Ed Tech #2: Padlet

What is it?

Padlet describes itself as somewhere between a doc and a website builder that can be used for things like a bulletin board, a blog, or a portfolio. It reminds me somewhat of a collaborative Pinterest board. It gives you a simple, intuitive platform to share content with others. The basic account is free, but you gain access to even more features if you are willing to pay for an account (such as the “Padlet Backpack” education account). It has iOS, Android, and Kindle apps.

Creating a Padlet

To create your padlet, you choose a title, theme, and layout. You can also choose your “reaction options.” People can like, vote up/down, give 1-5 stars, or grade (which assigns a numeric score to a post within a padlet).

Here’s what some of the layouts look like:

Screen shot of the 5 different Padlet layouts available

And here is a screenshot that lists the type of content you can add to your padlet:

List of options to add to Padlet, including links, video and photos, drawings, and more.

 

I particularly like padlet’s robust privacy options: you can make your padlet private, password protected, access with link/QR code only, or public. You have even more privacy/security features if you upgrade to padlet backpack. Padlet also has exporting options (CSV, PDF, image, Excel spreadsheet, etc.) that could come in handy.

Sample Padlets

I think one of the best ways to get a feel for all the different things you can do with padlet is to just click through their gallery. I also found this particular padlet useful- it’s a padlet that compiles various educational padlets. I also created a sample padlet, which I embedded below. You can also access my sample padlet through this link, or if you were to download the padlet app, you could scan a QR code that I provide. Check it out and feel free to try out the collaboration features! I used a variety of images, videos, links, and a few gifs so you can see how padlet displays the different types of content.

Made with Padlet

 

Limitations, Strengths, and Applications

I think Padlet has a variety of applications both in online and in-person classes. For instance, I could see it being used for individual or group presentations or projects. Groups could be assigned a topic, and then work to create a padlet that represents that topic. Students could then view and comment on each post within the padlet. You could also use padlet to organize a classroom survey or contest (kind of like I did with my sample padlet), create a flow chart with the “canvas” layout, or tell a story using the “stream” layout. I think padlet is the type of tool that would work well for open-ended assignments- I bet students could come up with some creative ways to use padlet that we wouldn’t even have considered. I also like that padlet makes it easy to share and link to other padlets, which encourages collaborative learning. Padlet addresses¬†accessibility¬†as padlets can be read with most screen readers. However, keyboard access is only available for logging in and navigating the dashboard (it’s not possible to create/edit posts with keyboard only). As for other limitations, a few times, my padlet wouldn’t load a gif or a particular image, which was a little annoying. I also wish more of the features were available in the free version.

I’m looking forward to hearing other ideas on how you think padlet could be incorporated in both in-person and online courses in the comments!

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5 Comments

  1. I like the idea of using it for open ended assignments! My students are so creative, I bet they would be able to do something clever with it, maybe with a novel or research assignment. Does each student need a login to create their own account or do you as the teacher provide a code, like with Google Classroom? I think if I were to use it with my students, it would take a day to set up and get them navigating, but they’re so good with tech, I would probably try this. I’m thinking at the end of the year, maybe I’ll assign an independent novel project and they have to present the story in chronological order, or make a webpage for a character, or some related research… the possibilities are endless!

    1. I like your assignment idea. I want to try using Padlet in my classroom. Maybe we could do something related to the Olympics, they could follow an athlete or sports event.

  2. I agree with Sam, there are so many possibilities with this app! Just going along with the “Pinterest” idea, I could see myself using this as a way for my students to create pages of their favorite artist.

    I try to incorporate “their” music more in my classes and this would be a great platform for that. I will have to do some more research on this, thanks for the idea!

  3. I just left a previous comment. Not sure why it didn’t stick.

    I love the idea of collaboration with the students. I immediately thought of a teacher assigned a project and the students each given a part. They could all see what each other is contributing and help out.

  4. Wow, I remember as a student everyone in class reporting on a country or state or such. This would be a great way to incorporate all kinds of information about one of those. I like the idea of several privacy options.

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