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.
[callout]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.[/callout]
What you can share on Padlet:
- 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.)
[callout]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.[/callout]
[callout]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.[/callout]
Security and Control
[callout]There are lots of features you can customize. For example, you can make it public, private, password protected and even moderate everything.[/callout]
[callout]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.[/callout]
How you can give the students the link to the Padlet:
[callout]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.)[/callout]
SANDBOX: The BIG Tip for the First Time You Use Any Software
[callout]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.[/callout]
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
- Richard Byrne has written blog posts and recorded many tutorials
- Tom Barrett has a fantastic Google Presentation “32 Ways to Use Padlet in the Classroom” that you should review
- Classroom 21 Wikispaces on Padlet
- Matt Miller's 20 Useful Ways to use Padlet in the Classroom Now
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