Popplet is an online tool for creating mindmaps. You can access it through their website as well as on their app. It is very easy to use: type in your topic and start adding related topics. You can type, draw, insert images, and comment on each branch. You can also change the color of each topic; I like to keep the colors the same for related topics so it is visual apparent which things “go together”.
Here is a popplet that I recently made about my professional learning network. I just discovered that I could download it as both a jpeg and a pdf. You can also share it via link or embed it into a website.
There are a lot of other ways you can manipulate and use your popplet. You can make it a video presentation and record yourself talking about your popplet. You can add videos from YouTube or Vimeo. You can zoom in and out to see more or less of the popplet at once. It is a really easy-to-use tool to organize your thoughts . Last year, I used it to help me organize my literature review for one of my grad school classes.
Since the ways you can use popplet are so numerous, students could use it a lot too. Any time you draw a mindmap, you could create a popplet. It is a simple, visually-appealing substitution to creating mindmaps on paper. Of course, the sharing, embedding, saving, and presenting features can take your thinking to a new level as you collaborate with others. Students could use it to generate ideas for student-led inquiry. You could use it as a unit opener, where students put together everything they know about a specific topic (also easy to use at the end of a unit for an assessment tool as well). You can add collaborators so multiple students can work on the same popplet together.
It does require a login, and there is a limited number of popplets you can have at once, but with how easy it is to share and download it, you probably wouldn’t need to save it on the website forever. A fun tool that is useful for both teachers and students, inside and outside of the classroom.