A compact, straightforward organizational tool for minimalist presentation
What's It Like?
Popplet is a click-and-drag platform that facilitates easy organization of information, pictures, and drawings. It gives students a quick way to organize information, color-code topics, type in data, and add comments. Images can be added from Flickr, Facebook, or your computer. Kids can also add content from Google maps and videos from YouTube directly. Students can add collaborators via email invitation and share their popplets in a variety of outlets, including Twitter, Facebook, and through embed codes for blogs or websites. A particular strength of this website is its ease of use and intuitive design. Students can easily craft presentations that include color, images, videos, and text. Once they’re finished, clicking on presentation mode allows students to select the order in which the presentation will zoom in to each popplet.
Creating an account is easy; although it does require an email address, no activation email or link is required. Once they're in the site, a short tutorial walks kids through the creation of their first popplet. Each student must create his or her own account, as there is no class feature. Students can create up to five popplets each with the free version, share their popplets with others through the Add Collaborator button, or publish their popplets online in several venues. Collaborators can comment on or add to the popplet itself. The cog wheel icon has a drop-down list with most features, such as timewarp, permissions, and export as .jpg or .pdf. The presentation mode is found here, as well, allowing the presenter to determine the order in which to zoom in to each popplet.
Is It Good for Learning?
It's great for organizing data, but there are a couple of funky quirks. While Popplet allows editing of text, it doesn't allow editing, moving, or erasing of drawings, beyond clearing the entire drawing. Neither does it allow movement of imported images; once the image is in place, there it remains. There's no spell check for text or way to insert text in different locations, such as at the top of an image. However, the overall package provides a compact, straightforward presentation tool.
How Can Teachers Use It?
Though not quite sophisticated enough for high school-level presentations, Popplet is entirely appropriate for elementary and middle school students or situations requiring a minimalist approach to presentations. You might ask students to showcase their knowledge of a given topic via a popplet instead of a written report. For example, on a mammal unit, you could have each student choose an animal to present, include pictures and informational text, and even post a video.