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!
For much of the Popplet community, embedding images and videos into personal popplets is a great way to map your ideas and keep track of the resources that help you to learn, plan, collaborate and understand.
While this is perfect for private uses of Popplet, from time to time, we come across school policies that require that all images used in classroom popplets access only images that have a clear copyright statement allowing the images to be reused. Occasionally, we also get asked by business users about how to best source images that can be published in a popplet aimed at their commercial audience.
If your school or workplace has a strict policy on the reuse of images – even in Popplets! – this blog post outlines some key considerations and sources for copyright free images and video materials.
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.
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 →
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”.
Like any other subject, math has its gifted students who thrive on any problem their teacher sets, but in the main, kids find math difficult – so much so, they often start to question it’s usefulness quite early in their academic careers. This can also carry over into the teacher’s experience, with math being one of the subjects causing the greatest anxiety for teachers planning lessons and seeking to engage classrooms in math challenges.
As digital technology is introduced into more schools, apps like Popplet are reinvigorating the math classroom from an early age, so that it is not quite the dreaded place it once was for many.