As I reflected back over this past year of teaching in both live classes and online I realized that the tool I had used the most over the year was Padlet. If you’ve never heard of Padlet, let me just explain it is a very simple online “pin board” for want of a better way of describing it. All you do is simply click the screen or the + sign and add whatever you want to on this online board.
You can make your Padlets so that Google doesn’t see them i.e. they can’t be found on searches. You can password protect them if you want, and you can limit who can comment on them or add things to the board, so there is a lot of flexibility. Padlet is free to use and once you start using it you are going to find more and more reasons to use it.
And another great feature is the board collaborators do not need an account! This means the teacher can create a board, and students can add to it or comment on it – without needing to sign up!
I’m going to give you some ways that I used Padlet in the classroom and then I am also going to give you some ways that I think you could use it outside the classroom just in everyday life. In fact, some of these I have used too.
The second way I used Padlet was for the students to share their work with each other. For example, in one class I asked them to each create e-books on different countries in eastern Europe. Once they created the e-books they went and pinned them on to a Padlet board. That way they could all see what the other students had created. They did a great job, btw, and if you have 5 to 8 year olds, their target audience, you might want to read them to your kids.
Another way to use it is when students are researching one topic – but working on different aspects of the topic. Let them all pin their research on the same board. I actually used this last year with middle schoolers in the history class that was focused on historical criminals. Here is the board let they created on D.B Cooper.
Those are the ways that I have used it in the classroom, but Padlet is something you can use outside the classroom too. I just used it as a birthday wishlist. It’s an easy way to pin different pictures or whatever you would like. You could also use Padlet to cooperatively plan a vacation. Everyone can go on and pin their ideas and you can see them all in one place. It’s particularly great because with Padlet you can pin links, videos, photographs etc. People can also leave comments on things others have pinned.
If you have used Padlet and used it in some different ways than I have described, please leave a note in the comments to give us all more ideas.