Are you back to school or college yet? Maybe you never went away – depends where you are in the world. Anyway, if you are returning from a well-earned break, it’s now time to shake off the summer holiday routine and get back into the school work rhythm. A painful process for some, but you’ll be raring to go in no time and Popplet might just be able to help.
Learners often find themselves with new classmates at this time of year: going to a new school, moving onto college from school, beginning to study new subjects… and this is a good thing. Differing relationships is important as we grow and learn from each other. However, making friends with your new learning buddies can take time, so for teachers, it’s a good idea to have a few “icebreakers” on hand at the start of the academic year. Here are a few simple Popplet activities that will help new classmates get to know each other quickly.
Getting to Know You: The Self Popplet
Popplet lets students add information to create informative and imaginative visuals. A good activity to begin the new school term, when not everyone in a class or group may know each other, is to have students create popplets about themselves and compare them in a mingle activity with their classmates. Have a look at this Popplet from 5th-grader Heather:
There’s a lot to learn and learning begins on the very first day of our lives! It might even begin before birth, but since nobody has ever been born with the innate ability to read and write, we know that these well-known signature skills of a civilization must be acquired and nurtured.
There are many other essential skills that a fledgling human learns: eating with a spoon, getting on with others, getting dressed… and most do so at different rates. However, when a child reaches classroom age, understanding the symbolic representation and reproduction of language becomes of primary importance – with good reason.
Almost everything we know about everything is written down somewhere: restaurant menus, The Dead Sea Scrolls, some traffic signs, this blog…
Learning about our own culture, other current cultures, and previous cultures informs and lends intelligence to our perception and decision-making process. Directly affecting in a big way everything around about us. Reading has resulted in enormous changes in how humans have evolved and will continue to do so.
Gaining knowledge of and progress in any area, academically or otherwise, requires a firm grasp of literacy skills.
Popplet is a mind-mapping application and graphic organizer that helps students think and learn visually. With Popplet learners can capture facts, thoughts, ideas in different ways and immediately connect and visualize the relationships between them.
Popular with teachers and students, Popplet frequently makes an appearance in the ten favorite classroom apps lists that educators share on social media with their colleagues and fellows. Why does Popplet make it into the top ten EdTech apps so often?
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
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
If you are looking for ways to use Popplet in your classroom, then take a moment and see what is possible.
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
From the back of the classroom to the frontline of education management, passionate educator and school principal Paul Baez talks about his work journey, Education Technology and Popplet.
Could you tell us a little bit about yourself and what you do?
I have been in education since 1995 and I have learned so much from every experience I have had, being a fourth grade classroom teacher, Assistant Principal, and now Principal. I feel fortunate to have worked in three different Houston area school districts and five different schools. Each experience has pushed me to the next level of leadership and has reinforced my belief that I chose the right career path.
What do you love about your work?
I love my role of leading a school of educators at Rees Elementary School, ensuring that we provide a great learning experience for every student. It is a responsibility that I fully embrace. As much as I enjoyed being a fourth grade classroom teacher, I knew twenty years ago that I wanted to have an even greater impact on students and here I am now. Growing up I was that kid in the back of the room that kept quiet and never said anything. Now I can’t stop talking about technology in education. Makes me chuckle to think how much I’ve changed over the years.
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!
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”.