Top of The Popplets! – April 2016

April has been and left its customary showers, and along with the welcome spring rain came floods of attractive new Popplets. We won’t go so far as to say that it was raining popplets, but we will say that the Public Popplets, Twitter and Facebook pages were positively drenched in energetic and innovative Popplet creations. From a character analysis of a well-known pushy pigeon to a challenging study of homelessness, we picked out some of the best this month had to offer.

Don’t Let Pigeon Drive the Bus: Describing Characters

What’s blue, funny, begs and really, really wants to drive the bus? Yes? No? Pigeon of course, from the award-winning children’s book, Don’t Let Pigeon Drive the Bus, by Mo Willems. An image of the infamous bird takes the center spot, surrounded by simple description words that provide some savvy insight into the character of the pigeon protagonist. A fun and earnest introduction to literary analysis. Thanks again to Kara Bunch and her Kindergarteners for sharing this on Twitter and Instagram.

Describing Characters

POPPLET TIP: This popular Popplet activity is adaptable for all age groups. Students could even upload a video of the character, or add text (take a photo of the relevant sentence or paragraph in the book) to support their descriptions.
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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

Gamification, Meetup Note-Taking and Why Toronto is Fertile Start-Up Territory: An Interview with Mark Reale

Mark Reale is the Community and Culture Partner at Canadian tech company BNOTIONS, and has been using Popplet to organize his ideas, map brainstorming activities, and present at conferences since 2010.

Mark Reale

Mark Reale

BNOTIONS is at the center of the Toronto start-up scene, releasing an ongoing schedule of mobile and app products. Despite the hectic nature of being part of a business that is on Branham’s Top 300 list of best performing companies in Canada, and with an ever-growing catalog of mobile apps in development, Mark still helps host the weekly Lean Coffee entrepreneurs’ meetup, and manages the company’s not-for-profit initiative the YMC.

“We were 4 guys for a really long time, and now we’re around 60”, he says, explaining why BNOTIONS was ranked Number 5 on Branham’s Top 10 growth companies for 2012.

Mark recently shared a Popplet from the latest Lean Coffee meetup (see below). We asked him what Lean Coffee is all about, why the Toronto tech scene is getting some buzz, and where Popplet fits in to his creative, working life. Continue reading