Everyone’s A Writer Now: Popplet in the Writing Class

Writing is more popular than ever! Sure, the infamous selfie and the spontaneous snap of a restaurant meal might be getting all the notice, but sharing our prose and poetry is more commonplace than ever before. The Facebook comment, the 140-character tweet, the Tumblr or WordPress blog, and many other platforms offer almost everyone who can write a potential audience numbering in the billions. Never before has so much been written by so many for so many.

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In technology-assisted classrooms — and in the wider connected world — opportunities to write, to communicate, to develop, and to grow are now widespread. We took a look at how Popplet is being to put to good use by teachers of writing and how young scribes are shaping up in the digital world. Continue reading

Building Blocks in Autism Education: Minecraft and Popplet

In our article published last month Mind Mapping to Minds Meeting: Popplet in Autism Education, we talked about how new technologies were fast becoming powerful and invaluable tools in autism education. Young learners on the autism spectrum experience fewer difficulties when presented with new technology and have different needs to conventional learners. So certain technologies such as the iPad and apps like Popplet play to the strengths of autistic learners.

These technologies are not without their drawbacks: mainly the repetitive and inappropriate use of games and some social media apps. But that’s a problem not only found in the classroom! This is why people with autism, parents of individuals on the autism spectrum and educators involved in autism education use reliable “evidence-informed” information when choosing which technologies to use.

One organization that provides information for parents and educators is Autism Spectrum Australia (“Aspect”) – “Australia’s leading service provider for autism and other disabilities”. Two of their community leaders recently published a detailed guide demonstrating how the game “Minecraft is being used to address the special interests of those in the autism classroom”.

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We Are Family

You don’t have to be a genealogist to make a family tree. In fact, teachers are using in-class family tree activities to provide children with a sense of identity, to provoke thought, to share a sense of our histories, and encourage stronger family and community relationships.

We took a look at how Popplet is being put to work by budding genealogists in classrooms everywhere, and as always, we learned something too!

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Two-minute tutorial: Creating a Popplet Template

Popplet’s feature to let users copy a whole Popplet makes it easy to generate a template design in Popplet for reuse again and again.

Businesses can use a template to record meeting notes or to map a design project.

Teachers can use a standard template to repeat classroom activities or to hand out homework assignments.

For example, music educator and technology leader Bill Marsland uses Popplet at the start of his presentations to introduce his team:

He could create a template of this slide so he can easily update it for each presentation his team holds over the year.

This tutorial shows you how to create a Popplet template in under two minutes… Continue reading

Welcome To The New Popplet iPad App!

We have rebuilt our iPad app from the ground up to create the best visual thinking experience possible! The new version of our iPad/iPhone/iPod app is now available in the iTunes app store and makes the most of all the capabilities of the latest iOS operating system.

Here’s an overview of what you can expect and how we are continuing to improve our Popplet products for you, our loyal users all around the world! Continue reading

New Popplet Features Now Available Online!

Over the past month, Popplet has released a set of new features for our web-based Popplet community.

Now you have greater flexibility with how you present your popplet creations, can add new videos, and save presentations in high definition. We have more features to roll out soon, but here’s a quick summary of some of our new features that you may not have noticed… Continue reading

Post Your Popplets And Ideas To Our Facebook Page

Share your Popplet projects and talk with other Popplet people on our re-vamped Facebook page. It pops!

As regular blog readers know, our focus this year has been on strengthening our data storage capacities and building a system that allows users to access unlimited popplets.

Since these two key goals are now in place, we are able to give some much-needed support and love to our neglected Facebook page. While we have several avenues for you to contact us if you have a problem with using Popplet (you can tweet us, send an email to support@poppplet.com, or post a message on our Get Satisfaction community board), few Popplet users have been using our Facebook page to connect with each other.

Several users tweet about how they use Popplet and to share their own videos, blog posts or finished popplets with others over the web. Occasionally (but very rarely), we get a comment to one of these blog posts. And some users have starting pinning their Popplets onto a Pinterest board to share with others.

But now we have re-booted our Facebook page as a hub for all discussions and sharing of your Popplet experiences. This is the ideal space to post your popplet project work. Perhaps you have a concept map you want to share, or a blog post or screencastr video you made about Popplet, or perhaps you want to show off the finished work you created after using Popplet as one of your production tools. We want to know and we encourage you to post it on our Facebook page!

For the next two weeks, we will be focusing on Popplet in education: both here on our blog and daily on our Facebook page. In part, we want to test the level of interest amongst students and teachers for sharing lesson plans and classroom activities via our Facebook page, but any comment or discussion on how you use Popplet is welcome.

To get started, please like our Facebook page so our updates will be included in your news stream. You can also use our Facebook app to access Popplet from within Facebook. We’re looking forward to hearing much more about our loyal community of Popplet users via Facebook! See you there…

It’s Here: The New and Improved Popplet iPad App!

For all of our eager iPad users, the wait is finally over! Popplet for the iPad has a new version with more features, bug fixes and faster online access.

You can now download Popplet Lite or our full iPad app from the Apple App Store. Please share what your reactions with us by adding a quick app review.

New versions of Popplet and Popplet Lite for iPad available from the Apple App Store. Try it out and let us know if you think it is one of the best iPad apps around!

The latest iPad version of Popplet includes the following features:

  • Easier copying, pasting and editing functions for your popplets
  • Multi-popple selection
  • Instantly take and add photos to a popplet board
  • Image and photo rotation
  • Smoother drawing functions.
Best ipad apps Popplet menu

The extended gear menu in the latest version of Popplet gives you more flexibility and greater access to features

Help us make a splash as one of the best iPad apps around by sharing your honest review of our update. You can rate our app and add some comments to the App Store page after you have had a chance to play with the new features.

This update also fixes some minor bugs with our previous version and gives you more stability when you access your online popplets.

Current iPad Popplet users know that this release has been a while coming. We wanted to focus first on improving our data storage and server systems so you can rely on Popplet whenever you need to share ideas or compile your notes for more creative visual thinking. We hope you will appreciate the faster and more reliable access to your online popplets with this latest iPad version.

While several users have asked for ways to copy offline popples to their online board, the new version hasn’t been able to incorporate that feature. We will continue to work towards adding this functionality in a future release. For this version, we have made it much easier to copy and paste your popplet work from offline to online. You can now select multiple popples at once and then copy them to a new popplet board.

Popplet is one of the best ipad apps available for visual thinking

The new iPad version of Popplet makes it easy to select multiple popples for faster copying, pasting and grouping

As with the previous release, Popplet Lite lets you create one popplet board while the full version gives you an unlimited supply of online and offline popplets.

We are committed to making Popplet one of the best iPad apps available on the iTunes App Store. Download Popplet Lite or buy the Popplet iPad app directly from your iPad. Everyone at team Popplet is eagerly waiting to hear what you think, so please share a product review with us!

Data Reliability and Our App Customer Service

We have been excited to see the wonderful reception that Popplet has been receiving lately. Recently, we have been:

  • Mentioned at a leading educational technology conference
  • Listed as Apple staff iPad app favorite, and
  • Featured in blogs on everything from social enterprise development to business productivity!

With so many new users coming on board – as well as our current users finding new ways to make use of Popplet daily – protecting your data and responding to your questions through our app customer service has been our top priority. We keep track of all requests for enhancements to our web and iPad apps, and we will prioritize these ideas for future upgrades, but right now our focus is on fortifying our data servers in the wake of our recent growing pains.

As we launched this blog yesterday, our server systems had a grumpy Monday morning wake up. Thanks to Popplet users (Poppleteers?) for tweeting us the minute you noticed some login problems:

We do realize how frustrating problems are when you can’t access your data. For teachers on a Monday morning, it can impact on how you approach the whole school week, and for productivity and business minded users, it is incredibly annoying and anger-generating to lose an hour or more of your work.

Here’s what happened:

  • To safeguard your data, Popplet uses a cluster of data storage servers. The cluster is designed so that if any individual server fails, the other servers will step in and allow you to seamlessly access your data without a hitch.
  • On Monday morning, one of the data storage servers suffered an unexpected outage, but due to a misconfiguration, the cluster did not route around that downed server and instead became unresponsive (it became a bottleneck instead of a detour).
  • We have since reconfigured the cluster in our Popplet system so that in these cases, it will route your access requests around any server that isn’t working at the time.
  • For most users, this meant that they could not access their Popplet account for up to three hours on Monday, as when they tried to login, they were sent around in circles. For an unlucky few hardworkers who were already in their Popplet account, this meant the server didn’t save about an hour’s work.
  • We have since installed further safeguards and during one of our quiet times (when the least number of our users needed to access their Popplet accounts), we ran some tests switching off one server at a time to make sure that accounts are routed correctly to the back up or primary data storage source as necessary. We started testing this overnight and the configuration operates as it should, but we will also be running more robust tests in the very near future.

To let everyone know what was happening, here’s what we did through our app customer service:

  • Responded to individual tweets by direct message or publicly to acknowledge the problem
  • Escalated the issue priority to our tech leader to address the server issues immediately
  • Emailed anyone who asked us what was happening and remained in contact with them until the problem was solved
  • Tweeted to let our 1,000+ followers know what was going on and when the system was restored.

Is there something more that we can do to alert you in future? In the comment section below, or on our Facebook page, please share your ideas about how to best communicate with you about using Popplet, and about the app customer service standards you expect from us. Don’t forget to subscribe to our blog Poppletrocks! or follow us on twitter to make sure you know everything that is happening with Popplet.

Welcome to Poppletrocks!

Four Ways to Get More from your Visual Thinking Tool!

Welcome to the Popplet blog: Poppletrocks! This is your resource for getting the most out of your idea sharing and visual thinking tool: Popplet!

You can use our blog in four ways:

1. Stay Up-to-Date With Popplet Happenings

With so much recent news to share – the release of the Popplet presenter tool, our next set of iPad app updates, shared ideas from our twitter feed – we needed to have somewhere to keep you up-to-date with everything we have planned for Popplet.

Our blog is the place to come to find out more about the latest Popplet enhancements.

2. Learn New Visual Thinking Techniques

Popplet is an ideas platform and visual thinking tool that helps you collect, curate and share information. Our blog will provide tutorials and techniques to help you make the most of Popplet.

Our online web app version of Popplet uses flash software inside a browser to allow you to create your popplets. Sometimes this means it works differently in different browsers. Our techniques and tutorials will offer the latest tricks, tips, and workarounds when your browser wants to do things its own way.

3. See How Others Are Using Popplet

We have been amazed by some of the unique and creative ways people are using Popplet. We want to share the stories and experiences of the Popplet community in our blog.

We know you will be inspired with new ideas from seeing examples of how others in the Popplet community use Popplet. You will see things from a new perspective and discover new ways of modeling ideas, whether it be created by:

  • professionals – like in this workshop summary that Emily Wray recently tweeted to share how teachers thought about using Popplet in her school district

  • hobbyists – like in the popplet Yasmin shared publicly to show some of the potential strategies available in a game of Street Fighter!

4. Reflect On How We Process Information And Connect With Ideas

Popplet is an idea modeler and knowledge management tool that is also fun to use. When we are compiling ideas and information, we understand that the sum is greater than its collection of parts. Sometimes when we try to understand something, all we see are the colored threads of the idea and not the rich tapestry pattern that it creates when we step back to look at the whole picture. Popplet helps you make connections, share ideas, and visually connect data in new and creative ways. This is part of why we think it is a unique product.

We are fascinated by how the brain processes words and pictures, and how we translate this information into knowledge. When we come across something particularly cool about how our brains work, we would love to share it with you in our blog posts. Sometimes a better understanding of the theory behind the ordering of data, the use of visual tools for productivity, or a deeper understanding of how the left and right brain hemispheres process information, can help us create a more communicative popplet.

Keep Up To Date With New Blog Posts

Stay in touch with Poppletrocks! and let us send you updates when we have new blog content to help you get more out of Popplet. Please share ideas with us about how you use Popplet or what you information you need to make the most of our visual and fun mind map software.