Monday 7 April 2014

Padlet - Technology in the Classroom


Padlet application logo
Padlet is a simple but effective collaborative 'sticky note' web-based application. It's central premise is a 'wall' onto which you can drag and drop almost anything, from pictures, files, links to videos, etc as well as add 'sticky notes', so you end up with a wall of items. An analogue analogy would be a classroom blackboard or a memo board with sticky-notes and/or pictures arranged, as you want, over it.
Padlet also has several very useful levels of privacy.
  • Private - available to you only.
  • Password Protected - only available to those with a password you select.
  • Hidden Link - accessible to those with a link to that board.
  • Totally Public - accessible to anybody and searchable by Google.
Padlet can be used both synchronously so that everybody is using it at the same time, or asychronously and there's an option to be emailed when somebody posts something to a wall.
Padlet has two lay outs. Freeform which allows to you place items where you want over the expanse of the wall and Stream where posts are placed one below the other.
The whole application is online, so it's cross-browser compatible, but anybody who you want to view or use it will need to have an internet connection.
The set up is easy, create a free account and then start creating boards.  You can change the background of the boards and even add your own. There's even a nice weekly calendar background that some might find useful.
From a pedagogical/teaching point of view, Padlet provides a nice simple to use way for a class to become involved as additions to the wall can be viewed in real-time and do not require a browser window to be refreshed. So everybody can see what everybody else is adding. Ways this could be used include:
  • Allowing class to brainstorm ideas.
  • Putting up a list of expectations at the start of a class. Review these just before the session and come back to the wall at the end of the class to discover which expectations have been met.
  • Putting up a list of questions at the start of a session. Review these just before the session and come back to the wall at the end of the session to discover which questions have been met.
  • Pin up in advance some pictures at the top of the board, then ask the class a question relating to the pictures and ask them to put their answers as sticky-notes below the relevant image.
  • Pin up possible answers to a question and ask the class to vote by placing a sticky-note with ther name under the answer they think is correct.
Other features of Padlet that can be taken advantage of are the ability to share on social media and/or export the wall as an image, PDF, Excel or CSV file, including the ability to embed into external blogs, etc.

Technology in the classroom, is a series of posts looking at various technologies
that can be used in the real and/or virtual classroom.

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