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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Watching The Detectives: Popplet in Genealogy Research

We all know what a Family Tree is, right? But what about Genealogy? Sounds like homework right? Well, in a way, it is! A family tree is a visual representation of our ancestors: parents, great grandparents and so on, which can also contain useful information such as where a person lived and how they died.

Genealogy on the other hand, could be said to be all the work that goes into creating family trees – a lot of work in most cases, and like most trees, the roots are infinitely more vast than the tree itself, and are often twisted and buried deep below ground and hard to find. Unearthing and unravelling these roots is the work of the genealogist.


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Mind Mapping to Minds Meeting: Popplet in Autism Education

With autistic learners and their teachers, Popplet is proving itself a popular choice. A simple touch, and the visualization of an idea immediately begins… This is particularly useful with students who grow impatient quickly. Photos, videos, drawing and images and sound can be added, enhancing sensory interaction. Links between ideas is enabled simply by touching the screen: an order, a logic that can be followed is formed.

Of course, eductaors know Popplet is much more than a mind mapping app. In the hands of students, unforgettable valuable learning experiences are being be created. From mind mapping, to minds meeting! Continue reading

Physics, Chemistry, Geography and Beyond: Popplet in the Science Classroom

Popplet is used in classrooms across a range of subjects, and while our visual thinking app quickly comes to mind in the English and creative arts classrooms, we are also seeing Popplet used in the STEM subjects of science, technology and math.

Let’s look at some of the ways that Popplet is used to enhance science subjects at all grade levels — from elementary to university. It won’t be long before we are sure we see Popplet is used from the classroom all the way through to the laboratory!

feature image science

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Revision Techniques, Tips and Templates with Popplet!

Follow our revision tips to make studying fun, productive, and memorable.

As the end of the school year approaches in the Northern Hemisphere, it’s time to start making use of Popplet’s visual thinking and mind mapping capabilities to help with your revision!

Three Types of Revision Templates with Popplet

We recommend organizing your revision popplets at three levels:

  • Meta
  • Macro
  • Micro.

Meta: This is a subject or course-wide level of revision. You could look back over your subject notes from the start of the school year to review the key learning objectives for the course or subject and document these in a popplet.


Perhaps you already did this at the start of the year? Now is a good time to pull out this work to remind you of everything you have learnt.

You can see several examples of meta-revision Popplets here. This Epidemiology Course popplet has been organized as a timeline to show the learning progression across the 16 week course:

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Be Cine With Popplet: 5 Visual Thinking Strategies For Film-Makers, Film Students and Film Lovers

Visual thinking strategies are fast becoming a necessity for creative professionals, businesses and students. Having a way to organize ideas visually helps create stunning infographics, tell compelling stores, show previously hidden or obscure connections, and better memorize information!

Lately, we have noticed a growing number of film studies students, budding film-makers, and film lovers making use of the Popplet app. It inspired us to consider how starting with a film subject can help anyone develop visual thinking strategies using Popplet.

Adding videos to your Popplets (along with pictures and drawings) helps users enhance their visual thinking. You can create memory boards with video tutorial content alongside research links and revision notes. Thanks to requests from many of our users, Popplet now lets you include videos from Vimeo in your idea maps.

Here are 5 ways you can use Popplet to explore the reel world of cinema and video, and develop new skills for your own toolbox of visual thinking strategies! Continue reading

Back To School iPad Ed Tips with Popplet

Picture 94For many in the northern hemisphere, it’s Back To School week! September marks the start of a new school year in North America, the UK and throughout Europe. And this school year, more than ever, tablets and bring-your-own-devices are becoming the norm, meaning there are many students using iPads in the classroom, and teachers working to make educational technologies useful as an aide to learning and skills development.

Earlier this year, the Center for American Progress found that despite the growing use of tablets in schools, they are not being harnessed to help students achieve learning goals in the most effective ways. Their review found that, for the most part, education technologies are being used to replicate basic drill tests rather than empowering students to develop new skillsets in knowledge management.

For example, we increasingly live in an era of big data and instant access to all the world’s accumulated knowledge. As a result, being a subject matter expert is becoming less a sign of educational achievement than the ability to navigate knowledge systems and to acquire a skillset that makes use of all the information that is on offer. At Popplet, we believe this trajectory will continue and hope that students and teachers can use our visual thinking and ideas mapping app as a way to build core competencies in how to manage information, collaborate with others, comprehend complex concepts, and uncover new connections between seemingly disparate ideas. Continue reading

Find the A-Ha Moment! Genius Hour with Popplet

Popplet is playing a central role in the new global productivity movement, “Genius Hour”.

Coined by a credit union manager Jen Shefner, and popularized by productivity guru Dan Pink, Genius Hour is about freeing up a regularly scheduled block of time each week for students, employees, entrepreneurs and creative professionals to follow their own interests, ideas and creative pursuits.

Dan Pink – author of provocative business books like Drive: The Surprising Truth About What Motivates Us and A Whole New Mind: Why Right-Brainers Will Rule The Future – blogged about Genius Hour back in 2011, and his readers have taken to the idea across all industry sectors and professional roles.

Why Businesses Need a Genius Hour

In the business world, it is easy to get focused on reducing the costs of production while generating the profits of consumption but eventually, this can lead to a narrow-minded market position that depends on the same operational process all the time. Meanwhile, what people want from businesses changes, the technologies available change, and our social values mature. Over time, the business model becomes outdated and no longer matches what people want or need.

Giving space to workers to pursue their own line of enquiry, develop new ideas, and extend their skills is being recognized as an investment by businesses not normally attuned to encouraging an entrepreneurial flair and creative spirit amongst their staff. While innovative companies may be dedicating much more time to this spirit of enquiry, even the more conservative industries are beginning to recognize the value of a Genius Hour for their workforce. Continue reading

English Lesson Plan Ideas With Popplet

Get some tips on English lesson plans from other teachers using Popplet in the classroom

Our education survey this year revealed that the majority of teachers using Popplet in school make use of our app in their English classes. Some 56% of respondents use Popplet to enhance English class activities with their students.

If you are looking for ideas for English lesson plans with Popplet, here’s some activity suggestions that teachers around the world have been using with their students of all ages.

English lesson plans for kinder/early childhood ages

Kinderchat teacher leader Matt Gomez has shared how he uses Popplet to help very young students gain English language acquisition skills, including understanding word sounds, and creating word webs that show the connection between words and images around a common theme. His blog details the English lesson plan he has been successfully – and respectfully – used with his classes.

Mrs Walsh uses Popplet to help her young students map out the plotline of their class reading, here’show they showed the flow of the story “Owl Babies”:
English lesson plan with primary school students

In Argentina, Miss Iberia Denegri uses Popplet with her 2nd and 3rd form English classes. Here, she demonstrates with her class the value of studying English and its impact around the world: English lesson plan popplet

In Australia, students shared what they had learn about characters in the book “The One and Only Ivan” by preparing popplets in groups to write about the story characters.

In New Zealand, Popplet is used at the Tamaki Primary (Elementary) school to encourage students to build their vocabulary and share their understanding of what words mean in any given topic. Here, Leslei shares the words she has learnt that descibe aspects of environmental care .

Meanwhile, Lanni Luce West shares her English lesson plans in which students used Popplet to document their understanding of story characters and used adjectives to describe the characters they were getting to know in the book.

“Needless to say, the students had a blast! They quickly learned how to manipulate the popples, change color, add text, draw, and arrange their thinking in an orderly fashion. All the while, they were learning and being asked to do some deeper learning. They didn’t complain once. In fact, a number of students commented how much fun they were having. “, Ms West reflected on the use of Popplet as a classroom study aid.

English lesson plans with teens

Industry expert Helen Caldwell uses Popplet to encourage students to plan short stories in various genres:

Using Popplet for Literacy lessons from helen caldwell on Vimeo.

In Mrs Wagstaff’s Timberline library, students were encouraged to create Popplets to showcase their favorite authors, like Megan did to share her interest in author Richard Paul Evans:

English lesson plans with college students

The Newbridge College English Department uses Popplet to design revision activities for students studying literary works. This year, students are reading The Great Gatsby. This popplet was created with a series of embedded videos to guide students through revision questions and foster a deeper comprehension of the plot and characters of this classic American novel.

Popplet was used as a study and note-taking aide throughout the class reading of the novel, with activities set to use Popplet to collate a student’s understanding of particular characters in the novel:

Perhaps one of the most advanced English lesson plans documented is available on the outstanding resource educatorstudio. We encourage teachers to consider sharing their structured Popplet classroom activities on this brilliant and detailed teacher network for lesson planning. Catherine Jackson has gone to considerable detail to share lesson files, assessment suggestions, steo-by-step procedures, and guidelines for student collaborative activities. Thoughtful teachers have added comments on their use of the lesson plan in subsequent classes. The topic? Using popplet to demonstrate critical analysis of a non-literary text’s major themes and tones. This English Lesson Plan with Popplet is aimed at middle and high school syudents of 6th and 7th grade.

It is wonderful to see so many teachers around the world taking to using Popplet to create engaging, fun and educative English lesson plans with their students. Popplet is an app that students immediately appreciate the value of using, here’s some recent comments from Mrs Malsky’s students after assessing the power of Popplet as a study tool:

If you are writing a paper for English you can use this website to create an outline. Hayley Reilly

You could make an outline for an essay you could be writing – Zack Scerine

The website is very useful. The user can organize pictures, organize an outline to your essay, or even to make some basic scrap booking ideas. It could be used in english, history, yearbook, or really any class. – Britt Crawford

We can use it to put all of our ideas for an essay together -Tyler Mason

Vote for which subject lesson plans we should cover in a future Poppletrocks blog post, or if you a a student or independent learner, tell us a little about how you maintain your a study program using Popplet with other online or mobile apps.

In the meantime, feel free to share your lesson plan examples on our Facebook page, or leave us a comment if you would like to share your reflections on how effective using Popplet is for your teaching or learning.

School and Class Group Subscriptions Now Available

We’re launching our new group subscriptions just in time for the new (US and European) school year!

We consulted with education users at the start of the year, and received over 250 survey replies. Thanks to everyone who responded (and see the end of this article for a special gift): it helped us work out the best system possible to accommodate a world of differences in how schools use education technology and can access apps from the web or iPad.

How It Works

A school groups subscription is available for classes from 15 to schools with over 500 students.

1. Email support@popplet.com and request the link to our groups subscriptions page.

2. Select “buy subscriptions” from the right hand menu.

3. Buy the number of annual subscriptions you need. Our minimum is 15 and there is no maximum. In order to make our education group accounts accessible to as many schools as possible, we have tried to keep subscription rates as low as possible. Our pricing allows 15 student accounts unlimited Popplets in one year – the equivalent to one paid subscriber’s annual subscription fee.

You will need a credit card to purchase your school group subscriptions.

We also have a sliding scale of pricing so the more you buy, the cheaper each individual account will cost. This was a key request from our schools survey, where teachers, librarians and ICT coordinators requested a simple way to sign up a whole school or form grade for popplets. You will be sent a receipt for your school accounts office records.

Popplet School Group Subscription Rates

4. You don’t need to allocate all your subscriptions at once. After you have purchased your school accounts, you can select “manage subscriptions” from the right-hand menu and add individual email addresses for each student. You will be prompted to add your own account to the list of subscriptions.

5. Start using your Popplet with your classes!

Popplet is used by teachers with classes of all ages and in a range of subjects including languages, English, history, sciences and math. You can get ideas for lesson plans by subscribing to our blog or by liking our Facebook page. Please feel free to share your teaching ideas and show examples of using Popplet in your school and classes with our Facebook community. We will also share ideas and techniques in our blog about how teachers can use Popplet as a study prompt, group classroom activity, lesson planner, assessment instrument, presentation aid, or revision tool. When we post blogs about how Popplet can be used in a variety of industries, we tend to include a few notes on how to apply the technique to schools (see our buyer persona blog post for an example).

Frequently Asked Questions

Q. My students are under 13 and the terms and conditions say they can’t use Popplet. How can I use Popplet with my year 5/6 class of 10 year olds?

A. Our terms and conditions reflect best practice in using Popplet with younger ages and align with industry standards set out in international legislation such as the United States’ Children’s Online Privacy Act. We do not collect information about ANY user beyond the basic registration name address and email. For under 13 year olds, we recommend that teachers set up classroom student accounts and oversee/monitor the use of Popplet. In other words, Popplet accepts registration by under 13 year olds where use is overseen by parents and guardians, including teachers.

Q. What about teachers and other school staff subscriptions?

A. Teachers must add themselves as one of the subscriptions to the group accounts in order to get access to their Popplet account. You can add all teachers or relevant staff like librarians who will be working with students on Popplets.

Q. What happens to students Popplet accounts after the school year ends?

A. Popplet school subscriptions are for one calendar year, commencing from the date payment is made. After this time, the students’ accounts are still accessible in the same way as for any individual user account: that is, the first 5 popplets are fully functioning (you can add to them and edit them), while any other popplets are read-only under the free account.

Q. My class uses iPads. How do they access Popplet?

We have an education discount offering 50% of the purchase of our Popplet iPad app, and many teachers around the world are already accessing this offer to install Popplet on all classroom iPads.

Q. I completed the school survey earlier this year. How do I get my free popplets?

To say thanks, we will be setting up a group subscription for everyone who answered our schools survey. This will give each survey responder a group subscription for a class of up to 15 students for the whole year! Thanks for sharing your thoughts with us and look out for more details of how Popplet is used in education as we share the results of our survey over the next few weeks.

Above: A class mission statement created in Popplet by MES Mrs White’s class. You can follow along with how 5th grade teacher Michelle White uses Popplet and other educational technologies in her classroom at http://mesmrswhitesclass.blogspot.com/

If you have any questions about our new school and class subscriptions, leave a comment below or email us at support@popplet.com. Don’t forget to add examples of how you use Popplet to share with other educators on our Facebook page.