Microsoft introduced Popfly as a visual mashup maker in 2007, and I was the first person to build a college course around Popfly.  Popfly had a short but useful life. Microsoft no longer supported Popfly after August, 2009.

In this December 2007  interview with Microsoft evangelist Bob Familiar, I explained my rationale for teaching IT concepts with Popfly.

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  • Sunday, February 10, 2008:  The New York Times business section describes Microsoft Popfly, and profiles how my class at Bentley used it as an educational tool for learning how to interact with data in new ways.
  • April 1, 2008:  Campus Technology described our use of Popfly as an innovative way to teach Web 2.0 concepts in the classroom.
  • April 4, 2008: My IT101X class is featured  featured for using Microsoft’s Popfly software in the Boston Business Journal article Popfly Software Deal a Hit for Microsoft, Local College .
During the summer of 2008,  I worked with the Popfly team and wrote a series of nine lessons on using Popfly to teach IT concepts. The e-book, Creating Popfly Mashups:  A How-To Guide for Teachers, Students, and Popfly Enthusiasts originally appeared on the PopflyWiki, and has been archived on the Web here:
  1. Getting Started with the Popfly Mashup Creator: Coming Soon to a Theater Near You
  2. Earthquake Maps and Spinning Photos:  What is a Mashup?
  3. Your News, Gadgets, and Online Trails: Mashing RSS Feeds in Popfly
  4. An Introduction to Object-Oriented Concepts Using Popfly
  5. List Processing: Make a Personal Weather Map with Popfly
  6. Map Mashups with Popfly: Photos, Coins, and Houses for Sale
  7. Decisions, Decisions: Learning Logic with Popfly
  8. Under the Covers: A Beginner’s Guide to Learning about XML using Popfly
  9. A Super Sized Fast Food Finder

While Popfly is gone, the technology concepts explained in these lessons make for interesting reading, and provide suggestions for creating applications using other mashup tools.  For example, I was able to implement some of my favorite Popfly mashups using Google spreadsheets. (They just looked a whole lot nicer in Popfly!) Check out the Real Estate Map mashup below. (Note: The map may not display properly in Chrome.)