Popplet is a simple application that has the basic function of creating boxes of varying sizes for text, photos or drawn pictures. These can be linked together by lines if necessary or stand alone. The application lets you choose colours for the backgrounds, boxes and text.
How can Popplet be used in an ELT classroom?
My first impression of Popplet was that it just glorified what a pen and paper can easily do. However, after playing for a short while it became apparent that it has wider capabilities in terms of tasks and engaging students.
Some of the tasks or activities I think Popplet would be ideal for producing are;
- Comic books or story boards with either drawings or photos taken by the students
- Brainstorms, mind maps or food chains etc. all interconnected
- Information posters
- Treasure hunt or scavenger hunt style activities that include students following clues or finding items and taking pictures and placing them in order. For example; an A-Z scavenger hunt to practice vocabulary.
Advantages of Popplet
Unlike some applications I have used where the students work really hard then produce something that isn’t very pleasing to the eye, Popplet has the opposite effect. With only a few minutes spent using the simple and intuitive functions it can make ideas look very professional and eye catching. Another positive was how speedy it was to send your work through email in a variety of formats (jpeg or pdf).
My students learnt how to use this amazingly quick and when I set them off on a group task moving from ipad to ipad with a different task at each table (think circuit training at the gym!), it really got them focused and encouraged them to get their ideas down quickly. Once done, we emailed it and printed it off and it then served well as a poster and revision tool.
Consider this skeptic converted!