I’m always on the lookout for new ways to create, design, and visualize. The presentation tool Prezi.com has always been a unique way to create whiz-bang visuals for professional development conferences or workshops, and has a nice way of drawing the viewers in. Voicethread.com is also one of those unique tools that educators have latched on to for lots of different authentic purposes. I’ve been ready for something new.
And now comes Popplet.com. Popplet is like a cross between Prezi, Glogster, and Kidspiration (or mywebspirtation.com). At first when I tried Popplet, my first inkling was to create a poster in the vein of Glogster- thinking how teachers and students might be using this tool. When you open the Popplet sandbox, your task is to create a series of popples. You can simple type in the popple, change the color, you can draw using a pen tool, or you can add an image from Flickr, your own image, or a YouTube video.
Unlike Prezi, which I consider to be somewhat intimidating for some people to use, Popplet is very intuitive and pretty simple. You can connect your popples to each other much like you connect mind-map bubbles to each other. On a recent project I was working on, I was asked to create a storyboard for an Android app that I was creating. At first, I was told to use Webspiration, but it occurred to me that Popplet would be a great visualization tool for my storyboard. You can see below how the popples are connected, include multiple types of objects, various colors, and are easy to read (zoom in).
This was my storyboard for the Mathademics app, which is a YouTube channel I created for uploading math lessons. I like that Popplet is not just a one-tool pony. It’s not just for creating online posters- educators will be able to find multiple uses for a tool like this. This summer I taught a group of youngsters, and we brainstormed how Popplet could be used for digital storytelling. Students said that you could use it for brainstorming the story, then storyboarding it, and finally by using a screen capture software for possibly filming a Popplet in action.
Some extras to think about:
- You can collaborate with other “Popplers” in real time.
- It’s easy to share. Here’s the link to an interesting Popplet on the history of Coke bottles: http://popplet.com/app/#/358
- Obviously embeddable.
- It has a bookmarklet tool that allows you to save/tag images from the web to add to your popplets. Convenient.
- There is a Popplet app in the iTunes store: get it here.
So, definitely add Popplet into you arsenal of tools to draw from this year. If you have any to share, let us know.