As much as I love the collaborative tools in GSuite for Edu, sometimes they just don’t meet my needs when it comes to collaborative brainstorming, problem-solving, quick project sharing, or a place for students to have an online discussion about topics being covered in class. What tool can I use to create this sort of open sharing environment for my students? Why, Padlet, of course!
Have you ever attended a professional development class or meeting where there were large pieces of white paper on the wall and you were given sticky notes with which to go about the room and add your ideas or answer questions? Padlet is basically that, but better! This free program (with paid upgrades available) allows you to create an online bulletin/white board where people can collaborate, share ideas, contribute resources, and share digital materials like links, docs, and videos! Padlet can be as private or as public as you want, and users can access your Padlet from a Chromebook, computer, phone, or tablet. As long as they have access to the internet, they have access to your Padlet. Students will not have to create an account so Padlets can be quickly and easily accessed and used without disrupting the flow of your class. And for that teacher in you that just wants everything to look “pretty” or “cute,” Padlet has beautiful and fun backgrounds to keep your collaborative space from being too plain.
Want to see it in action? Check out my Padlet and add your ideas about how you would rule the world!
Now that you can see it in action, just think of the possibilities! Here are a few of the ideas I came up with:
- Bell ringer activity – ask a question to get the kids accessing prior knowledge or preparing their brains for learning new content
- Brainstorming – instead of writing out all of the students’ ideas by hand on your whiteboard or poster paper, have them add their own ideas to your Padlet
- Question/Answer – create a problem and have students share their answers here. This would be especially useful in a math classroom. Have students post their answers and explain their thinking
- Group work – have students working in groups create their own Padlets to share their resources with each other. Or, create a class Padlet and have students share resources with their classmates across periods/bells
- Exit Ticket – what did your students learn today and how will you expand on it for your next lesson?
- Hypothesis and Results – make your science lab an open forum and let the students share their thinking before and after the lab along with their results
- Guided research – create a Padlet with all of the links and materials you want your students to use for a project
- Primary Source – sometimes primary sources are difficult to find, but you could curate a collection of them by providing links to them on a Padlet
- Book Talks – instead of book reports, students can share a picture of their book and a quick explanation of why others should read it
These are just a few quick suggestions to get your brain thinking. If you do a quick Google or Twitter search, you will see that the possibilities are endless!
To get started with Padlet, simply go to www.padlet.com and sign up for an account. I recommend that all new users check out the Padlet Tour when they begin. Of course, I am here to guide you through and if you would rather have some personal training, just let me know!