Why use Padlet?
Even a basic use of Padlet ticks most of the 4C’s for 21st Century Learning: Communicate, Collaborate, Critical Thinking and Creativity. In terms of integrating digital technology in your class, it is at the Transformation end of the SAMR Model. From a pragmatic point of view, it is also a great vehicle to use to inspire students and their parents to value technology for learning and start bringing in their own device (BYOD).
How does Padlet Work?
The best answer to this question is to read the Padlet FAQ. Otherwise, it can be used on desktops, android and apple platforms; so your students should have reasonable access to some kind of device for learning.
How can I use it?
1. Word Wall
Word Walls have multiple uses and pedagogical intents, such as:
When these are just in the physical classroom, then they can only be used in a synchronous way and are usually not sustained beyond the timeframe of a unit of work. There is also limited opportunities to update and refine these as learning progresses. When these are posted online, however, the reverse is true.
2. Increasing Response Rates
Normally, gaining responses from a class involves the teacher asking questions and recording responses on a whiteboard. This may be effective for you if you pair it with strategies to increase student response rates. With Padlet, you can have a response from all students.
3. Collaborative Critical Thinking
Critical Thinking is usually not a collaborative affair beyond very small groups of students. You could arm expert jigsaws with butchers paper and have them fill in a graphic organizer and then post the finished collaborative artifact of learning on a spare wall. Or, you could use Padlet.
Folio assessment tasks are great for students to collect evidence of their knowledge and skills, even when they are on paper. However, paper-based folios are difficult to share within and beyond the classroom. This means that students miss out on feedback from peers and others to inform their learning.
ePortfolios improve on this by allowing a public reflection, evaluation and sharing of learning. Students can also Personalize their learning with “voice and choice” because they can determine what they need to learn, how they will learn and present evidence of their learning. This is the main reason that ePortfolios are utilized for Problem-Based, Challenge-Based and Project-Based learning; where students determine what the problem is, decide how they will solve it and then present their solution.
Padlet has upgraded its technology and now you can drag and drop files to organise an ePortfolio.
5. Exit tickets
These are a great formative check for understanding and can be used as part of your feedback for visible learning.
Stories From the Field
My colleague, Wendy Coleman, uses Padlet to give her students anywhere, anytime access to learning activities and resources. Students are then able to interact with learning resources at their own time and pace.
These Padlets are password protected, so she also sends these to parents so that they can support students at home. Further to this, they all have an associated QR code.
Wendy tells me that she likes the visual nature of padlet and the way it is so easy to post a variety of content. As you can see from the snapshot below, Padlet is quite versatile.