I was recently invited to guest lecture in an LIS class, speaking to and leading discussion around embedded librarianship and thinking beyond information literacy. For this latter topic, I had this notion that it would be interesting to get students to brainstorm broadly about what other literacies there might be, and what being literate in that area might mean. (activity instructions after the jump)
In preparation for this activity, I looked at online mind-mapping software that would be free to use for something like this. I had used bubbl.us previously, and I liked it for its simplicity. I also thought Mind Meister would work well. It’s more feature-rich (and therefore complicated), but made open collaboration easier. I would recommend both (and they are just two of many). Just before class, though, I read a tweet about something called popplet, a relatively new tool. It’s still in beta, and has a few bugs yet, but was super simple to use. I’m a sucker for trying something new, so I went with that.
I’m really pleased with the result. It’s both complicated and nice to look at. The students came up with some novel ideas that I’d not considered, and found ways to link different literacies together. Very cool. I hope the class got something out of it!
As I said, Popplet still has some kinks to work out. Export to PDF and JPG is low-resolution, not adequate for a popplet of this size. You can’t yet duplicate a whole sheet (so to make a backup copy). I’d like to see ways to collaborate with a group without requiring everyone to have an account. Lots of potential here, though.
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