Fall may fast be approaching in more northern parts, but in the Popplet world, Spring has definitely arrived. In classrooms all over the globe, with blatant disregard for month and season, Popplet users old and new continue to impress with their unbounded creativity.
Fortunately, the Popplet community are a generous bunch, and we have harvested the fruits of their labors and gathered them all together for a feast!
Summer vacation in some places is coming to an end, and educators, parents, and students are looking forward to a fresh academic year: new classes, new friends, new subjects. They will also be researching which apps and technology to put in their classrooms, homes and digital backpacks.
Deciding on which new digital technologies to use or purchase can be daunting because of the vast number of educational apps on the market. However, if you’re looking for a seasoned, tried-and-tested, all-rounder app for all subjects, then keep it simple. Popplet is one of the most versatile and useful tools available to educators and learners and it continues proving itself as the go-to app for any subject:
Literacy – reading and writing skills
Numeracy – simple and complex activities
Science – Chemistry, Physics, Biology…
The Environment – pollution, environmental change
Technology, Computing, Robotics and Automation
History – timelines, historical events and profiles
Such is the rate at which computing, artificial intelligence, and digital technologies are impacting on our everyday lives, that the utopian vision of a digitally dominant future is becoming increasingly opaque. Will human society collapse into dystopian nightmare, a popular outcome in TV and film: Terminator, Blade Runner, The Hunger Games… or shall we ascend to our nobler, higher collective consciousness and create the egalitarian, moneyless society of Star Trek’s Federation?
The future is definitely uncertain, but fortunately what we do in the present can and will affect positive change! One of the effects of the advancement of new technologies that we are seeing in education is that subjects such as Technology, Computing, and Automation and Robotics are moving ever nearer towards curriculum center stage. These subjects are naturally and rightfully attracting higher numbers of students as their importance in shaping our society’s future has well and truly shifted from the realm of science fiction to that of science fact.
Popplet is proud to be a part of that shift. Here are some examples of how Popplet is being used to teach these rapidly emerging sciences.
Geography is the science which encompasses the study of the lands, features, inhabitants, and phenomena of our planet. Like other subjects that kids study at school, it is highly intuitive, in that youngsters begin amassing geographical knowledge from a very early age: where they live, where their ancestors were from, what route they take to school as well as an awareness of the sea, forests, mountains and other landmarks.
Learners become curious about what they see, and the visual nature of Popplet makes it a powerful tool in the Geography classroom. It allows students to classify and arrange information; add text, images, and video; share and collaborate – with their classmates or globally. By studying Geography students learn about the world we live in and its incredible diversity, giving them a sense of where they are, and who they are.
How to fund the digital revolution that has taken place in all sectors of education over the last twenty years has been the pressing, constant question for many administrators. Quality technology costs as does its implementation and training. Even with Education Technology suppliers such as Popplet offering substantial discounts to institutions there exists huge financial disparities at a local and global level. Ensuring that learners are provided with equal learning opportunities seems like an impossible task – unless you’re Sheeba Ajmal that is.
“I firmly believe technology has the power to transform the lives of individuals.”
Sheeba founded the Pakistan based organization Technology For A Cause – Enhancing Skills Empowering Kids, which works with children in the most challenging economic conditions harnessing the power of the global nature of new technologies to level the playing field when it comes to equal opportunity learning. Her work first came to our attention when she shared some of her student’s Poppplet creations on Facebook. We got in touch with Sheeba to learn more about her work.
Traditionally, Christmas, the most well-known event in the Christian religious calendar, is all about giving. It’s the time of year when people pause and reflect on what they can do for others. Friends and family get together and exchange gifts and cards. We think of others all year round of course, but Christmas, like the festivals of other religions, is a special time.
Now, if you’ve read our first Popplet Christmas article, which was more about getting more than giving, you’ll appreciate this second set of Popplet Yuletide activities, where we focus on what is for many, the true spirit of Christmas, and how it can be of value inside and outside the classroom.
Do you believe in Santa Claus? You remember: a rotund distinguished gentleman with white hair and a big white beard who favors red suits with white fur trimmings? One of the world’s largest employer of elves, who is known to ride a sleigh driven by celebrity reindeer. He also goes by multiple pseudonyms: Saint Nicholas, Father Christmas, Papá Noel, or just plain old Santa for short. No? Best you take a close look at this Santa Claus popplet.
Jingle any bells? Well, if doubt has pushed tender childhood memories of Dear Old Father Christmas from your mind and you have forgotten him, he hasn’t forgotten you! Dear Old Father Christmas. So fear not! To participate in these traditional festive Popplet activities all you really need is Christmas Spirit, Good Cheer if you will, and presents – let’s not forget the presents, they’re important. You’ll also need Popplet. So let’s make that the first thing on our list shall we?
A good education is not restricted to achieving competence in literacy, math, and science; there is another set of equally essential life skills related to health, happiness, and well-being that we need to learn and respect if we are to become shiny happy citizens of the world. Having a healthy body and a sound mind is about as good as it gets these days, and those who are fortunate enough to maintain both are surely some of the planet’s happiest people.
Like other good things, there’s a great deal of common sense involved in healthy living. Lessons about diet, exercise and taking care of body and mind, are as essential as learning to read and write. Popplet itself is no stranger to the doctor’s surgery: when Popplet was very young, it had no conception of how just how popular it would become. This caused some “health” problems such as overstretched servers, sign-in issues, and general stress. Now, we’re happy to report that Popplet is following doctor’s orders, and is in pretty good shape.
We are glad to report that the Popplet community is also healthy and doing well! We frequently see popplets about how to keep up health, happiness, and well-being, and what happens if you don’t. Popplet is used in schools, colleges and by and medical professionals all over the world. Here is a small sample of some of their work.
The Popplet social media message boards are positively crackling with numerical creativity at this time of year. School’s back and teachers and students alike are getting to grips with new projects, tasks, and technologies. Popplets about just about anything you can think of from pretty much everywhere are streaming hourly from the minds of popplet users onto our message boards providing valuable ideas and inspiration for others.
Math is a core subject, and even with a number of excellent dedicated math apps, Popplet finds its place in the math class. A versatile graphic organizer, that adds new dimensions to math work: visual, intuitive, and fun. Here are some of the ways math and technology educators are making Popplet count in the math classroom.
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.
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