Originally published on: Foundations Newsletter
If you attended one of the rich Microsoft workshops offered by our talented colleagues Samantha McDonald-Amara, Jamila Al Shehhi, and Azza Al Awadhi, you must have learned about Padlet and how it can help you engage your students in a more active manner in class.
What is Padlet?
It is basically an electronic wall where you and your students can post and see each others’ notes in real time. It used to be web-based only (link), but they recently created an iOS app (link) that goes with it to make it more iPad-friendly.
You can create an unlimited number of Padlet walls, for free. After creating a wall, you can customize it in many ways:
- Upload files (pictures, videos, documents, …) to share on the wall
- Change the title and description of that wall
- Change the background (choose from preloaded ones, or upload your own)
- Change the layout and the way notes are added
- Control privacy and sharing features
- Customize the wall’s link
- Export content on walls to save or archive
How can you use it in class?
The tool mainly allows you to receive and display students’ input in real time. Students will need help the first time to learn how to use it, but they’ll understand how to use it in no time. Students’ input is anonymous, but if you want to be able to track it, you can ask your students to write their names as a title for their individual notes.
You can use it for discussions, writing activities, student feedback, and so on. For example, I used it in class to ask students to write compound sentences (link), and to form comprehension questions in a reading class (link).
As students add their input, you will be able to monitor their answers on the board and give them feedback. This kind of timely feedback eliminates the frustration of “I don’t want to do it all over again”. Students also learn from each others’ input. Students who are not sure of what they need to do can wait and see what their friends are doing and do the same.
You can also use it for group work, where you create a padlet wall for each group and have them note their tasks and keep track of who’s doing what. You can also use it as an assignment bulletin board for students as a reference to check every day. You can use it in a vocabulary class and ask students to write meaningful sentences using one of the words on the list. And so many other ways.
–If you use it in your class and would like to share, please add a comment (learn how).
To learn more about Padlet and how it can be effectively used in your classes, these resources might be helpful:
- Getting started with Padlet
- Padlet on Technology Exploration in a Digital Age
- Teacher’s Guide to Using Padlet in Class
- 20 useful ways to use Padlet in class now
- The Writing is on the Wall: Using Padlet for Whole-Class Engagement (PDF)