For my review, I took a look at Popplet, a rich media web tool that shows connections between concepts similar to other software (e.g. Inspiration). The software allows users to create webs, label aspects of the web, add pictures, videos, and connect each part in a rich presentation format.
A free account gives you the opportunity to create five popplets; one you have done that you would need to go to the $3 monthly plan or $30 yearly plan. In addition, Popplet offers educational pricing per user.
Popplets allows users to create a central concept, draw connections to and from that concept, and add images related to text within each Popplet. Once a user has created a Popplet, you can share the image through twitter, hyperlink, email, and/or embed it into a website. Users can present in presentation mode, however, there is no audio recording capabilities. In essence, the screen zooms to each individual Popplet in the specific order you put them in for the presentation mode.
Overall, I found it very easy to use Popplet; any novice would feel confident using it as it utilizes drag and drops controls, embedded connections to media sites (e.g. Flickr, YouTube), and allows quick connections to be made, in an eye pleasing design.
Users can upload content from Flickr, YouTube, and images from their hard drive. Files such as pdfs, word docs, and other formats are not accepted. The Popplet app is available on IOS devices, allowing users to create, collaborate, and share simultaneously in a Popplet. Basically, you can create a Popplet, share it with another Popplet user and start collaborating!
In the free mode, there are only basic themes available for each Popplet with little to no flexibility in changing the interface; for example, all Popplet bubbles are rounded-corner rectangles. In briefly searching YouTube, I found a few tutorials on using the software and when you first join you are led through a brief (instructionally lacking) tutorial.
For sharing purposes, you can control who sees your Popplets as you can make them public, share through a link, and connect with social media sites. For learners, I see this being very effective for gr. 6-12 and possibly the college/university level for users that cannot connect due to distance.
Positives for Popplet:
- Easy to use
- Intuitive functionality (you know what the buttons mean)
- Drag and drop interface
- Access to media rich resources
- Collaborative capabilities
- IOS App
Negatives for Popplet:
- Only 5 Popplets in free account
- Images only available from Flickr
Popplet gets 3 stars out of 5 for me. Overall, Popplet gives users the opportunity to create a collaborative web with connections that are easy to make. For me, the 5 Popplet limit frustrated me. Basically, if you want students to use this you will need to purchase an educational account. Other comparable software (e.g. Prezi,) do not have this stipulation, hence, I took away two stars.