ICT Tip: Popplet allows your students to do collaborative brainstorming

Link: www.popplet.com

Quick overview: Popplet is a “mind mapping” tool that allows students to explore and expand upon their ideas in a visual way. It’s free, collaborative, and easy to use!

What is Mind Mapping? Mind mapping is a different way for us to organize our thoughts. A mind map is often setup like a tree, whereas you begin with one main concept and then branch out to many related topics. Each concept in the mind map is represented by a “bubble” that may contain a few words, an image, or even a video. The lines drawn between the “bubbles” indicate the link between the concepts. I’m the first to admit that I’ve never been terribly excited about mind maps. I’ve always liked to simply jot down my ideas in a bullet point list. That being said, I’ve started using Popplet with my colleagues and I’m amazed at how intuitive it is to brainstorm together. It’s definitely worth trying out and it also works well on an IWB (SMARTBoard) too!

How can it be used in the classroom? Popplets can be used by students to brainstorm, consolidate information from multiple sources, plan tasks, or present a topic. A Popplet mind map can be created by one student or simultaneously by a group of students on different computers. A maximum of six popplets can be stored within an account. If you reach your maximum, you can simply delete the popplets you’re done with to get more. Popplet mind maps can also be exported to PDF or JPG.

What about mobile devices? Popplet Lite and Popplet is available for the iPad for those with iPads in their classrooms. (Thanks to Catherine Boisvert, FSL teacher at Eastern Quebec Learning Centre, CQSB for being the first to explore this resource with me!)

Video: To see a 5 minute video demonstrating how the tool works, please click the image below:

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