Studying the Earth: Popplet Ideas For The Geography Classroom

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.

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Popplet People: Sheeba Ajmal, Technology For A Cause

"technology has the power to transform the lives of individuals"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.

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Popplet Christmas Activities 2: Storytelling, Writing, Reading, and Christmas Greetings

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.

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Popplet Christmas Activities: Santa Claus, Presents, Letters and Lists

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?

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Dr. Popplet: Health, Happiness and Well-being

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.

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Working With Numbers

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.

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Adding Non-Latin Based Text To Popplet

The Popplet community is worldwide, and a quick stroll through Public Popplets, an open forum where the Popplet community shares their work, will reveal impressive Popplet work in a multitude languages that come from all over the world.  With Popplet’s global success came a few glitches, one of which was that non-Latin based text sometimes caused problems.  So, we quickly added a feature to fix this.

Like all things Popplet, it isn’t complicated. The languages feature employs styles and fonts that correspond to whichever language is chosen, producing optimal results. Below, the Japanese text on the left was added using the language feature. Compare this to the exact same text on the right added in the (Latin-based text) default mode. There are some character and punctuation differences between the two, and the script added using the Japanese language option looks more elegant.

It is possible to import text in its original font style, however, there are occasional issues when adding some non-Latin based language scripts. If you do experience problems, try the popplet language feature.

Using the Popplet Language Feature

  • First, click on the blue cog menu directly below your popplet’s title, and a menu will appear.
  • Next, choose languages from the very bottom of the menu:
  • A new window will open offering you a choice of language inputs:
  • Choose the language you want to use, or that is closest to your languages text style.

For now, there are only four choices: none (Latin-based text), Japanese, Korean and Hebrew, where “none” is the default mode. If the default mode doesn’t return satisfactory results, and your input language isn’t one of those listed trying any of the others may improve the look of your text.

The language chosen determines the text style for the whole Popplet and it can be changed at any time. It isn’t possible to use different styles within different popples on the same popplet using the language feature, however, this is possible in the default mode. Text size and alignment can always be edited within individual popples.

Are you using this feature to add create Popplets in your language? If you are, we would really like to know what results you have been getting. Share your experience with us on Twitter, and our Facebook Page.

To browse Public Popplets, open a free Popplet account on the Popplet homepage, where you will receive ten complimentary Popplet boards to get you started.

 

Do You Speak Popplet?

With the exception of Chinese (Mandarin), English is the world’s most understood language. Unlike Chinese, approximately two-thirds of those who communicate regularly in English, are using it as a second language.  The idea for Popplet was conceived somewhere around the New York area, so English seemed like the natural choice for the app and for our blog. However, the global reach of Popplet and the incredibly diverse nature of our user base has surpassed all expectations. What does it all mean?

Popplet’s popularity and recognition initially began in the school system of the USA, however, Popplet almost immediately earned a global reputation as a quality mind-mapping tool with many uses. Popplets created in a multitude of languages began appearing on Twitter, Facebook, and on websites and blog posts from all over the world. Chatter was truly multilingual! Popplet quickly gained traction in areas other than education: business, design, genealogy, medicine and many more. To meet this multicultural explosion, we brought on a multilingual support team and quickly added a language feature to facilitate the addition of languages with non-Latin based script such as Japanese, Korean, and Hebrew to popplets.

Thousands of popplets are shared openly every week: in Public Popplets, Twitter, Facebook Pinterest, and on personal and community blogs. Our support teams and technical staff also receive thousands of emails and messages: many of these Popplets and messages are in languages we know and understand, more than occasionally though, we are still surprised.

To give you some idea of worldly-wise our humble app has become, we thought we’d share a few international Popplet creations.

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Working With Words

The last few weeks have seen a flurry of Popplet creativity as the beginning of the academic year in North and Central America, Europe, and a lot of other places gets into full swing. New teachers, maybe some new classmates, definitely a lot of new things to learn. For a large number of learners, Popplet is one of those new things! 

Popplets on every subject from every place are appearing thick and fast on our Twitter feed and Facebook Page. We are seeing great work from experienced Popplet users and great work from Popplet newbies, both students, and teachers. Educators working with words in their classrooms are creating some pretty impressive Popplet activities at the moment so we thought we would feature the best of them. You can create a popplet about anything, but here we have:

  • Adjectives of Character
  • Prefixes
  • Word Webs
  • Phonics
  • Spelling
  • Word Families
  • Grammar

If you are looking for ways to use Popplet in your classroom, then take a moment and see what is possible.

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Popplet People: Monica Evon, Fourth-Grade Teacher

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.

Monica caught our eye recently when she shared some impressive images of her class hard at work with Popplet. She has kindly agreed to share her experience with us.

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

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