Class Collaboration Using Padlet

Overview

For those not yet familiar with Padlet, it’s an extremely versatile tool that is probably best described as a digital ‘post-it’ board. It’s being used by many educators and organizations as a tool to share and visualize any content (e.g. images, videos, documents, text), together with anyone, from any device.

padletName: Padlet (formerly wallwisher) – www.padlet.com
Pricing
: Free
Compatibility: Desktop/Tablet/Mobile (more information)
Access: No signup required
Privacy: Customizable (more information)

 

A Quick Look

Logging in

The first thing you will see when heading to padlet.com is the option to ‘create something’ or sign up for an account. I suggest diving straight in and start creating. If you find yourself really liking the tool, you can choose to create an account later on using email, Google or Facebook.

Padlet Home Screen

The Wall

Padlet is all about creating walls for you and your students to collaborate on. Walls are simply the virtual space where you can post images, videos, documents and text. Think of it as a digital version of the corkboard where your would pin up notes and flyers.

Blank Padlet Wall

How Mrs. McGee is using Padlet

The below video is a quick introduction and overview of Padlet from teacher Theresa McGee.

Have a play!

Once a wall has been created it can be linked in email, blogs or social media. It can even be embedded directly into a blog or web page, as we have done below. Click around and have a play!

Security and Privacy

One aspect of Padlet that you will want to get right before using it with students is the privacy and wall visibility settings. Padlet gives the below options for limiting access to your wall:

  • Private – Only you and people you add by email can access the wall
  • Password Protected – Visitors will be required to enter a password to access the wall
  • Hidden Link – The wall will have a public link that anyone can access, but the link will be hidden from Google and public areas of Padlet
  • Totally Public – The wall will be completely public. It can show up in Google searches and can be featured by Padlet on the homepage

 

In Practice

1. A Padlet brainstorm

With the Padlet wall accessible to all members of your class, it can provide an excellent virtual space to share and critique ideas. Whether you are collecting resources for a project or discussing the pros and cons of a certain decision, the wall can provide a transparent or anonymous space (depending on how you want to set it up) for your students to discuss and share their thoughts.

2. Put your wall on the wall

One of my favorite ways to use Padlet and involve the whole class is to project the Padlet wall up at the front of the room. This has a really interactive feel and promotes discussion as students use their own devices to add notes to the wall in realtime. Try doing this as an engaging way to kick off a new classroom topic, or take a ‘flipped’ approach and ask your students to contribute to a wall for homework and discuss as a group the next day.

3. Peer assessment

To take advantage of the collaborative nature of Padlet and the simplicity of sharing, have your students review and provide feedback on the work of their peers. Both the process of providing and receiving feedback are great skills to develop and encourage with your class. Depending on how comfortable you are with student provided feedback, you may want to enable moderation of posts to ensure no innapropriate comments are shared.

4. Take your wall outside

Just because your class created the Padlet wall doesn’t mean they are the only one who can use it. Share your wall with another class or grade level and have them contribute. Take it a step further and try sharing your wall with an entirely different school in an entirely different country. It’s extremely rewarding to arrive into school and find messages from the other side of the world waiting. I have even seen Padlet used as a wonderfully visual way to share classroom activities with parents and the school community.

5. Staff idea sharing

Padlet walls don’t have to be just for your students either. Try setting up a Padlet space for your staff to share resources. Share ideas that you find inspirational. Share tools that you find useful. Share videos that you find funny! You can even share anonymously. Padlet has even been used successfully as a real life ‘suggestion box‘.

 

Links and Next Steps

 

What other uses have you found for using Padlet with your students? Share your ideas in the comments below.

 

Feature image adapted from image courtesy of Flickr, visualpanic.

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