Have you ever wanted a book about teaching with the iPad that is light on jargon, gentle on the brain, with tried and tested lesson plans, valuable didactic information, and clear advice all included? Did you even know that such a book existed? Well, it does, and it’s called Innovate With iPad: Lessons to Transform Digital Learning – if only all technology books for teachers were like this one. Innovate with iPad is an immensely practical, but at the same time considered work that is immediately accessible to all Primary School (K-3) teachers, whether they are beginners or experts in the world of iPads and digital classroom technology.
“Innovate with iPad: Lessons to Transform Learning in the Classroom is the book you and every educator with access to iPad needs to make a fast transition to using iPad for learning.”
Don’t skip the Foreword and Introduction because like the main body of the book, they are worth the time. The Foreword is only a few paragraphs and sets the tone nicely. In the Introduction, the creators of Innovate With iPad, experienced primary school teachers Karen Lirenman and Kristen Wideen, share their thoughts and explain the layout of the remainder of the book. So far, so good, that didn’t take long at all, and we really wanted to read more.
Like all things Popplet, the Popplet Drawing Tool – we wanted to call it the Popplet Colored Pen, but it isn’t really a pen! – is a simple intuitive feature, which does exactly what it says on the box: it draws inside popples! However, in the hands of the Popplet community, the Popplet drawing tool has evolved into a hugely popular and useful feature, which when wielded effectively can add a whole other dimension to Popplet work: a superior visual learning tool, which is a lot of fun to use.
The drawing tool can be accessed by clicking on the circular features button that contains an image that looks suspiciously like a pen…or is it a pencil?
On selecting the tool, you have three options:
colors – a choice of, click to select one
expand – increases the size of the popple, providing a flexible canvas
clear drawing – for when you need to start again
At this point, we suggest that you jump right in and give it a go if you haven’t done so already. Sketch whatever you like and see how much fun it is. Or, if you’re not quite ready to surrender to your creative self quite yet, or if you’re seeking inspiration, take a look at what can be done.
Popplet is just perfect for the curious young hands and minds of Kindergarten students. With its highly intuitive and simple interface, thoughts and ideas are easily transferred, visualised and mapped using colors, images, text and drawings: A humble canvas for the limitless potential of our youngest users, who never fail to amaze us.
One reason Poppet is such a success with the early school years, is that it is a versatile enough tool to be employed effectively across the whole spectrum of Kindergarten subjects, we often see Popplet work from every area of the Kindergarten curriculum:
Another reason for Popplet’s popularity might be that behind every great Kindergartener, there is a great Kindergarten teacher proudly publishing the best of their student’s Popplet work, and we’re very glad that they do, because we are able to share it here.
From the back of the classroom to the frontline of education management, passionate educator and school principal Paul Baez talks about his work journey, Education Technology and Popplet.
Could you tell us a little bit about yourself and what you do?
I have been in education since 1995 and I have learned so much from every experience I have had, being a fourth grade classroom teacher, Assistant Principal, and now Principal. I feel fortunate to have worked in three different Houston area school districts and five different schools. Each experience has pushed me to the next level of leadership and has reinforced my belief that I chose the right career path.
What do you love about your work?
I love my role of leading a school of educators at Rees Elementary School, ensuring that we provide a great learning experience for every student. It is a responsibility that I fully embrace. As much as I enjoyed being a fourth grade classroom teacher, I knew twenty years ago that I wanted to have an even greater impact on students and here I am now. Growing up I was that kid in the back of the room that kept quiet and never said anything. Now I can’t stop talking about technology in education. Makes me chuckle to think how much I’ve changed over the years.
When I tell you that our featured Popplet Person is a Kindergarten teacher, you might be forgiven for rightly jumping to some easy conclusions: a dedicated, devoted, hardworking and supremely motivated individual…and of course busy, so very busy! So busy and hardworking are kindergarten teachers like Claire Brown, that when they choose apps like Popplet for their students to use in the classroom, then those apps have to work as hard as they do!
Claire came to our attention through sharing her student’s Popplet work on Twitter and her very cool blog, where she regularly posts her student’s classroom activities. Both are fine examples of what can be achieved by embracing technology in the classroom.
Could you tell us a little bit about yourself?
I am in my tenth year of teaching an I’m originally from Lafayette, IN., where I went to Mayflower Mill as an elementary student, and that is where I started my teaching career and where I work now, graduating along the way from Purdue University with a degree in Elementary Education with a Reading Specialist focus. I love going on vacations anywhere there is a beach and the ocean. Continue reading →
Halloween is rich in tradition and steeped in superstition; a genuinely sacred night for some, and a traditional night of warm family fun for many others. This is the one night a year when Scary Ghosts, Wicked Witches, Evil Spirits and all manner of Creepy Crawlies roam the Earth with impunity – so watch out, stay home, be safe! Should anyone (or anything!) knock on your door, be nice! Because we all know what happens to people who aren’t nice on Halloween, don’t we?
Dressing up, trick or treating, going to parties and having fun are just some of the things us mere mortals do to entertain themselves when evil is loose. For a great many others, Halloween also means making stuff: costumes, masks, lanterns and decoration, and yes, Popplets! We took a look at how Popplet people were busying themselves by getting into the spirit of Halloween, but be warned, what we found is not for the faint hearted. Continue reading →
Learning to read is not something that everyone fully remembers. For those who do recall, memories range from the forgettably nondescript, to the gloriously inspirational to the harrowingly painful. However memorable our early reading days are, one thing is certain: those early lessons in deciphering meaning from symbols are the beginning of one of life’s most impactful experiences, and for many represent the beginning of a lifelong activity, the nature of which exerts a strong influence on their future.
“Literacy is a fundamental human right and the foundation for lifelong learning. It is fully essential to social and human development in its ability to transform lives. For individuals, families, and societies alike, it is an instrument of empowerment to improve one’s health, one’s income, and one’s relationship with the world.” UNESCO
Unlike some other essential skills such as speaking, walking and eating, there is no evidence that human beings possess any innate reading ability whatsoever, which means we have to start from scratch, firmly placing the littlest of feet at the base of the steepest of learning curves. How to begin such a formidable task? Well, according to the experts, the process begins before children ever set foot in the classroom. Continue reading →
There is definitely something cellular in nature about the humble popple – the irreducible building block of all the Popplets ever created. Cellular not only in shape, a single popple also mirrors its organic counterpart in that it contains the vital information necessary – text, images, video – for the formation of things far greater than the sum of their parts – Popplets!
From time immemorial the People Of The World have been beenLost In Music. Be it the primal powerful drumming of our ancestors or the sophisticated orchestral opus, music has the power to cross every cultural, linguistic and geographical divide.
Considering the immeasurable impact music has on our lives, a closer inspection of Popplet’s special relationship with music lovers everywhere was long overdue. So we went On The Road Again, travelled Up The Countryand tried toBreak on Through… and we had a great time doing it!…but what did we learn? Well, what we discovered is that Everyday People who love music, love using Popplet. Here are some of your Greatest Hits. Continue reading →
No app is an island, especially in the classroom. Combining apps — in activities like app smashing, or in the natural course of classwork — can increase skills development and better aid subject understanding. Every great app is great because it does one or two things really well, but what makes an app really great is its capacity to integrate (inter-great?!)with other apps. Just like students, we love apps that work and play well with others!
Easygoing, open to sharing and with an engaging interface: Popplet has got what it takes to get the job done, so it’s no surprise that when it comes to interaction, Popplet’s social calendar is full. We took a look at the apps that people love to use with Popplet and then we listed them in no particular order just in case…well, you know what it’s like when you have so many friends!