LOOPY - Mapping Tool

This section of review questions is based on an #ISTECert Assignment for evaluating LOOPY as a tech tool to empower learning in alternative learning environments.

Why? What’s LOOPY?
LOOPY is a great tool for mapping out cause and effect relationships in different systems. Try it out here! It is an open-sourced, browser-based modelling tool that displays positive and negative interactions between concepts. The simulations can be embedded on a website, saved as a workable link or as a document so that you can import it in the browser for editing. The applicability of this tool is vast and it is a great tool for modelling and simulating cause and effect behaviours in complex systems.

LOOPY Exemplars

How would you model this tool for colleagues?

This tool has been modeled in lower secondary science lessons. This year was the first time we introduced it to our students in the ecology unit. We wanted the students to understand energy transfer within a food web as well as the positive and negative relationships in a food web. Students are able to build upon their understanding of food webs, pyramids of biomass and the relationships between consumers and producers with LOOPY. LOOPY was very easy to use and students picked it up within minutes of introduction.

How would you investigate this tool collaboratively with students?

I demonstrated this tool by using an example that we have done in class. For example, farmland, displayed in the photo below.

I go through how they can draw the circles, how do indicate a positive or negative relationship, and how to represent population or biomass using circle sizes. Then students apply this tool on a different ecosystem and extend it by incorporating a human impact (for example, rain forest with deforestation). Then we might create something like the following on LOOPY:

How might you use this tool to promote digital citizenship OR empower student learning?

This tool empowers students learning because of its customizability and applicability. The tool can be applied in lower secondary as well as higher secondary classes. It is easy to learn, and it has a wide application. It is a great tool for students to use when they are explaining relationships of systems in a dynamic, graphical way.

How might this tool transform your work with colleagues and/or students?

Students can use this tool to design their own examples of systems and relationships instead of relying on the teacher to provide them with examples. Students can play their simulations and make observations of what is happening if you increase or decrease a variable. Unfamiliar situations that require students to apply their knowledge are no longer intangible, students can now propose and simulate what might happen in different scenarios.

Which ISTE Standard(s) might be met by its use?

Educator Standards Student Standards
  • 5a: Use technology to create, adapt and personalize learning experiences that foster independent learning and accommodate learner differences and needs.
  • 6b: Manage the use of technology and student learning strategies in digital platforms, virtual environments, hands-on makerspaces or in the field.
  • 6d: Model and nurture creativity and creative expression to communicate ideas, knowledge or connections.
  • 1d: Students understand the fundamental concepts of technology operations, demonstrate the ability to choose, use and troubleshoot current technologies and are able to transfer their knowledge to explore emerging technologies.
  • 3d: Students build knowledge by actively exploring real-world issues and problems, developing ideas and theories and pursuing answers and solutions.
  • 5b: Students collect data or identify relevant data sets, use digital tools to analyze them, and represent data in various ways to facilitate problem-solving and decision-making.