Is Padlet Right For Your Classroom?

A virtual bulletin board that will entice your students to share and collaborate.

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by Crystal McCausland

Overview

Have you been looking for a technology tool to boost class participation and collaboration that also lends itself well to formative assessment practices? If you answered “yes” then Padlet is for you. It’s a user-friendly tool requiring no special technical know-how that you can start implementing in your class tomorrow to increase whole-class engagement.

Getting Started

Here is a quick video tutorial that will have you running a Padlet wall in your classroom in a few simple steps.

Teaching Ideas

Idea 1- Whole Class Engagement

Have you ever tried to engage your students in a whole class discussion only to find, the few participants you have are the same students that contribute to every discussion?

If so, try using a Padlet wall as a discussion forum for a think/pair/share activity. Users have the option to submit their responses anonymously which helps reduce anxiety amongst students that may fear judgment about their responses from other students or the teacher. Being able to answer anonymously helps to encourage risk-taking in students that may not normally put forth their opinions. Padlet helps to blur the lines between the confident outspoken students and the shy or confidence lacking ones making your teaching environment more inclusive. You may be thinking; the anonymity of the Padlet wall is great for reinforcing the freedom of expression, what if I need to obtain this data for assessment purposes? Thankfully, account holders have the ability to access information in their dashboard to find out which students were authors on all the notes posted.

Idea 2- Obtain Data for Formative Assessment

Have you ever used a KWL chart to obtain prior knowledge from your students? Try using a Padlet wall to do the same thing. The advantage with Padlet is that students can submit their responses simultaneously instead of waiting for the teacher to write each response down. You can also use a wall to get a snapshot of whole class understanding after a lesson. Put a question on a wall for students to answer as an “exit slip” out the door. A Padlet wall could also be a good self-assessment tool for students as they can receive timely descriptive feedback from their teacher or peers. Personalized notes could be left on a wall to provide a student with suggestions for improvement or encouragement on a project or presentation.

Idea 3 – Creative Collaboration

Have you ever done a lesson where you ask a question about a topic and the class waits while you write their responses on a brainstorm map? This method can be time-consuming. Instead, separate your class into 4-5 groups and give them a wall where they can creatively share their ideas through text, videos or images.This way, students can add their thoughts simultaneously in real-time with the ability to see a variety of responses. Walls can also be created for collaborative research gathering or for collaborative note-taking where multiple contributors can add notes of importance to a wall for later reference.

Helpful Resources

20 Ways to Use Padlet in the Classroom Now

The Writing is on the Wall: Using Padlet for Whole-Class Engagement

Why Padlet is an Important Tool for Your Classroom

Cost

Free Version

  • You can register for an account free of charge here.

Paid Version

  • There are three paid versions: Backpack for schools, Briefcase for businesses and Jetpack for individuals. Each subscription varies in price and gives you a variety of different features.
  • If you upgrade to Padlet Backpack for schools, it’s an annual subscription of $45.00(USD) per teacher and you’ll get the following features:
    • Have additional themes that make your Padlet stand out
    • Access a larger library of backgrounds
    • Uploaded videos are directly playable on the Padlet
    • Bigger file uploads
    • Ability to know where your Padlet viewers are from and the number of views on your wall.
    • More privacy and extra security
    • School-wide activity monitoring
    • Additional technical support

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