In the wide spectrum of the applications and tools that IT companies developed for education, it is not an easy choice for an educator to make up his mind and pick the right one for his needs. There is one particular tool that drew our attention. If you are looking for a technology tool that is user-friendly, free and fun, Padlet.com is the right web address to visit. All you, as a teacher need to do is create your account and then a Padlet page, which is a blank wall where users create posts. You, as a creator can change the background and choose one of the offered wallpapers or upload your own image.
The platform is easy to use, so you nor your students will experience issues when posting. A double-click on the wall of the page is enough to share your idea! Also, there are no restrictions when it comes to the type of the files shared. Users can add videos, images, voice recordings, articles. Designers of this platform created an option for users to embed the page directly into their websites. Once a page is embedded, it will look exactly the same as it looked on the original Padlet.com page without losing any format. There are also mobile, iPad and Chrome app options available.
How can a learner benefit from this tool?
The Padlet Company presents its product as the easiest way to create and collaborate in the world! Knowing the importance of collaboration in a learning process, it can be stated that this website does a good job accomplishing this goal. Students find the design of the platform appealing and creative. From our experience, they were more willing to share their ideas through Padlet post than traditional oral discussion.
Interaction and feedback are essential parts of learning. However, Padlet.com lacks the option for other users to reply and comment on each other’s posts.
How to use Padlet in classroom?
It depends on the teacher’s creativity and purpose how to create classroom activities using this platform. It can be used for any course, but we used it only for language learning purposes. Padlet proved to be the most effective and easiest to use when you want students to discuss topics and when you want everyone to collaborate and contribute to the task. This way, students get additional opportunities to practice writing in a non-traditional mode. Engaging in collaborative activities, learners reflect on their own language production as they attempt to create meaning. It has been found that collaborative writing contributes to an increased complexity in writing and willingness to utilize peer feedback as well as increased grammatical accuracy and overall quality of writing.
One of the ways to use Padlet for the topic discussion is to have students research the topic online and then post links with their comments to a Padlet page. At the same time when they post the links and comments, Padlet page can be projected on the wall so that everyone could see posts. The page can be set up as a live news-feed, so the latest posts pop up replacing the old ones. Later, the posts can be used as discussion prompts to engage the entire class.
Since we live in the era of millennials and digital natives it is very likely that the use of this platform will be regarded by students as an interesting and fun way to engage in classroom activities. Being delighted by the novelty in teaching, students might be more willing to contribute to the activity than in a traditional classroom setting.
If you used Padlet in your classroom, we would love you to share your experience with us!