How to Use Padlet: A Fantastic Tool for Teaching

Useful Tools for Teachers

Padlet is a versatile, easy to use tool for every teacher’s toolkit. Let’s learn the basics. At the bottom of this post, I have a Padlet that is temporarily open for you to post and share your favorite edtech tools.

Padlet is a great tool to use for teaching in the classroom.
Richard Byrne, author of Free Technology for Teachers, spent some time teaching the teachers at my school about Padlet. I’ve got some notes in this article that he mentioned in the workshop to give him due credit. Richard has a fantastic blog, and I highly recommend it.

www.padlet.com

What you can share on Padlet:

The Add to Padlet screen

The box where you type or share your item.

You can:

  • Type
  • Record Your Voice
  • Add a Hyperlink
  • Add a Photo
  • Add a Document

The flexibility of this tool means you could have one class Padlet for the year and share resources and links throughout the year. (Particularly if you set it up in “flow” style as shown below.)

 

Editing

As with many tools the gear icon (as shown in the graphic below) is where you go to edit your background and change your settings.
You can customize your Padlet page with a different background, title and more.

You can customize your Padlet page with a different background, title and more.

Organizing

Richard Byrne taught me something new today. You can change it to be more like a Twitter or have a flow. I like this view much better than having people write all over the board.
You can move the Padlet layout to stream. This is much better than typing all over each other, in my opinion. (hat tip Richard Byrne - I didn't know this.)

You can move the Padlet layout to stream. This view is much better than typing all over each other, in my opinion. (hat tip Richard Byrne – I didn’t know this.)

Security and Control

There are lots of features you can customize. For example, you can make it public, private, password protected and even moderate everything.
You can have lots of control. You can even premoderate comments.

You can have lots of control. You can even moderate comments.

Remember, as the teacher, you can see a little trash can and delete items that need to be removed. You can also turn off writing and set it just to view when you’re not in the classroom. If you’re worried about “naughty students” – you just need to dig deeper.

How you can give the students the link to the Padlet:

You can share the link with others in many ways. You can also copy the link at the top and paste into a link shortener like bitly.

You can share the link with others in many ways. You can also copy the link at the top and paste into a link shortener like bitly.

If you click the share button, you can share via email, Tweet, and it even creates a QR code. But the best way is to copy the long address and then paste the link into bit.ly and customize the link. (See my blog post on link shortening.)

SANDBOX: The BIG Tip for the First Time You Use Any Software

As Richard shared, he has a common experience with tools that I do. The first time you share it, have a sandbox Padlet. Sandboxing software means that you play with the software before you get down to “business.”

Kids get a bit excited and sometimes silly. When they are done and get it out of their system, delete the Padlet and go onto the real activity. Glad to see another teacher seeks kids get excited. Both Richard and I recommend this as best practice in the workshops we give.

How can I use Padlet in the Classroom?

  • For younger classes, use it as a portfolio to share with parents. Snap pictures of student work and share them.
  • Richard Byrne says you can use it almost as a blog.
  • Have a class Padlet and put the links to everything else in it. Set the student web browsers to start with that page. If you set it to flow, the work is already at the top. Students will know quickly what they are doing that day.
  • Have kids sort pictures on Padlet to classify them (and use the Interactive White Board (IWB)).
  • Use it as a class backchannel and have discussions on it.
  • Have students work a problem, and snap a picture of how they worked it.

Dig Deeper…More Resources

Please note: I reserve the right to delete comments that are offensive or off-topic.

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22 thoughts on “How to Use Padlet: A Fantastic Tool for Teaching

  1. I like using Padlet for storytelling. It supports multiple media resources that you may use in your story. And it’s easy to use.

    I also like using Padlet for class brainstorming (online or offline).

  2. I really like Padlet. It is a unique tool to bring into a mathematics classroom (even though it might seem strange at first!). Padlet offers a great opportunity to promote, invite and encourage varied solution strategies. This is a place where students can post their own definitions and explanations of mathematical concepts and terminology. Simultaneously, they can look at every other student responses, broadening their exposure to unique thought processes. It is a helpful tool in giving students ownership of their mathematical thoughts.

  3. Thank you Vicky for sharing.
    Two other uses of padlet I haven’t seen mentioned. By moderating the posts, padlets can be used as evaluating tools. (the teacher has to approve each post before the class can see them) Each group of students posts an answer to a riddle/problem. It’s great for correction.
    We can also use this moderating feature to create a detective story or suppositions on mysterious documents such as this one: http://padlet.com/silverteacher/mystery
    I also use it as a learning diary. By posting my thoughts on my lessons, I keep track of my lessons all year long. Great tool to keep track of our work.
    @silverteacher

  4. Thank you for sharing, Vicki! I love listening to your podcasts.

    I have been using Padlet Backpack this year with my students so I could see when they updated their pages & track their progress. It is advertised as uniquely set up for schools & classrooms. However, I really cannot recommend the extra cost. They have had several video issues since September (especially on the app side of things) & the customer service is atrocious … I typically have to wait at least a week before I hear back from anyone to even acknowledge the concern, let alone begin to solve it. That being said, the customer service on the regular Padlet (or Padlet Vanilla, as they call it) is fantastic! They get back to you right away & keep you updated on their progress for solving the issue.
    Hope that this comment will save others from making the same mistake I did. Stick with the free version … at least until the bugs are worked out on Padlet Backpack’s side of things.
    Quick question, does anyone know if you are able to upload video directly in the Padlet app? This was the feature that drew me to the paid version, but if it’s in the free version I’ll be switching. Thanks!

  5. Hi Vicki,
    Would love to know if you have used Padlet with students under 13 and setting up accounts etc using iPads.
    This is something we are investigating for our primary (elementary) students.
    Thanks,
    Raff

    • My students are older than 13 — they say on their terms if your students are under 13, you have to comply with COPPA. (I guess this means not putting to much info in profile or any at all and using pseudonyms.

  6. Can I ensure that each student makes an entry onto a blog using padlet (i.e. their address is included but only viewed by me?) I plan on using this for an online flipped classroom grammar class for EFL students at a college in the UAE and I want to make sure that all students view the video before coming to class. Having each one make questions based on the lesson taught in the video and then posting them on Padlet would only work in terms of required viewing if I can be sure who wrote each question.

    • Hi Richard, I do not know the answer to this question. I’m wondering if you’d need each student to make their own private padlet and share it with you. Padlet also has some great forums of teachers where you should go to ask this as well.

  7. I used padlet a lot in my blended high school geography class. I had a separate padlet for each major assignment. Once all the students had posted, they had to view everyone else’s and vote on their favorites. The winners got candy and extra credit.
    It was such a simple way for them to share the ebooks, videos, comic strips, presentations and posters in a way that everyone could view them. One of my favorite tools!

  8. Hello, Vicki. As I know, the teacher can approve each post before the class can see them with the moderator option. I tried but I still see their posts. How am I able to do it? Maybe not possible in the free version?
    Thanks for your help
    Nuria