Hands Down: my favourite tool for creating mind maps

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“P” stands for pretty and with a little bit of effort, this is what your mind maps will look like after using this tool.  It is very user friendly and within 5 minutes, your students will figure out how it works.  Even though it is great, there are some drawbacks which I will go into…

Screen Shot 2015-06-02 at 6.43.46 PMScreen Shot 2015-06-02 at 6.54.53 PMI have been using Popplet with my science classes for about 2 years and what I really like about digital mind maps is how easy they are to bring home & mark!  Long gone are the days of lugging around bristol board – fluorescent boards are the bane of my existence.  Mind you, I still accept tangible mind maps because I don’t want to limit student creativity.  Also – not all students have tech access at home to use this tool.

It all starts with a popplet (a box that allows you to insert, text or media) which can then be linked to other popplets.  Each box can be colour coded so that helps with grouping content.

Once you finish, you can share the link to your work or export as a pdf.  If you want a tutorial on how to use it, I found a good video on YouTube.

This tool has flaws – the biggest flaw IMO is the lack of spell check.  Granted, my students have found a way around this (typing into a word processor and then cutting & pasting into the popplets) – however, the majority do not take this extra step…nor do I feel like they should.  Isn’t spell check standard nowadays?

Another problem I’ve encountered is not all mind maps can be exported properly – each semester, I need to obtain the login/password of 10-20% of the class.  Maybe their maps are too large or some files become corrupt?  Also – there have been a few cases where their work completely disappears and they need to start over (I know they weren’t lying because I noted their progress during in-class work periods).  So in that sense, it becomes a major inconvenience.

The last issue I have is that this pdf is not readable by turnitin so its difficult to know if the text is “copied & pasted” or original.  So you will have to decide whether or not that is important to you – guess it depends on the assignment/activity.

Despite these issues I have encountered over the past couple of years, I continue to promote Popplet as a tool as it helps everyone create “clean” and organized work – regardless of artistic talent.

Here is an example of a Popplet I made as a model of how their assignment could be organized: Ms Sy’s Energy Mind Map Exemplar

Any questions?  Comment below 🙂

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