Sunday, 2 February 2014

Goal Setting with Popplet

Popplet is an iPad app that creates quick and easy webs, mind maps, brainstorms and flow charts. There are minimal bells and whistles so students are not tempted to spend most of the creating time playing with settings and features, as can happen.

We decided to have the students write their goals for term two in Popplet, which we will be sharing with parents at student-led conferences. They can also show their parents how to create a poppet at the conference.

Popplet is a great app for visual learners, and unlike some computer programs that have similar features, it is quick and simple. We like using iPads for writing activities occasionally because it is very motivating for students, particularly if they find writing activities difficult or have written output challenges. As the students were working it was easy for us to do a quick visual check if students were understanding how to create categories and subcategories of their ideas. One student had popples (text boxes) all over her screen, completely unrelated to one another, with ideas randomly listed, so I was able to get her back on track without having her start all over again.

This student has included several photos to illustrate his goals and objectives. He should have had each objective
come from the main goal, rather than linking to each other.

At various points throughout the class I asked several students if I could show their popplet to the whole class using the projector. We discussed aspects that we liked and things that we noticed, which helped give ideas and suggestions to struggling students.

Goal Setting Project Criteria:
  • student goals must be school related (can include fitness, organization, friendship, writing/reading, math, etc)
  • all goals have to be one colour, and the sub-goals, or objectives, must be another colour
  • take a photo of themselves using the iPad camera and import it into their popplet
  • use the largest font for all popples so that it is easier to read when we print them (the medium and small fonts were almost unreadable when we printed them from email)
As can be seen with this poppet, the smaller font sizes are difficult to read. The drawing feature is illustrated
on the left side of the popplet,

Popplet features we like:

  • students can change colours of each "popple" (box) to categorize their ideas
  • they can include photos from the camera roll or take a photo using the in-app camera
  • students can use the drawing feature to create doodles
  • additional popples are created with a single tap to the grey circles on each popple
  • the popples can be moved and resized at any point during the creating process
Now that our students have learned how to use Popplet we can use this in other content areas, such as for our study of Japan in Social Studies. 

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