly international affair, a cultural meeting of minds.

How can you access Public Popplets? – by signing up for a free Popplet account on the Popplet homepage. Not only will you be able to browse Public Popplets, you’ll also receive ten Popplet Boards for when you want to create your own Popplet work – this time will definitely come! Of course, you don’t need to share your popplets with the world, Popplet’s multi-level privacy settings allow popplet authors to decide who sees their work. In saying that, we hope you do share publicly because as you are about to see, you will be in grand company.

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Outer Space 2: Popplet, The Planets, The Solar System, and Beyond

Welcome to the second part of Popplet’s brave mission to boldly go where no app has gone before:  to discover as much about Space, the Universe, and Everything as we can. Join us, and learn from those enlightened beings already engaging Popplet in space research; illuminating the answers to the eternal questions of the eons, opening the minds of the curious to the infinite possibilities of what lies beyond their own world.

What do we know? Not a lot in the grand scheme of things, despite that grand opening! In saying that, what humans have discovered so far about outer space is truly fascinating, utterly compelling and we just have to know more. That is why educators are including Astronomy in their curriculums – the truth really is out there! So let’s go look for it.

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Outer Space: 1. Moon Popplets

Is there life on Mars? Do aliens exist? Where did we come from? How big is the Universe?… an infinite number of questions. The questions which scientists, philosophers, theologians, writers and possibly every sentient earthbound creature that ever looked upwards has been seeking answers to since the beginning of time. Popplet doesn’t have any answers, but it can help knowledge hungry learners to solve some of these Universal mysteries.

With futuristic hi-tech features, Popplet boldly goes where no app has gone before, allowing its users to create star maps, document planetary facts, and study stellar phenomena. All the while encouraging them to think big – Universe big!

There’s a lot of light years to cover, so let’s get started by setting our sights close to home on our planet’s nearest celestial neighbor: The Moon. We know it well, we’ve even visited, although admittedly not for a while; moon travel doesn’t come cheap!

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11 Ideas For Using Popplet In The History Classroom

Mapping the events of the past is an investigative process linking people, places, and other significant information to moments and periods in time. In an ideal climate, historians seek the truth by shining a light back across the years and show us what they see. It is a constant, continuous process that helps us understand who we are. History, like the sciences and the arts, is an indispensable and natural part of anyone’s education. It’s where children learn about traditions and cultural differences and gain an understanding of why our world is how it is, what their place in it is, and where they want to go.

Popplet has features that make it especially helpful in the History classroom. The addition of text, images, and video; connections and color coding; collaboration and presentation features; all combine to make Popplet a first rate tool for recording and presenting historical facts. We have put together a few examples from History educators and students that demonstrate how they are finding Popplet useful in their classrooms.

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Two Minute Tutorial: Popplet Linker

Popplet offers a creative and almost limitless canvas for ideas and information. Sometimes though, it’s just not productive to all that much information displayed together in the same place. In fact, the same could be said about most other things, which is why we have files, and more files – to keep things nice and tidy! Well, Popplet doesn’t have files, instead, it offers an efficient, visual solution for storing and connecting Popplet work – we call it Popplet Linker.

With Popplet Linker, popplet boards of any size and complexity can be effortlessly linked and added to other popplets as popples. The two main ways people use Popplet Linker are:

  1. To organize popplet work: think visual files, when you need to keep stuff together and keep your work ship-shape – as in the popplet above.
  2. To create links to popplets and add these to other popplets, saving space and creating a more enhanced visual, with the the option to add more information: think multidimensional.

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