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?
Thousands of popplets are shared openly every week: in Public Popplets, Twitter, FacebookPinterest, 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.
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
Welcome to the second part of Popplet’s brave mission to boldly go where no app has gone before: to discover as much about Space, the Universe, and Everything as we can. Join us, and learn from those enlightened beings already engaging Popplet in space research; illuminating the answers to the eternal questions of the eons, opening the minds of the curious to the infinite possibilities of what lies beyond their own world.
What do we know? Not a lot in the grand scheme of things, despite that grand opening! In saying that, what humans have discovered so far about outer space is truly fascinating, utterly compelling and we just have to know more. That is why educators are including Astronomy in their curriculums – the truth really is out there! So let’s go look for it.
Popplet offers a creative and almost limitless canvas for ideas and information. Sometimes though, it’s just not productive to all that much information displayed together in the same place. In fact, the same could be said about most other things, which is why we have files, and more files – to keep things nice and tidy! Well, Popplet doesn’t have files, instead, it offers an efficient, visual solution for storing and connecting Popplet work – we call it Popplet Linker.
With Popplet Linker, popplet boards of any size and complexity can be effortlessly linked and added to other popplets as popples. The two main ways people use Popplet Linker are:
To organize popplet work: think visual files, when you need to keep stuff together and keep your work ship-shape – as in the popplet above.
To create links to popplets and add these to other popplets, saving space and creating a more enhanced visual, with the the option to add more information: think multidimensional.
As the digital classroom becomes an everyday reality, Popplet is proud to be part of the Education Technology progression. Bringing together ideas and information from many sources, through Popplet’s intuitive but powerful features: text, images, videos, colors, and combining this with the capacity to collaborate, all adds up to an enhanced visual learning experience, much favored by educators of all disciplines.
Popplet is already highly thought of in the literacy classroom: a workhorse in reading and writing activities, Popplet is a big fan of books. Or more correctly, educators often employ Popplet to open and excite the minds of young learners to the life-long rewards of becoming active book readers. For the teacher, this carries with it the added benefit of achieving certain Common Core Standards in the process.
Popplet’s strong community of learners, educators and librarians do great work with books. Let’s take a look a closer look at some of what they are doing with books and Popplet.
Few areas have produced more debate in the field of English language learning than that of grammar instruction. What most language teachers agree on is that at some point language learners fare far better if they develop a firm grasp of the working rules that govern the use of the English language.
Where language professionals might differ is in “how” to teach grammar. Traditional methods initially used to teach Latin and Greek, consisted of learning grammar tables and rules by rote, and included a lot of painful repetition, which students rarely remember fondly. As for their effectiveness, since 17th & 18th-century learners were never expected to actually speak these ancient languages, it’s hard to say. Most would certainly remember verb conjugations for the rest of their lives!
With the popularity of modern languages such as English and the possibility of actually being able to speak the language being learned, methods gradually changed, albeit surprisingly slowly. Nowadays, a more communicative approach is favored in most language learning classrooms, and the emphasis on a precise knowledge of grammar is much more relaxed.
Welcome to Top Popplet! We choose one of our favorite popplets, say why we think it’s great, and share it here so that everyone can see just how great it really is. Our hope is that Popplet people everywhere will be inspired to similar feats of popplet excellence.
The creative and industrious Popplet community are selfless in their efforts, sharing thousands of examples of their fine work every week. Numerous blogs, a multitude of Twitter and Facebook posts, and our very own Public Popplets section mean we are completely spoiled for choice when it comes to choosing Top Popplets. Nevertheless, choose we must, and this week we choose What RIGHT Means To You.
September has seen more than its fair share of inspiring ideas and we endeavor to bring the best of them to you here. In Top of the Popplets, our monthly roundup of the popplets shared by the Popplet community. This month the cycle of life is explored in How an Apple Tree Grows, there’s a Soccer Lineup, we learn all about Johnny Appleseed, and young grammar fans will love learning more about Proper Nouns.
How an Apple Tree Grows
Photographs of student drawings (easily uploaded to Popplet) and text come together naturally to form a simple, informative visual in this lifecycle popplet. This popplet looks like it would be a lot of fun to make. Lifecycles and processes look good on a Popplet board, and you can make a popplet about almost anything. Thanks to Mrs. Bunch’s class for sharing this fine example on Instagram:
Good, practical Popplet ideas have been the hallmark of August, and we have chosen the best of the bunch for this month’s roundup of inspiring Popplet ideas. Our favorite August popplets are The Mexican Revolution, Orchestra InstrumentFamilies, Storytelling with Popplet, and Using Emojis. And if none of these popplets grab you, there are a lot more on our Twitter, and Facebook page, and in Public Popplets.
Storytelling With Popplet: The Fisherman and his Wife
The very first thing you have to do is click this seesaw link. Done that? – Ok. Now that we’re all on the same page, there really isn’t any need for me to explain just how awesome this storytelling popplet is. The Fisherman and his Wife; created by one of Miss Larnerd’s 2nd-graders breaks down easily into Characters, Setting, and Plot. Add to this mix some very cool drawings (you could try the Popplet Drawing Tool for these) uploaded as images, the text of the story, and last but not least an impressive narrator’s soundtrack – provided by the student of course – and the result is an impressive, creative audiovisual presentation. How much fun is this? Thank you so much for sharing.
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.