Tech Tools

Tech Tool Highlight #8: Padlet

Image source: http://www.padlet.com

What is Padlet?

Many people think of Padlet as an online Post-It board for thoughts and discussion, an excellent visual. You can choose a template or a blank slate to create beautiful boards, documents, or webpages independently or with several other collaborators. People can add content, comment, like other comments, and make edits in real-time, making a virtual discussion easy to launch in your classroom. Check out below for more ideas!

A quick overview:

Once you have followed all of the standard account setup procedures on the Padlet homepage, you will be ready to explore the numerous features Padlet has to offer. Here are some highlights:

  • User-friendly setup and platform.
  • Changes are autosaved.
  • Quick sharing links for easy collaboration. Sign-up not required for contributors.
  • Unlimited contributors.
  • Available in 29 languages (and intentions to add more).
  • Updates are live, instantly appearing across all devices.
  • Various editing permissions, such as read-only, write, moderate, or admin access.
  • Padlets support almost any file type to be uploaded and can be exported as PDFs, CSVs, Images, or Excel Files.
  • Padlets can be embedded on a website or blog.
  • Padlets have a variety of privacy settings (see below).
  • Upgrade to Premium to create private networks, manage users and monitor their activity, store bigger files, create a custom domain, and have access to more wallpapers and themes.

Let’s dig deeper.

Choose from many options when creating a new padlet.
Image source: http://www.padlet.com

What can be added to a post? Collaborators can add photos, documents, web links, video, and music to their posts, creating an incredibly vivid discussion or page.

Special feature! Afraid of the text that might appear on your screen when in the throes of discussion? Enable the “Filter bad words with good emojis” under the Settings menu.

Can I change the wallpaper that automatically appeared when I created a padlet? Absolutely! Go to the Settings menu (cog wheel icon) and click “Wallpaper.” You will be able to change to other available options or upload your own. Here are Step-by-Step Padlet Wallpaper Instructions for more help.

What are reactions? Teachers and peers can grade, star, upvote/downvote, or like posts on Padlet to give immediate feedback. Each Padlet can only have one reaction type, as designated by the Padlet owner. If reactions are turned on, users can react to their own post or other posts. Users are limited to one reaction per post but unlimited on reacting to all posts on the Padlet. Users can also change and delete their reactions. Enable reactions under the Settings menu and choose your reaction type!

What privacy settings are available? Click on the Share menu (top right) and then “Change Privacy” to modify your padlet’s viewability. Here are your options:

  • Private – completely hidden from the public.
  • Password – hidden from the public; password required if I choose to share the padlet with other people.
  • Secret – hidden from the public but accessible by those with the padlet link.
  • Public – anyone can see the padlet.

Creative Padlet uses for the classroom

The number one reason to use Padlet? Collaboration. Wait – creativity. No, wait – self expression. Have I made my point? There are too many reasons to pin down the best.

Made with Padlet
“Eulogy for a sandwich” padlet that I used with French 3 & 4.
Image source: http://www.padlet.com
  • Introduce yourself – Ask students to create a board introducing themselves at the beginning of the year. This could also be a great option for a world languages family vocabulary unit.
  • Warm-ups and exit tickets – When students respond to the padlet, all of your answers are automatically in one place for you.
  • Exchange experience with another school – Post topic discussion questions and have students reflect upon their experience in their own culture regarding that topic. Let the two classes explore and compare cultural differences based on responses.
  • Live questions – Leave a padlet up on the board to see students’ questions come in during the lesson.
  • Online student portfolio – Students can contribute to their personal padlet over the course of the year.
  • Student-designed curriculum – Ask students to contribute their i.e., debate topics or current events to be discussed throughout the unit.
  • Classroom newsletter – Share information with your students and parents in one centralized location.
  • Brainstorming – Set the topic and let students’ ideas flow.
  • Philosophical chairs – Post the discussion topic to allow students to analyze and logically form their arguments for debate.
  • Book Shelfies – Students take a picture of a book they read and write a review.
  • Story starters – Students complete the story that you begin, whether via opening text or a picture.
  • Eulogy for a sandwich – My students ran with this serious yet funny writing assignment.
  • Messages from parents – Parents can leave their child a message for the first day of school.
  • Icebreaker and emotional check-in – Post a question, i.e., how students are feeling about the upcoming school year. When answers are anonymous, students may feel more secure after seeing other students with the same fears or desires.
  • Visual vocabulary board – Assign a word to each student on a collaborative padlet. Each student must define the word, use it in a sentence, and add a visual.
  • Collaborative review – Students must write in a true/false or multiple choice question based on content learned during the week. The teacher can then create a review game (i.e., Quizizz, Kahoot) based on student’s padlet questions.

For more ideas, check out Lucie Renard’s article on Bookwidgets.com highlighting 30 Creative Ways to Use Padlet.

Choose from Padlet’s extensive options.
Image source: http://www.padlet.com

Padlet is an excellent visual discussion-promoting tool that can make your lessons come alive. Furthermore, it saves student work to one location, making ideas, projects, collaborative vocabulary boards, etc., easily accessible and organized. Try it out today!