Mural.ly – why we love it

If you like Popplet, please read this. I think this is better than Popplet, though it’s early days.

I first heard about Mural.ly through the brilliant ICTMagic wiki (run by Martin Burrett). It is essentially a mind-mapping/presentation tool – a mix of Popplet and Prezi, but it is the ease of use that is its best feature.

What does it do?

  • links to Google Apps. Sign in with your gmail account, then you can insert anything you have on your Drive – a video, picture, presentation, document – and just slide it onto the pinboard.
  • images – drop in your own or any from a Google search
  • web content – found a page that you think is relevant to your presentation or research? Drop that in too.
  • Embed it – it looks lovely when embedded as viewers can scroll around and open pages, images and documents at their leisure. A teacher from my school has done this with their class Mural.
  • Share it – work collaboratively with a whole class or in smaller groups.
  • Once you are a collaborator, you can leave comments on areas you like or want to see improved by right-clicking the item.
  • Public/private – choose whether you want to show it or wait until it is completed.
  • Add additional visual supports such as post-it notes, arrows and other symbols by using the same menu bar on the left hand side.
  • Present your Mural by adding frames in the same way you would do with Prezi.

How has it been used?

Really easy stuff, and the children have picked it up instantly. The teacher referenced above has used Murally with year 2; my year 5 class are using it to collate information about London (our current topic), while in year 4, the children have used Mural instead of using Science books. They are currently learning all about habitats, and have typed up findings on Google Docs, imported images from Google to link animals and the places they live, as well as including websites and sticky notes that support each picture. The children have shared their Murals with their teacher, who can then leave comments (quicker marking, but just as effective!) And of course, the children can work on their Murals at home. Perfect. I would include an example of the above but the children are still working on them – I will try to add in the future.

We also recently had a blogging INSET, in which this Mural was sent to all staff as an aide memoire.

 

 

So there you go. Three easy ways to use it: presentations and references for staff; children’s individual boards or as a whole class project. I would urge you to give it a go.

As a disclaimer, the main disadvantage Murally has against Popplet is that it doesn’t work on iPads etc…though apparently this is forthcoming.

As the Mural is not a webpage, and I’ve only linked to existing content rather than claim it as my own, I don’t know whether I need to reference people or not. However, as you can see, there is a range of people who I have borrowed from/referred others to – thanks to David Mitchell, Julia Skinner, Dughall McCormick, John Sutton, Michael Rosen, Ben Waldram, Stephen Lockyer, Alan Mackenzie, Cherise Duxbury and Malcolm Wilson. Thanks also to Louise and Sinead for trialling it with their classes.

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