Letterpop

June 8, 2008 at 8:04 pm 8 comments

Letterpop

Letterpop (http://letterpop.com/ ) is a word-processing Web 2.0 tool that provides templates for quickly and easily creating online communications. Letterpop has templates for creating newsletters, birthday invitations, real estate listings, family updates, home-based business information (such as Pampered Chef Parties), club announcements, classroom news, online magazine articles, personalized photo collages, etc. The templates are provided and individuals may then insert their own text and pictures.

In order to use Letterpop, an individual must have access to the World Wide Web as well as all of the equipment necessary to access the World Wide Web (computer and modem, or other access device). It is also necessary to create an account by selecting a username and a password. There is a video on the letterpop site that explains step-by-step how to create an account.

Letterpop can be used by teachers not only for sharing information with students and parents, but it can also be used by students in instruction. For example, a teacher could add a class photo to the newsletter and have the students write about the photo. It is a fun and engaging way to integrate technology into writing. Additionally, it is very effective for education because it is similar to Microsoft Publisher, but simplified in that it does not have as many tools as Microsoft Publisher, making it less overwhelming for elementary students. Students could also use letterpop to write newspaper articles (summaries) about a particular story. For example, in the Baltimore County Grade 3 Curriculum, the students read “Dogzilla.” The students could use Letterpop to create a news article about the events that occurred in Mousopolis. Students could also use Letterpop to create a photo-collage. For example, students could use a digital camera to take pictures in the classroom or school of examples and non-examples of math concepts (examples of quadrilaterals and non-examples of quadrilaterals). They could then make a photo-collage of examples and non-examples for that particular topic.

Within education, letterpop could be used by students to create posters or presentations. In addition to integrating letterpop into the curriculum, other education applications of letterpop include teacher and/or student use for inviting parents to Back-to-School Night, American Education Week, or other class events. It could be used as a tool for quickly creating professional-looking class newsletters. An address book is available within letterpop, allowing teachers to easily create a mailing list of their students’ parents or anyone who may want to receive the newsletter. The newsletter may also be printed for those that do not have internet access. Letterpop’s easy-to-follow format and the minimal amount of time it takes to create a product within letterpop would be a benefit to faculty and staff members, perhaps making it a great Web 2.0 tool to share as part of a professional development session.

Letterpop, however, has some limitations. While it provides an easy way for teachers and students to design professional-looking newsletters, the template selection is very limited. You can’t edit the headline template or tweak image sizes. Students and teachers who are more creative thinkers may find it frustrating to be confined to these templates.

When using letterpop, it is best to have a well-developed plan in mind for the type of content one would like to integrate so that careful selections of templates may be made. Once a product within letterpop is created, a letterpop link is also created. Instead of e-mailing an attachment to others, the link can be shared. There is also a syndication feed (RSS) for published newsletters. RSS feeds are a way for readers to subscribe to newsletters and be automatically updated whenever a new one is created. This is a great alternative for members who don’t want to email out newsletters and for readers who don’t want to share their email address. There are also “profiles” on letterpop, allowing individuals to archive what they created so their work can be revisited by the teacher or students from other classes. Comments may be made by others regarding the newsletter, which may require the need for teachers to share some netiquette lessons with the students when posting comments about others’ newsletters. In general, letterpop serves as a great communication and collaboration tool.

References:

Broida, Rick (n.d). “Create Newsletters Online with Letterpop!” (Online). Available: http://lifehacker.com/software/design/create-newsletters-online-with-letterpop-226881.php

Bruno, D., Verner, C. and John Watson. Letterpop. Online: http://www.letterpop.com

TechLearning Blog (July 31, 2007). Available: http://www.techlearning.com/blog/2007/07/

TechnoTeach (August 15, 2007). Letterpop (Online). Available: http://tecnoteacher.blogspot.com/2007/08/letterpop.html

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Entry filed under: Collaborate, Connect, Personal.

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8 Comments Add your own

  • 1. skbrown537  |  June 8, 2008 at 8:16 pm

    Sounds like a great tool for those students who groan and complain when asked to complete a writing assignment. Maybe this tool would provide an engaging way for students to practice their writing skills, while creating a meaningful and relevant purpose for their writing.
    I was also thinking this may be a great way for teachers to compose those weekly/monthly parent bulletins regarding events within the classroom. Providing the link on a class website for parents to access at anytime, may prove to be more beneficial than the piece of paper that typically winds up in a crumpled mess at the bottom of our studnets’ backpacks!

    Reply
  • 2. gmdevos  |  June 8, 2008 at 9:42 pm

    Becca – This sounds like something I need to check out. I really like the idea of templates for creating easy online communications. Maybe we should check into using it for our newsletter next year. I also think that your idea about having students use it to create meaningful writing pieces sounds like something that would be very engaging. If it is free and they can access it from home it could be an option for them to choose when completing a written language assignment. Do you think parents would use the shared link?

    Reply
  • 3. flofalatko  |  June 9, 2008 at 12:03 am

    Becca,

    I am so glad that you researched this Web 2.0 tool. It appears that it might just the right limitations for struggling writers. I sometimes find that when my writers are given too many choices they are not sure where to go.

    Reply
  • 4. becca14  |  June 9, 2008 at 2:10 am

    Gretchen,
    I think this is definitely worth looking into for our newsletter. Many parents would probably be eager to use the shared link, but we could also print a hard copy to make the information accessible to those parents that do not have the internet.

    Reply
  • 5. wleake  |  June 9, 2008 at 11:36 pm

    Bcca, I am going to check this out. You gave many helpful examples for using this in an educational setting. I was thinking of the newsletter idea as well. I wonder which would be easier , a link on the school site(onve its up) or using Letterpop?

    Reply
  • 6. sgregory52  |  June 12, 2008 at 3:18 am

    Your idea about using this tool for invitations to Back-to-School night and American Education Week are great! How could a parent say “no” to a student created invitation with a professional appearance?

    Reply
  • 7. drothman  |  June 12, 2008 at 10:47 am

    Hey Becca, This looks great. Can you get to it from school? It’s been hard to check things because this blog is blocked at school. If I can remember, I’ll look at it tomorrow when we meet at school for our team project.

    Reply
  • 8. becca14  |  June 12, 2008 at 10:27 pm

    Donna,
    Unfortunately, I was unable to access letterpop from school the other day. However, this is such a great site that I am going to have to write to request permission for it to be opened. I will try to be very convincing!! 🙂

    Reply

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