rAPPido review: Coggle (mind mapping application)

Screen Shot 2015-02-06 at 9.54.47 AMI was idly perusing my RSS feed as is my wont on a chilly Friday morning, and I came across a review of this little gem called Coggle. It is an online mind mapping software, one I suspect that is part of the google app village.

Price: free

What is it? First thing’s first: it is not an app that you will get from the iTunes store. It is web-based, so you need to access it via your browser. It is however, a mind-mapping app.

How does it work? As it turns out, pretty easily.

1. Sign in via your google account:

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I love it when it does that – that means one less password I have to remember.

2. Start creating!:

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Let me just mention that Coggle works on all platforms,whether you are using your laptop or the iPad. I am going to give you the iPad interface in this review.

3. I had a bit of difficulties getting started at the beginning. For some reason, the “tap here toy begin” toggle wasn’t working though I could create branches from it:

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I couldn’t edit the text in the default field.But I could add stuff:

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Another weird thing was that the first branch I created was larger than the others and I couldn’t figure out why:

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However, these are small glitches which I am sure will not be there every time. In fact, I worked it to my advantage by creating sub-branches:

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Pretty, isn’t it?

The branches are easy to move around, delete, zoom in and even change the colour:

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But that isn’t the best part of Coggle. Where it really shines is that it works like a google doc in terms of collaboration – you can invite people to your Coggle and everyone can edit in real time:

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You can download it as an image to your camera roll:

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Ot, if you choose the PDF option, you can open it in any app that accepts PDFs:

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As well, you can copy and paste the link (again, just like a google doc) and send it to your students. Or your students can easily share it with you:

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Oh! And you can also check out past revisions:

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Best of all? You can save your Coggles to Google drive! Just click on that minuscule text you see on your homepage:

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Just a warning, here – it took me a while to figure out that by clicking that link, it automatically added my Coggle to the Google drive. I got stuck in trying to create folders and getting a bit lost. But, when I thought to look in my drive, it was right there!

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This is a wonderful resources for group collaborations, brainstorming or even for note-taking for the more visual among us!


Screen Shot 2014-11-11 at 8.41.49 AMBut definitely not least.

What is it? I have talked about Popplet before –it is a very simple, mind mapping application. It doesn’t have the functionality or the number of templates as a more heavy duty tool like Inspiration, but on the plus side, it is a lot easier to use.


  • Lite version is free (but you can only make one map)
  • Full version is $4.99

What does it do?

Popplet basically has one, very clean look. White boxes within a black frame against a coloured background. Here is a screenshot of the Popplet I made during the workshop:

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Once you are done, you have the following export options:

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You can add images, text as well as draw:

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To create a new box, simply tap the screen. To make a connection, simply drag one of the grey dots:

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Easy peasy!

Innovative Grammar Mind Map Is Perfect For Teaching English – Edudemic

As someone who went to a francophone school well into my high school years,  I did not have an English Grammar lesson until about grade eleven. And even then it was extremely basic. In fact, I remember being in a University English class on the history of the English language and our professor being extremely appalled at how little we (it wasn’t just me- it was the whole class) about English grammar.

My grasp of the underlying structure of the language is (cough, cough) intuitive at best. Perusing the grammar mind map below, I have just now realized the depth of my ignorance.

Sigh. What a humbling way to start the day…


See on Scoop.itipadyoupad

This grammar mind map breaks down basic English grammar into eight branches, and then breaks down each branch a bit further.

Lina Gordaneer‘s insight:

This one’s for you Mr. D!

See on www.edudemic.com

rAPPido Review: Popplet Lite (Finally…)

I am in the midst of doing an iPad project with the Grade 8s of our school. It consists of learning some background information on Iran for their reading of Persepolis and then creating a documentary like we did for To Kill a Mockingbird last year.. But more on that later…

The relevant part is that they have to create a timeline to stick in their iMovie. I didn’t want to chain the students to one particular app as most of them are using their own iPads and they might not have the particular app. And in fact, I think that might be a rule of thumb to remember in the future: it is the task that matters, the content. What they use to accomplish it is less relevant. (Unless it is a class about the tools, for example a multimedia class).

Still, as you might have noticed in the last few blogs, I couldn’t help but be intrigued by Popplet. All the lesson plans that I saw that used the app looked so darn purty, like this one from  HCSMobile. Net:


So I thought I would check it out. I downloaded the free Popplet Lite version (the upgrade costs $4.99). And because my head is so full of the social media presentations from Ms. Shanly Dixon, I used “sharing is caring” as a topic:

You have the option to type in text, draw or insert an image from either your camera roll or by taking a photo:


But that was a terrible photo so I decided to draw:


Note the red. Yes, that means you have different colour options to draw with! You can also change the colour of the frames as well as the overall background colour, although I noticed that some of the options for colour didn’t work. I am not sure if that is just a glitch or if it is because I was using the lite version.

In order to link the different boxes, all you have to do is tap one of the circles around the box and stretch it to the next frame (I am ashamed to admit how long it took me to figure that out. I though those circles were there to enlarge the frame or compress it and kept on pressing on them trying to adjust my box size…It is probably a good idea to read the instructions first…):


You can export your popplet either as a pdf or a jpeg. The options are limited but practical:


Oh- and you can also change the title, by tapping on “my poppet” and changing the text.

Here is the final product:


The Popplet lite version only allows you to do one Popplet at a time, but if you export the one you are doing before starting another it shouldn’t matter too much.

As soon as I have the time I will be adding Popplet to the iPad lab!

rAPPido review: iBrainstorm

Price: free

As the English department can probably tell you, one of the hardest parts for students when writing an essay is organizing their thoughts. Most students want to dive right in – start writing before they have any idea of what they want to say. Focusing on the before part of writing- of gathering all your points and then lining them up so they flow nicely into each other- does not get enough play.

I was thinking about this when I came across this review of the app ibrainstorm:

iBrainstorm is a free brainstorming application for the iPad and the iPhone. The app allows you to record brainstorming sessions using a combination of free hand drawings and sticky notes. You can share and collaborate with other users of iBrainstorm. Sharing notes and drawings between users in a local setting is a simple matter of “flicking” an item to another user.-free4teachers.com

So I decided to give it a whirl.

The interface is a basic cork board-esque background:

Nice, simple, and relatively intuitive.

The first thing I did was name my project (I get too many untitled documents from students. It is annoying):

And then I started brainstorming some possible scenes:

To add a sticky note, you tap on the square with the plus sign. I wanted to have my scenes  in yellow and my settings in blue.  Apparently you are supposed to be able to change the colour of the sticky note, but that option wasn’t working when I was trying this app out (just tried again and still not working- hmmm.) Hopefully this is just a temporary glitch.

You can also tap the pencil and draw:

You can collaborate with other people on a project- just tap the vibrating phone icon and it will “listen for devices”:

I think it must listen for a device that is running ibrainstorm, because it didn’t find any…I am trying right now to connect to iPads -I am still getting the wheel of death… Hmmm. Another strike against ibrainstorm- Although it looks like it should be very intuitive and minimal, the options they do provide don’t work.

You have the option to send your brainstorm session via email or save it to your photos:


Although I like the interface- it provides a simple and intuitive blank slate with which to visually map out your ideas, I am not so happy with the so-called collaboration option- as I write this my devices are still trying to connect to each other (I gave up). As well, the relatively simple yet essential option of changing the colour of your sticky notes doesn’t work.

In terms of collaboration, I would suggest syncspace, which also happens to be on the iLab iPads. It works better and the real-time collaboration actually happens in real time.